LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins Game Poster Image

LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins



Mediocre LEGO game with minor violence and reckless driving.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about exploration, discovery, and puzzle solving. However, unlike LEGO City Undercover for Wii U, the focus here is more on traditional action and adventure. That said, kids still get to experience a sense of creation by building the occasional car jump or landmark structure. They'll also need to pay attention to cues and clues to deduce what to do next as they track down criminals. Kids playing LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins explore and solve problems in a world of blocks while occasionally encountering a surprise or delight.

Positive messages

This game is about exploration, discovery, and building things. Note, though, that this game focuses more on straight up action and adventure than its cousin, the Wii U's LEGO City Undercover. Narrative themes include seeing justice done and helping people in trouble, both friends and strangers. 

Positive role models

Chase is a model police officer motivated primarily by a need to see justice done. He's never tempted to join the criminals he pursues, and he doesn't injure or kill his enemies (he simply trips them up and captures them). That said, some of his tactics -- such as commandeering civilian vehicles and showing little regard for pedestrians while driving -- aren't the sort you'd like to see real police officers employ.

Ease of play

Chase has infinite lives and respawns without any penalty to progress, so it's nearly impossible to fail most missions. Controls for movement and driving are simple, as are special actions in contextual situations, such as interacting with objects. However, camera movement is limited and occasionally frustrating. 

Violence & scariness

Chase gets into frequent fights with gangsters. They punch and kick him, but Chase generally doesn't strike back -- though he does have a move where he spins on his head and kicks any foes nearby. Instead, he usually tosses his enemies to the ground and cuffs them. He also collects gadgets that he can use in battle, such as a ray gun that freezes enemies in place like statues.

Not applicable

This game is a direct offshoot of Lego's building toys. Players will likely find many of the game's vehicles, buildings, and minifigures familiar, as they were modeled after those found in actual Lego construction sets. The game will most likely motivate kids to purchase more Lego sets.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is an open-world action adventure game that has kids taking on the role of a rookie police officer chasing after criminals in a big plastic city. Players get into fights with bad guys, but the game's hero generally doesn't hit or punch anyone, choosing instead to throw them to the ground before cuffing them. However, he's not a great driver: Pedestrians frequently leap to get out of his way. Parents should also note that this game is an offshoot of the popular building block toys. Players will see virtual versions of real models available to buy in stores. There's a good chance kids who play the game will want to buy more Lego sets, and that kids who love Legos will want buy the game.

Parents say

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What's it about?

LEGO CITY UNDERCOVER: THE CHASE BEGINS for Nintendo 3DS is a prequel to LEGO City Undercover for Wii U. It takes place in the same city and within many of the same locations and uses a similar formula of progression, with players slowly unlocking more costumes that grant Chase McCain new abilities. However, all of the missions are new. They revolve around Chase's early days on the Lego City police force and generally culminate with him capturing a low ranking boss in a gang that's wreaking havoc all over the city. Kids often perform special tasks -- such as using an audio scanner to hear through walls and a magnifying glass to follow footprints -- while keeping an eye out for various collectibles, including tokens representing new Lego characters and vehicles.

Is it any good?


Anyone who played the original LEGO City Undercover for Wii U is bound to come away a little disappointed with this prequel. It offers many of the same basic elements of its predecessor -- including open exploration, the power to commandeer cars, and plenty of ability-granting Lego outfits to collect -- but everything feels smaller, staler, and less fun.

Some examples: The city is broken into smaller chunks -- many of which aren't accessible at the outset -- with long loading screens between areas. There's far less spoken dialog, and the text dialog lacks the laugh-out-loud humor found in the Wii U game. Side missions and bonus objectives are fewer in number and less interesting. And without a second analog stick, players are left to control the camera with the shoulder buttons, which is awkward at best (it's impossible to look up). Younger kids less given to criticism will still have some fun here, but older players won't be able to help compare this game to its Wii U counterpart, and that contrast won't be favorable. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fun involved in building things. What sorts of creations do you like to build out of Legos? Is there another toy or other materials you prefer to use to make things?

  • Families can also discuss what it might be like to be a police officer. Do you think police officers are heroes? What do you like most about their job? What do you think is the scariest, most dangerous part?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Subjects:Hobbies: building
Social Studies: exploration
Language & Reading: reading
Skills:Creativity: making new creations
Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, logic, solving puzzles
Available online?Not available online
Release date:April 21, 2013
Topics:Cars and trucks, Superheroes
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor

This review of LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins was written by

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Kid, 11 years old February 24, 2014

Bad Review

It sucks
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 10 years old June 5, 2013

lego grand theft auto

its like grand theft auto but in lego
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpider-Man 2099 October 27, 2015

Pretty Good

My brother has it and it's actually good