LEGO Battles

Common Sense Media says

Simple strategy game is competent but uninspired.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players pit their LEGO mini-figures in battle against evil skeletons and such. Up to three players can compete against one another in various local wireless modes, creating a pleasant social gaming experience.

Violence & scariness

Our tiny LEGO warriors, who are armed with weapons such as swords and cannons, often engage in skirmishes with enemies. However, as none of the characters are more than a handful of pixels tall, their physical actions are hard to make out, which makes the violence feel rather abstract. It’s pretty mild.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

LEGO toys feature prominently throughout, making the game feel at times like an interactive advertisement for the Danish company’s Castle, Pirates, and Mars Mission series of LEGO building blocks.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a beginner's real-time strategy (RTS) game featuring mild violence. Tiny characters hack at and shoot enemies and buildings with melee and projectile weapons, but everything is so small that it's difficult to make out what's happening. There is no blood or gore. Note, too, that the game often feels like a promotional tool for LEGO building toys, particularly those in the Danish company's Castle, Pirates, and Mars Mission series.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

LEGO BATTLES, unlike other recent LEGO games, does not play off of a movie or comic book property, but instead makes use of the Danish company's own licenses -- specifically, its Castle, Pirates, and Mars Mission series toys. It's a traditional real-time strategy game that sees players constructing castles, farms, mines, and other buildings, then creating tiny people to go out and harvest various resources that are used in the construction of yet more buildings and units. Grander objectives involve ridding the land of evil enemies, such as skeletons or pirates, and finding and collecting hidden items, including LEGO studs and treasure chests containing minikits that allow for the construction of extra units.

As RTS games go this is a simple one; maps are small, missions are swift, and the touch screen controls are highly intuitive (draw boxes to select units, then tap the location that you want them to march to). Kids should be able to figure out how to play via the brief, in-game instructions.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you've played other LEGO games, which have earned kudos for their original visual flair, it will be hard not to be let down by this title's lackluster production values, which are bland and fail to justice to the toys' unique visual aesthetic. Also disappointing is that you don't actually get to build things -- or at least not in the traditional LEGO sense. You do have to collect LEGO studs, which act as resources, but the buildings you create simply spring from the ground fully formed, with no player interaction required. They don't even appear to be made of LEGO bricks. In other words, LEGO Battles would have played exactly the same had the LEGO brand and a few recognizable LEGO objects been absent -- which makes one wonder why they're there at all (other than to provide a recognizable license that helps sell the game, of course).

At least LEGO Battles is well designed. It's highly derivative of other real-time strategy games, but there's not much wrong with how the game plays. It's just a shame that LEGO Battles fails to tap into the properties that make the Danish building blocks such great toys.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why LEGO appears in this game. Does the LEGO brand appreciably enhance play? Do players get to exploit the toys’ construction properties? Or is it simply a matter of a recognizable license being employed to make a game more familiar and attractive to consumers?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:June 8, 2009
Genre:Strategy
ESRB rating:E for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of LEGO Battles was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 9 years old November 1, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

good

it is a vary good game, but it has some levals in it that are troblesome. it has a good story line. the fighting in it is not an issue. over all I rate it 3 stars ***
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old November 25, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Fun game for kids 10 and up

This is a good game, although it kind of advertises lego stuff. I love the little lego dudes running all over the place and the funny story modes.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old March 19, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Violence (M): Characters do many bad things, most really violent. Consumerism (E): The whole world is LEGO. Social Behavior (T): You can play as heros or villians. Characters however burn down churches and other areas.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools