A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Dimensions is an action-adventure game blending the popular toys line with multiple licensed properties, including DC Comics, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Adventure Time, the original Ghostbusters movie and its 2016 reboot, The A-Team, and more. Players fight their way through these worlds, beating up the bad guys and solving puzzles to progress through the story. While violence can be performed by firearms or hand-to-hand combat, enemies fall apart into Lego bricks when defeated. The game requires the use of certain physical Lego toys, which players build (and rebuild) and then transport into the game via the Lego Dimensions portal. Expect the possible loss of key parts because of the small nature of Lego pieces. While the main story can be completed with only the contents of the Starter Pack, the addition of Level, Team, and Fun Packs opens up the game and expands on the experience exponentially … though at an exponentially expanded price as well.
What's it about?
In LEGO DIMENSIONS, an evil mastermind known as Lord Vortech has been gathering his strength, plotting to take control of the legendary Foundational Elements somewhere deep in the center of the Lego reality. Opening portals to the different worlds, Lord Vortech has begun to seek out the elements and spread his villainy throughout the Lego multiverse. Standing in his way is a trio of unique heroes: the wizard Gandalf from the The Lord of the Rings, Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie, and DC Comics' Dark Knight himself, Batman. This epic superteam must jump from reality to reality, recruiting new allies to their cause and fighting back against Vortech's forces. With quick moves, clever ideas, and a little extra assist from players and their real-world Lego toys, our heroes must race to recover the Foundational Elements and protect all of reality from the sinister plans Lord Vortech has in store.
Is it any good?
Although it's pricey, the creativity, versatility, and depth of this game taps into the imagination of everyone young and old. Every kid, at some time or another, has mixed and matched their favorite toys in an epic, crossover adventure fueled by their wildest dreams. Lego Dimensions brings that same kind of adventure to life in a huge experience that engages the creativity and fantasy of kids of all ages. After all, where else can Batman and Wonder Woman team up with Shaggy and Scooby to help Marty McFly get Back to the Future? Or Jake the Dog and Beast Boy team with Newt Scamander to track down Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? It's a wildly mixed-up world, but somehow all these diverse properties still manage to fit together as tightly as the Lego bricks they're made of. There's a little something for everyone here, young and old. It's a good thing, too. Since a big part of Lego Dimensions involves building and rebuilding the physical toys before using them in the virtual world, both parents and kids might need to work together to get the most out of the game.
Whether you've played any of the previous Lego games before or are a newcomer to the franchise, you'll be happy to know that the main gameplay is still easy to pick up and play. Each character has certain abilities to help progress through the story, and players can switch out on the fly to make sure they've got the right character for the right job. Unfortunately, this is where the game's biggest weakness also kicks in. The simple fact is that to unlock all the side missions and collectibles, it's going to take a fairly sizable investment. Purchasing additional Story, Level, Team, and Fun Packs can easily start to run hundreds of dollars. But unlike most other games in the "toys to life" genre (Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and so on), nothing you buy now will become obsolete later. Year 1 figures work with Year 2 content and vice versa, with WB Games planning to keep it this way. Regular updates to the base game keep everything compatible without forcing players to buy new versions of the same game. By expanding and evolving the original platform, even new features, like the brand-new four-player Battle Arenas, can be used with any Lego Dimensions character after they've been activated with a Year 2 character. Sure, Lego Dimensions is a potentially hefty investment, but thanks to WB's game plan, it's one you can definitely build on now and in the future.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about creativity and ingenuity. How can building and interacting with the physical toys in the game help inspire kids to build and create outside of the game?
Discuss budgeting and cost management. With so many toys available for the game, what factors into purchasing which packs? Should the focus be only on the characters kids enjoy or packs that add more overall content?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Subjects: Hobbies: building
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: deduction, logic, problem solving, solving puzzles
Creativity: imagination, making new creations
- Price: $99.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: September 27, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Robots, Space and aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.