Lego Lord of the Rings

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Lego Lord of the Rings Game Poster Image
Action and humor abound in funny rendition of LOTR films.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

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.

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 & Representations

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
Language
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.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byjohnjt January 4, 2013

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 pl... Continue reading
Parent Written byCultt September 10, 2013

Great review of a great game!

I really enjoy the Lego games. I was going to pass on this one, I really disliked the LotR movies (read the books over 20 years ago in my D&D days), but... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
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... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

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