A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about teamwork, solve puzzles, and practice their socializing skills in this fun Lego-themed fantasy adventure. Players need to think about their characters' tools and abilities and then properly apply them in order to solve a variety of contextual brainteasers. Some puzzles involve selecting specific Lego elements to build models, which could set off a spark of imagination and lead kids to try building new things with real-world Lego. Plus, kids playing with friends need to communicate with one another to work out strategies and break up tasks to complete them more effectively. Lego The Hobbit requires thought, strategy, and creativity and makes for a constructive social experience.
The game uses dialogue from the films to relate a more or less identical story. Themes of courage, friendship, and duty run strongly throughout. Many levels promote teamwork and cooperative play while offering means other than fighting to solve problems.
Positive Role Models
The large band of heroes under the player's control are a mix of fantastical humanoids working together against great evils. They delight in solving countless contextual conundrums throughout the game, though they also seem to enjoy their time spent in cartoonish combat.
Ease of Play
This game plays identically to other Lego games, which should make it easy for kids experienced with the series to dive into. There's no losing or failing (fallen heroes respawn without limit), and instructions are provided as needed when players encounter puzzles and new game mechanics.
Violence & Scariness
Plastic Lego minifigures including goblins, orcs, humans, dwarves, elves, wizards, and animals engage in combat with melee weapons such as hammers, swords, and staffs. Some enemies briefly cry out as their plastic bodies break apart and quickly disappear.
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Products & Purchases
This game is based on Peter Jackson's Hobbit films as well as Lego's Hobbit-themed construction sets. It's likely to spark or strengthen young players' interest in both.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Lego the Hobbit is a cartoonish action game based on Peter Jackson's Hobbit films. Plastic Lego minifigures are substituted for all characters, making it a much lighter and more whimsical telling of the story, though it does use dialogue pulled straight from the films. The heroes get into a lot of fights using melee weapons, but enemies simply break into plastic pieces and disappear when defeated. Most kids are likely to eke out messages to do with teamwork and courage from the story, and local co-operative play makes this a good social gaming experience. Just keep in mind that kids who play the game will likely come away jonesing to watch the movies and buy associated Lego sets.
Is It Any Good?
It may not significantly alter the Lego game blueprint, but Lego the Hobbit should still prove a blast for anyone young or old who enjoys the movies or book upon which it's based. It does a fine job of capturing the spirit of the films while simultaneously sending up beloved characters with all-ages jokes. And the action is as addictive as ever, begging players to keep smashing Lego models, solving little puzzles, and hunting down an almost endless array of collectibles. What's more, a surprisingly large hub world spanning from Hobbiton to Erebor offers more than 100 additional quests, objectives, and puzzles outside the main missions. There's enough here to keep kids (and their parents) playing for weeks on end. The only glaring issue is that the game only tells two-thirds of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale -- the events depicted in the first two Peter Jackson films. That leaves the story on a frustrating cliffhanger. A significant chunk of (paid) downloadable content based on Peter Jackson's final film in the trilogy will arrive alongside the movie this fall, but until then this otherwise great adventure is left feeling a bit unfinished.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.