LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids Game Poster Image
LEGO-branded portable adventure focuses mostly on combat.

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

You play as the "good guys," a band of ninjas who want to protect their town from an evil Overlord and his robotic henchmen, called Nindroids. Although your goal is noble enough, you are fighting with weapons and using martial arts to defeat the baddies.

Positive role models & representations

You play as ninjas who want to protect your city and its citizens from the evil LEGO Overlord. In doing so, the characters use combat -- fighting moves, weapons, and acrobatic skills -- to destroy a robotic army of Nindroids.

Ease of play

The top-down action game is very easy to control, thanks to in-game tutorials. Gamers also can get hints and tips from the Noodle Bar owner or train in the Dojo. 

Violence & scariness

Although it's cartoon-like in nature, this LEGO game is based heavily on combat. You control a band of ninjas who fight to protect their world from an ominous villain and his loyal henchmen. This includes using melee moves (punches and kicks), weapons (from swords and staffs to missiles and lasers), and magic blasts to defeat enemies. There's no blood or carnage.

Language
Consumerism

The game is based on the popular LEGO franchise, which includes toys, movies, video games, apps, and other miscellaneous merchandise.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids doesn't have any graphic violence, blood, or gore, but it does focus heavily (though not exclusively) on combat, as a group of ninjas vows to protect its city from an evil Overlord and his robotic henchmen. Players can fight using a variety of weapons, magic attacks, and hand-to-hand combat. The game is easy to pick up and learn, with plenty of tutorials. There also are some mini-games and puzzles, but the game is clearly designed as part of the vast LEGO franchise of products.

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What's it about?

Based on the animated TV series LEGO Ninjago Rebooted, LEGO NINJAGO: NINDROIDS lets players take on the roles of ninjas defending the New Ninjago City from an evil Overlord and his robotic army of Nindroids. Played from an angled top-down perspective, this portable video game -- for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita (PSVita) -- lets you use melee strikes (such as punches, kicks, spins, and combos), weapons (swords, staffs, missiles, and lasers) and magic attacks to fight against the Overlord's agile henchmen. As with the animated TV series, you also can use your "Technoblades" to hack into computers, solve environmental puzzles, and engage in mini-games or other activities in the Hub area.

Is it any good?

Although it won't win any awards for its uniqueness, depth, or graphics, LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids should offer fans of the animated series (and LEGO toys) a few hours of on-the-go fun. Along with its varied combat across the game's 30-odd levels, there are also giant mechs, rideable vehicles (including Thunder Raider, Kai Fighter, and Ninjacopter), and arcade mini-games, and there's dojo training. Players also can unlock multiple characters when reaching certain points.

Though fun, these games aren't anywhere near as good as the WB Games' LEGO-branded games based on movies and comic book characters. Action is repetitive, and some older players may find it to be too easy. For $29.99, you might want to wait a bit until the price drops, but it should be a fun ride for younger players who own a Nintendo 3DS or PSVita.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their kids' interest in building objects. What appeals to you about making things? Check out our blog on technology for young learners.

  • Talk about violence, such as that shown in LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids. Are there ever reasons in which using violence is justified? Are there other ways to settle conflicts? Check out our blogs on violence in the media.

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