A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Lego Friends is an adventure game based on Lego's popular collection of building toys aimed at girls. There's a strong consumer/product relationship here: Kids who play with the toys likely will want the game and vice versa. That said, the game is filled with fun, nonviolent activities many kids are sure to enjoy, from sports to animal care. Also, the young protagonists are good role models for girls. They're all friends with one another, never get up to any serious mischief, and seem to genuinely enjoy trying new things and helping others.
What's it about?
Unlike most other Lego games, LEGO FRIENDS' focus isn't on fighting and destroying everything in the environment. Instead, it tells the story of a group of girls exploring their interests in Heartlake City. Players get to engage in a wide range of activities, from having fun with pets and riding horses to dancing, playing soccer, and working on science projects. Also, they can scrapbook it all by taking pictures of each adventure. It's a mostly open-world and open-ended adventure. Kids can tool around town on a bike, spend time in shops experimenting with different styles of clothing and hair, or help local personalities, including a mailman, a janitor, and a florist. A big part of the experience comes in growing your bonds with virtual friends, working toward the ultimate goal of True Friendship by helping them in special challenges and doing nice things.
Is it any good?
Lego Friends is a great game filled with good role models for kids. It has a wide range of activities to discover and enjoy, some of which have a surprising amount of depth -- like pets that kids can groom, feed, train, and control to perform various tasks of which humans are incapable, such as scaling a building. Plus, the objective of becoming friends with the game's characters by helping them with various innocuous tasks, such as putting up posters for a concert and restyling mannequins, is a refreshing change of pace from other Lego games, which focus more on fighting and destroying things. And yet the Lego vibe still shines through clearly, thanks to settings that invoke the building sets many kids likely will have used, with the goal of collecting and earning Lego studs with which to buy desirable items and the occasional task that involves building things like a bicycle or a street vendor stand. This is a colorful, expansive, and well-designed little Lego adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way female characters are portrayed in games. What do you think of the girls in Lego Friends? Are they the sorts of girls you'd like to be friends with? Do they do the kinds of things you like to do? Do they exhibit any negative stereotypes?
Families also can discuss consumerism in media. Does playing Lego Friends make you want to purchase Lego Friends building sets? Do you want to play the game because you already have Lego Friends toys?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading
Science: chemistry, geology, physics
Arts: choreography, dance, photography
Hobbies: fashion, pets, sports
- Skills: Creativity: making new creations
Emotional Development: empathy
Communication: friendship building
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: November 12, 2013
- Genre: Girl
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptors
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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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.