Let's get this out of the way upfront, LEGO City My City has nothing to do with LEGO City Undercover for the Wii U. Chase McCain is not the protagonist, Frank Honey's antics are nowhere to be found, and there is no open world city to explore. This is a mini-game collection inspired by the LEGO City block set, with players getting to step into the blocky shoes of role models from all over town.
Now you can play with Lego blocks on any device that supports Google's web browser of choice just by visiting the Build with Chrome website. Why? Because building things with blocks is fun. It's a task so intuitive that even babies can grasp it without being directed, and regardless of how old you are, the fun just doesn't go away. The tools may change, but the core concept doesn't need much in the way of innovation.
The warriors of LEGO's Ninjago franchise aren't your old-school ninjas of feudal Japan. These heroes are bold enough to draw their blades in a more modern time, one filled with futuristic corridors, glowing elevator shafts, and dangerous lasers. Yet unlike Tecmo's Ryu Hayabusa, these ninjas don't square off against armed gunmen. They're out to rid Ninjago City of the possessed-scientist Cyrus Borg and his army of minions. Of course, the only way to do this in Ninjago Rebooted is by racing to the top of Borg Tower.
LEGO licenses out a new video game every other week these days, but let us not forget that this brand still consists of more than adorable animated characters acting out our favorite movie scenes. These are building blocks, and if you still want to spend hours meticulously crafting a plastic masterpiece at home, LEGO is just as eager as ever to make that happen. The company has now provided instructions for building the LEGO TECHNIC Hot Rod or Rally Racer in a convenient, and free, app format.
If building blocks are still the first things to come to mind when you hear the word "LEGO", it might just be a sign of your age. LEGO video games have been hitting the market for over a decade now, and they've been good enough to appeal to kids and adults alike. Of course, if the brand has spawned games, it's also inspired television shows and movies. The latest LEGO app to enter the Play Store provides direct access to the official LEGO YouTube Channel and select downloadable movies, so you, or your kid, can stream and download LEGO content all day long.
Bad news, true believers: the Lego Bugdroid is not happening. Early this year we reported than a Lego version of the Android mascot had been submitted to Lego's crowdsourced Cuusoo platform and received the required 10,000 votes for consideration. Unfortunately the little green robot that could was denied in favor of another project.
The 10,000 vote threshold is only a requirement for Lego to evaluate a given Cuusoo project, and they produce the best subjective entry.
Lets get this disclaimer out of the way right from the beginning - video game adaptations of toys are rarely as much fun as the products that inspire them. The long-running LEGO series of movie titles may be the exception to the rule, but don't expect Pullback Racers to follow in their footsteps. The premise here revolves around crafting a game that matches the functionality of the plastic wind-up cars themselves, and like the inspiration it pulls from, the game is rather limited.
Finally, Android is not a second-class citizen. LEGO has released three new apps (okay, one of them is a game) for the Mindstorms EV3 robotics set in Google Play, just as promised back at CES. It's fitting, too. We're all just a bunch of robots around here.
The Mindstorms 3D Builder app is a handy 3D instruction booklet that tells you how to build the stock robots with the EV3 kit.
We like to feature at least one or two kid-friendly games in our biweekly roundups, but this one looks so good that we had to give it its own post. LEGO DUPLO is the famous company's line of brick sets for kids age 5 and under, with easy formations, bright colors, and big, swallow-proof pieces. The Android DUPLO game focuses on the branded train sets.
The game itself is a mix between LEGO's standard construction and a sort of "baby's first train simulator." Kids will start and stop the LEGO train, hook up passenger and cargo cars, and build bridges and tracks to avoid simple obstacles.
Surprisingly, the licensed LEGO Star Wars PC and console games (and most of the subsequent Indiana Jones/Batman/Harry Potter/et cetera games) turned out to be pretty good. They're tight, enjoyable adventure games with interesting construction mechanics, and humor suitable to both kids and adults. Though The LEGO Group has released more than a dozen Android titles already, their first tie-in game is LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, available now as a free download.