LEGO Lord of the Rings

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Action and humor abound in funny rendition of LOTR films.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The heroes learn a lot about teamwork over the course of the story, and even those who fall prey to the temptation of the all-powerful magical One Ring end up redeeming themselves. At its heart, this is a story about forgetting differences and teaming up to fight for the greater good.

Positive role models

The heroes work past cultural differences in order to gel as a team. Sam, one of the hobbits, is a devoted and loyal friend (as well as someone who is immensely brave for his size). Frodo, who is arguably the main character, demonstrates not just responsibility and courage, but also forgiveness. Granting all of that, there's still a lot of fighting.

Ease of play

The controls are generally intuitive and pretty easy to work with. Characters constantly respawn each time they are destroyed, so there's no real way to lose (you just lose some of your coins each time you "die," but even then you have a few seconds to grab them back).

Violence

The violence is muted quite a bit by all the characters being made of cute toy blocks, but there is a huge amount of fighting. It's all fantasy combat -- swords, axes, magic, etc. -- but there are a few incredibly large and possibly scary monsters to tackle, as well as a several large-scale battles with uncountable numbers of combatants charging at one another across battlefields. Grunts, yells, and hacking and slashing sounds accompany the violence, though when characters "die," they simply break apart into Lego pieces.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game ties in to the LEGO Lord of the Rings toy and building sets, which are advertised in the instruction booklet. It can also be seen as a marketing tool for the books and movies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There is a medieval-style tavern in the game, the patrons of which hold mugs in their hands.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO Lord of the Rings is one of those games that has a crazy amount of synergistic marketing going on; it's a video game based on a toy line that is based on a movie trilogy that is based on a classic series of books. But like most titles in the LEGO line of video games, it's a quality product that -- outside of the packaging -- doesn't feel like an advertisement. Keep in mind, though, that the source material can get pretty dark at times, and even though all the characters here are Lego minifigures, there's a ton of fighting and quite a few spooky scenes. The story follows the movies closely, meaning characters die as well -- though violent deaths are portrayed here with tongue-in-cheek humor (such as a character who is shot with bananas instead of arrows).

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • making conclusions
  • solving puzzles
  • applying information

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • making conclusions
  • solving puzzles
  • applying information

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Kids can learn a lot about teamwork, both from a story that centers around diverse individuals banding together for a common cause and from gameplay that shines best in cooperative two-player mode. Whether it's in the game's many battle scenes or its more cerebral puzzle sections, kids will do better if they work in concert with whomever is holding controller #2. Much of the game's puzzle work centers around using previously learned information, such as knowing which character's special power is necessary to pass a certain obstacle. Often two things need to happen at once, which is where the teamwork comes in.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

What's it about?

LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS presents a surprisingly loyal adaptation of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. When an ancient evil being named Sauron returns to take over Middle Earth, a team of humans, elves, dwarfs, and hobbits trek across kingdoms to destroy the magical ring that gives Sauron his power. With the exception of scenes in which violence has been traded for comedy (like a hero being shot with a launched chicken), the plot stays pretty much the same. The LEGO characters even speak with dialogue straight from the movies.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LEGO Lord of the Rings should appeal to fans of both the game's source material and the previous LEGO video games. Those games have always been good, but the developers have made some wonderful improvements. Most appreciated is the ability to save within levels -- some of which are very long. Plus you've got a complete vast map of Middle Earth to explore openly. The sheer size of it is astounding. They've added role-playing game elements, like side-quests that can be started by talking to random townspeople, and the ability to craft new weapons and armor that can then be equipped by your characters. It helps the experience feel more like, say a Legend of Zelda game, than just a retread of the typical Lego formula. The story is told beautifully (and hilariously) through a LEGO lens, which is sure to appeal to hardcore Rings fans. But thanks to the great use of movie dialogue, it's also told in a clear, concise manner that can serve as a newcomer's introduction to the classic tale.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about marketing tie-ins. Does playing this game make you want to buy Lego toys? Does it make you want to see the Lord of the Rings films? Or read the books? Are any of those outcomes inherently better than the others?

  • Talk to your kids about the story's message of teamwork and cooperation. What does each member of the Fellowship of the Ring bring to the team? What obstacles do the members have to overcome in order to work well with one another?

  • Parents can also talk to children about violence in video games. Is the violence here less impactful because the characters are portrayed as toys?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
Price:$49.99–59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:November 12, 2012
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon violence, Comic mischief (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360)

This review of LEGO Lord of the Rings was written by

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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; OK 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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Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byjohnjt January 4, 2013
 
LEARNING

Excellent and wide ranging game

I have played several of the Lego Wii games with my son, and like them all. But, the Lord of the Rings surpasses all of these in both graphics and breadth of play. There is terrific opportunity for exploration, and to work on team play and problem solving. I do wish the puzzles were a bit more mentally taxing, rather than smash everything until you find what you need, but still great fun. When it comes to playing with kids, I think my 9 year old son is right in the sweet spot age for the game - even a bit younger would be OK as long as there's some discussion about the fighting. They also temper some of the more gruesome scenes in the movie so as not to be too much for kids. For example, in the movie where Boromir is killed by multiple arrows from the Uruk-Hai and Aragorn very gruesomely fights and kills the attacker is way too strong for my son right now. But, in the game, while Boromir is still shot several times they lightened it up by having the Uruk-Hai shoot him first with an arrow, then some silly things like a banana and almost a live chicken. My son is a plow-right-through sort of player, so I personally am looking forward to going back into free play mode and finding all of the many things we missed on the first run.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old November 30, 2012
 

AMAZING

This is a amazing game.Please dont listen to the ofter comments that talk about the little things like "Oh its so stupid look at there clothes" and "HER CLOTHES ARE TO SHORT" I want to make this clear.My dad,my little sister, and me played it and its breath taking.I have seen no awful or bad stuff in it.ITS JUST AMAZING!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written byStrategist101 April 3, 2013
 

The Lord of the RIngs

A great game with good role models, good levels, and it sticks to the story(Mostly). Some violent deaths are portrayed, but differ from movie and book accounts, for example: Isilidur puts on the Ring before being hit by arrows, so we just see the arrows stick in the air, then the invisible Isilidur falls into the river (Dead). Ugluk sends bananas flying into Boromir's chest with his bow instead of Uruk arrows, etc. Some levels are frustrating and send you walking in circles (Not reffering to the one where Sam actually says "We're going in circles") like the Dead Marshes. No alchohol is shown, the character's mugs have chicken/turkey legs in them. Great game, LEGO's best.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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