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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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What's it about?
LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS: MERLOK 2.0 is set in a futuristic/medieval kingdom that's under fire from an evil court jester called Jestro. Hoping to save the kingdom from Jestro and his army of lava monsters, a holographic wizard called Merlock 2.0 trains a team of recent graduates from the Knights Academy. After a brief introduction to the story, players are taught how to fight and use special attacks by tapping or tap-holding on the screen. Winning battles earns players coins, which they can use to upgrade equipment and skills, and players can unlock further skills by using the iPad's built-in camera to scan codes on real-world Lego products.
Is it any good?
Though it's amusing, especially for fans of the show, kids who don't watch or have the toys may be disappointed. Players who haven't seen the show are likely to be confused from the get-go, as it tosses you into combat and gets you to collect a group of Knights without really understanding why. A few minutes in, you're introduced to the game's scanning functionality, where you're shown how to scan QR codes from real-world Lego products (toys, TV shows, books, and websites). Though kids will probably enjoy collecting codes, it's clearly meant to make kids beg their parents to buy them more Lego products. Granted, Lego's website will be trickling codes out, and kids can also get them by watching the TV show, but kids who collect the toys will have more codes -- and more fun with the game. On the up side, there's a good amount of fun to be had for free: Graphics are bright and colorful, dialogue is amusing, and the storytelling videos between combat sequences offer a good dose of the Lego charm. Overall, for younger kids it's a decent way to spend a few hours; however, kids older than 12 might be bored with its simple, repetitive gameplay.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about your plans to purchase more toys for the games (or not). What should kids expect before downloading the game?
Discuss the crossover between video games and toys. Do real-world elements make video games more fun?
Talk about the violence in the game. What's the conflict in the game? What are some ways people work out conflict in real life that don't involve violence?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (gameplay somewhat dependent on real-world LEGO toy purchases)
- Release date: January 7, 2016
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures
- Size: 518.00 MB
- Publisher: LEGO Group
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.1 or later; Android 4.0.3 and up
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