LEGO Minifigures Online is a fun MMO made for children. The difficulty level is set to very easy, but the light-hearted atmosphere, different worlds to explore, and plethora of playable characters to unlock make for an enjoyable experience across age groups.
+ Fun sense of humour
+ Multiple playable characters to unlock
+ Child friendly
– Very easy until a sudden difficulty spike near the end
– Repetitive gameplay
Platform(s) available: PC, Android, iOS
Platform reviewed: PC
LEGO Minifigures Online is an MMO where players control a LEGO figure trying to become a hero. There are a number of worlds to explore, each with their own story and problem to solve, primarily achieved by smashing everything into tiny bricks.
LEGO Minifigures Online was initially only free-to-play, on PC. With new areas and many additional characters having to be paid for, players found more frustration with the game than fun. After feedback from players, Funcom re-released the game on PC, iOS and Android on June 29th, to be based off a one-time purchase that gives players all available content. The new version has updated gameplay, more story, added voice actors and cinematics, as well as other added in-game details for each world.
The important thing to remember about LEGO Minifigures Online is that it has been made for children. Players shouldn’t expect in-depth complicated mechanics, violent death animations, or a gritty story. Instead, there is a focus on a colourful world, humorous dialogue and simple gameplay that anyone can easily pick up and enjoy.
Each world has a unique story to go alongside it, with Isle of Yarr, Kingdom (Medieval land), Space Colony, Mythology Mountains, and Dinosaur Rise, all linked together by the LEGO Centre. The areas all involve a decent open-world exploration size, but don’t feel so big that it’s possible to get lost. A map in the top right corner of the screen displays a large yellow arrow constantly pointing the way, and there is an option to bring up the whole map if needed. Going off the beaten track is rewarded with mini boss battles and secret achievements. A nice feature is the teleportation portals dotted regularly around each world. These are especially useful in the end-game when going back through the worlds to look for character pieces that you might have missed.
The gameplay itself is rather simple and repetitive, utilising the concept of smashing everything in sight to win. Each character has a basic and special attack, which include short-range, long-range and dodging, based on the character selected. The game starts with only three minifigures to choose from, but soon adds new ones to your inventory. There is a Princess that can attack people with frog tornadoes, a Scarecrow that flings crows, Aliens with space guns, and many more. One of the best ways to collect these are the extra dungeons, cutely named Pocket Adventures, provided whole, or parts of, LEGO minifigures that can be put together to form new playable characters. The LEGO figures themselves are definitely where the most fun and investment from LEGO Minifigures Online comes from. There are over one-hundred LEGO characters to collect, each with their own mini personality, actions and sounds.
It is possible to quickly switch between three main characters at a time, and change which ones fill these slots at any point. The levelling system works with the player gaining experience points, rather than each individual character. This system means that players don’t have to worry about new LEGO figures not being the required area level. Every three levels (up to twenty-four), upgrades can be bought for individual characters with stars gained and collected by smashing things. Most of the upgrades are similar, such as higher defence, speed and power, but each tree is also unique. For example, the Pizza Delivery guy can gain ‘extra toppings’ on his AoE attack, and Medusa is able to have a trail of slime behind her to slow down enemies.
There is actually a small amount of strategy involved with what character types to prioritise, particularly as the Pocket Adventure dungeons each have a typing that gives an attack advantage. Characters also have different stats for defence, power and creativity (speed of building), which is good to keep an eye on when constructing teams. A successful combination can make certain bosses or dungeons much easier, giving an added layer of depth for those that want to master the game.
Given its difficulty level, it is very easy to play through LEGO Minifigures Online by yourself. However, the multiplayer has been handled pretty well. Players can add friends that they know outside of the game, or make friends and join teams with other players online. As with most MMOs, it is possible to see other group member’s locations on your map and chat within the group to make strategies to discuss what to do next. There is currently a nice amount of players online so areas never feel too crowded, but you will always pass a couple of people on your journey so you don’t feel lonely. As a nice touch, the game does not increase in difficulty during multiplayer, so players are simply maximising their attack power through numbers.
The main problem with LEGO Minifigures Online is that it is highly repetitive. The change of playable characters and different worlds to explore helps to keep the game refreshing and interesting, but it does not present any sort of challenge for experienced gamers. A hard mode would potentially be appreciated, or separate servers that include PvP battles. I also came across a few bugs in my playthrough, mainly surrounding the in-game cut scenes, and the game occasionally kicked me off the server during updates. None of these problems affected the enjoyment of the game, however.
LEGO Minifigures Online does a fantastic job at introducing children to the MMO genre. The random name generator at the beginning means that everyone is completely protected, all mechanics are simple and easy to understand, and the chat is so secure you can’t even type the word ‘nasty’. Despite this, the game still works for people of older ages and never feels like it’s holding your hand too much, even in the short tutorial.
For gamers looking for a change of pace from all the gritty stories and fast gameplay out there, LEGO Minifigures Online will help players slow down and just enjoy their casual game time. Ultimately, the game is about having fun, and is great for fans of the LEGO series with a childish sense of amusement. It is not for anyone looking for a challenge, but it’s not supposed to be.
This review is based off a review copy of LEGO Minifigures Online provided by Funcom.
This review was originally part of the GamersFTW site, the servers of which have been taken down. It now appears on GabsTannerReviews out of respect for the developers/publishers that gave me a copy to review.