'Lego Minifigures Online': Your Next Playground
Credit: The Lego Group and Funcom.
You don't have to worry about stepping on these Legos: The upcoming online video game "Lego Minifigures Online" lets kids play as classic Lego figures and romp through pirate ships, medieval castles and even outer space.
The game is set to release in open beta this summer, with a finalized release in the fall. We checked out "Lego Minifigures Online" and played a demo level at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week.
The controls are simple: The left mouse button initiates a basic attack, while the right is a special attack unique to the character you're using.
Each character is based on classic Lego characters from the company's original toy sets (excluding licensed sets such as Lego Star Wars or Lego superheroes). Players acquire them through either in-game events, or by purchasing physical figurines in stores that contain game codes.
The giant octopus we fought at the end of the demo level. Credit: The Lego Group and Funcom.
While playing, you can switch between any of the minifigures you own, or quickly rotate between three preselected minifigures. We played through the majority of the pirate level in the demo as the Figure Skater, the Bee Girl or the Motorcycle Mechanic.
The demo we played was on a PC, but "Lego Minifigures Online" will be available for Android tablets and iOS as well. All platforms will run on the same server, which means that players can always play together across platforms.
In the levels, players will sometimes come across piles of unassembled Lego bricks that can be built into helpful items, such as a springboard for jumping across caverns. This is a cool way to connect with the Lego toys themselves, but "building" just consists of holding down a mouse button and waiting for the characters to assemble the pieces.
"Lego Minifigures Online" is designed for children, but developer Funcom (whose previous games include "Age of Conan" and "The Longest Journey") says it has added some features to make it interesting for adults. For example, some characters can perform more complex attacks by chaining together regular and special attacks.
An incoming ship of enemy ghost pirates. Credit: The Lego Group and Funcom.
The game is divided into different areas, or "worlds," based on Lego's classic toy kits, such as Pirate World, Medieval World and Space World. Players will team up to traverse these worlds, fight enemies and collect experience points to level up their characters. Funcom says it will have safety features in place to keep kids safe when playing online with people they may not personally know.
The concept is similar to that of the popular "Lego Movie" released this past February, but Ellison said that there's no narrative crossover between the movie and the game — at least at this point.