For some reason, LEGO has been busy this year lending out its brand to nefarious developers. Last week LEGO Star Wars Battles was announced, and it appears to be a free-to-play Clash Royale clone from Warner Bros. Today Gameloft's LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed arrived on the Play Store for pre-registration, and it looks like a MARVEL Strike Force clone. Before this year, LEGO usually concentrated its efforts on quality games offered for free to advertise its brand, but now it would seem that the company is perfectly comfortable sullying its namesake to earn a quick buck off of the children that enjoy its toyline.

Very little gameplay is shown in the above trailer, but if you watch closely, you'll notice that the game offers 3v3 battles that look a heck of a lot like every other MARVEL Strike Force clone already available on the Play Store. My question is why in the heck is LEGO debasing its brand with a Gameloft release? It's already clear the title will contain in-app purchases despite an E for everyone rating, and while the monetization is yet to be announced, I can't help but notice all of the warning signs.

The Play Store description states that players will create LEGO dream teams out of the game's collectible Minifigures to then strategically battle against the title's many villains. Heros like Hot Dog Man, Chicken Suit Guy, Captain Redbeard, Willa the Witch, and Red Spaceman are some of the Minifigures you'll get to collect, and of course you'll have to train them to unlock their stronger abilities. But since this is a LEGO-branded game, you can expect a building mechanic that will unravel many LEGO set secrets that will then be used to boost your team. Online multiplayer is expected, which means you'll be able to take on your friends to challenge their teams.

Honestly, I can't say I'm the slightest bit excited for LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed. Not only is it a clone of MARVEL Strike Force, but it's also pretty safe to assume that it will be loaded with IAPs whenever it's officially released. For a brand that sells toys to children, I find it disheartening that LEGO would even consider lending its namesake to developers like Tencent, NimbleBit, and Gameloft, especially when these games are often rated E for everyone. LEGO is better than this, and yet the mad dash to soak up as much money as possible by taking advantage of children before government regulations take hold is extremely transparent. Of course, if you don't care about these things, then you can pre-register for LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed through the Play Store widget below.

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed is officially available

Back in September of 2019, LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed popped up on the Play Store for pre-registration, and it was clear that this was LEGO's take on the tried and true turn-based RPG genre where you collect heroes, and then fight them as a team. Essentially LEGO Legacy clones the gameplay found in similar titles like MARVEL Strike Force, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, DC Legends: Battle for Justice, Ninja Turtles: Legends, Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians, Age of Magic, and Summoners War, just to name a few.

While we did know the game would arrive as a free-to-play release, the specifics were still unknown back in September. Now that the game is out, it's clear that the title is filled with in-app purchases, and they indeed range up to $99.99 per item. In a game rated "E" for everyone, how about that. Yep, LEGO is targeting children with clear gambling mechanics in its lazy MARVEL Strike Force clone. Coincidentally, the top review on the Play Store states that once you hit level 30, it's mechanically impossible to advance as a free player. Gosh, LEGO wouldn't allow a developer to place an invisible paywall in its free-to-play clone, would it?

I suppose this sort behavior is nothing new on the Play Store, and so if you'd like to collect a few LEGO minifigs, I'm sure there is still some fun to be had as a free player in LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed, at least before you hit level 30. So if you'd like to pick the title up today, you can do so through the Play Store widget linked below.

LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
Developer: Gameloft SE
Price: Free+