Lego Minifigures Online

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Lego Minifigures Online Game Poster Image
Fun, team-oriented Lego brick battler has pressure to buy.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the importance of teamwork, as well as the idea that each person brings his or her own unique skills to the table. Players also will work on their problem-solving skills, although not to the degree you'd see in the console Lego games, and they may work on resource management, as they may need to save up for new characters or abilities. You might not expect it, but Lego Minifigures Online has great lessons about collaboration as you explore every Lego world with your team of figures.

Positive Messages

Kids learn it's easier to work as a team, but the game is heavy on fighting and destruction.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Occasionally, in-game characters are helpful and kind, but it's mainly bad guys attacking you.

Ease of Play

Strong tutorial, relatively simple controls. Menu exploration helps players figure out some details.

Violence

Action is mostly fighting bad guys with different weapons and special skills. Characters are "smashed" when their health runs out, and they must regenerate; villains disappear when defeated. No blood; violence is cartoonish.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Part of the popular Lego franchise. Game areas reflect available Lego sets. It's difficult to progress steadily without paid membership and/or purchasing real-world toys that unlock in-game content. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lego Minifigures Online is an MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) in which players navigate a fantasy world alone or with others. Gameplay focuses on fighting off bad guys who vanish when defeated, although there are some other kinds of missions that occasionally appear (collecting fruit, building signs through a forest). Players will make friend requests (often repeatedly) of people they run across and can create teams or groups to play through special missions together. Chat is filtered and moderated, but there are no parental controls around friend requests or creating teams. Although the free game can be enjoyed without a membership or additional purchases, players can only access two areas at first; it can be very time-consuming to move beyond those without spending some extra money. This is an online game, so Internet access is required to play.

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What's it about?

LEGO MINIFIGURES ONLINE is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) that invites you into the Lego world to explore, battle, and build. You pick a team of three minifigures to play with and choose a name from preapproved words. Each character comes with its own basic weapon or skill, as well as a special skill. Each is designed with typical Lego humor, such as a girl with a pretzel who yodels her enemies to death -- or a pig that attacks with a mud pit. The game's tutorial teaches you to break objects, fight, and navigate through environments, and you'll travel through multiple Lego worlds. During your adventures, you'll make friends with other players and/or team up with them to fight through missions, such as clearing an area of enemies, collecting items, or building objects. There also are special adventures to play through where you can earn rewards like diamonds (in-game currency) and Lego body parts. Once you've collected three body parts (head, body, and legs) and a base plate, you can build another minifigure and add him or her to your team. You also can purchase additional characters with in-game diamonds or buy real-world minifigure packs that come with a special code to unlock that character in your game.

Is it any good?

Lego Minifigures Online is a campy, Lego-smashing good time. It starts easy but becomes more challenging as you move through the nine currently available worlds, each with specific requirements for entry. You have to be at a certain level, have completed prerequisite missions, and have a minimum number of characters to progress. This is where having a membership becomes appealing, because building minifigures is a slow process without one. It can be done, but you'll need to replay the same areas repeatedly to accomplish the task. It's unfortunate that nonpaying members will struggle to make it past the first two levels, unless they're willing to purchase real-world minifigure packs to help them progress. Grinding (replaying the same area over and over to earn more points and rewards) is less tedious when you have more worlds to do it in.

Although gameplay doesn't stray much from the attack-everything-in-sight approach, the change of scenery and enemies in each world keeps things fresh. Every foe has a strong personality, so you're bound to have favorites. Boss battles often require some strategy beyond tapping on your "fire" button as well. These fights are best enjoyed with a friend, even if it's one you just met in-game, because it's always useful to have some help when your health gets low. Overall, Lego Minifigures Online is an enjoyable way to spend time, especially for the tween set, and it's something you can happily enjoy as a family, especially if you're willing and able to pony up a few dollars to help get started.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about chatting with strangers online. What information should you keep to yourself, and what's OK to share? What do you do if someone makes you feel uncomfortable online?

  • Is it worthwhile to pay for a membership to this game? What do you get from it? What other things could you do with that money? How long would you need to save for the different membership levels?

Game details

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