LEGO Battles Ninjago

Common Sense Media says

Decent real-time strategy, different from most LEGO games.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
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9
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11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a strategic battle game, but there are some positive messages in the storyline, especially during the training of the ninjas, when their sensei stresses patience and discipline. There's a bit of a mixed message in that -- once you complete the storyline, you can play again as the villainous skeletons.

Positive role models

The hero characters learn to be disciplined and control their emotions during their ninja training. They are fighting to save both the world, and the sister of one character (who becomes a hero herself).

Ease of play

The controls are a little troublesome. You tap to select a character, then tap to tell it where to go, but it's too easy to accidentally swipe instead of tap, which will make you deselect that character. Also, the enemies feel a bit too tough in the early chapters. Luckily, you can switch the difficulty to "easy" at any time.

Violence

Ninjas and skeletons -- all in the form of LEGO mini-figures -- battle each other with weapons (swords, throwing stars) or magic spells. During gameplay, from a bird's-eye perspective, you see characters wave their weapons next to one another while blinking to indicate they've been hit. There are a few cinematic storyline scenes that show characters fighting in more detail, but it's still cartoony and not graphic.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game features characters from the LEGO Ninjago toy line, and its associated animated series, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO Battles Ninjago is not the same type of action-adventure game as many of the other popular LEGO video games, like LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Star Wars, and LEGO Batman. This is a battle-based strategy game, much more akin to the LEGO Battles DS game. It's about harvesting bricks to construct facilities, building facilities to generate soldiers, and assigning tasks to those soldiers. As a strategy game, Ninjago feels aimed at a slightly older audience than those other LEGO games.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In LEGO BATTLES NINJAGO, a martial arts sage name Sensei Wu puts together a team of superpowered ninjas to help him fend off an army of evil skeletons led by Wu's wicked brother, Lord Garmadon. Gameplay follows a real-time strategy format, in which players need to harvest resources, construct buildings, and assign missions to their soldiers in each battle. After first playing as the ninja army, players can take later on the role of the skeletons.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LEGO Battles Ninjago is relatively simple as real-time strategy games go, which is a good thing, considering the younger target audience for a LEGO game. At the same time, it may still be a bit more complex than fans of the more action-oriented LEGO games are looking for. But as long as players approach Ninjago with the right expectations, they can definitely have fun with it. Control-wise, it would be helpful if the distinction between tapping and swiping was a little more clear-cut. And "normal" difficulty could definitely use more health pick-ups to keep your characters from dying. But this is the type of game that gets easier, the more time you spend with it -- you'll need patience to learn the winning tactics and strategies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about synergistic marketing. Can you enjoy this game without buying the LEGO Ninjago toys? What about watching the TV show? Does playing the video game make you want to do either of those things?

  • What do you like about playing LEGO video games?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:April 12, 2011
Genre:Real Time Strategy (RTS)
ESRB rating:E for Cartoon Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of LEGO Battles Ninjago 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy February 23, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

This game is AWESOME!

This is a cool Ninjago game.The levels are awesome,it is easy to play,the CGI is fantastic,ect.Plus,this game is very addictive.Not as addictive any Angry Birds game though,but still addictive.Anyways,this one of the best games ever.I say you play it!
Teen, 14 years old Written byTommyhead September 21, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

For kids + teens aged 8-16

Like any other ninjago stuff, this also contains many violents.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns

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