A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game is an action/adventure game. It's based on the movie, which is based on Lego's popular toy line and cartoon series. Players take controls of the various heroes from the series, fighting to defend Ninjago city against Garmadon and his army. Combat is a bigger focus in this game than in previous Lego games, with players stringing together combos and using their ninja skills to defeat enemies. It's a fairly easy game to pick up and play for newcomers to the Lego games or younger players.
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What's it about?
In THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE VIDEO GAME, players fight to defend the city of Ninjago from the forces of the evil warlord Garmadon and his Shark Army minions. Taking on the roles of the heroic Ninjago ninja, players use their Spinjitzu martial art skills and Ninja-gility abilities to run faster, jump higher, swing further, and hit harder in their fight to defeat Garmadon. The Ninjago heroes can also tap into their unique connection with the elements to interact with the world around them in a variety of interesting ways. When players need a break from saving the world, they can visit the Challenge Dojo to put their combat skills to the test, earning high scores and battling with increasingly tougher enemies. Aside from the regular co-op in the game, players can also try out Battle Maps, going up against their friends and family in three different game modes with competitive split-screen local gameplay for up to four players.
Is it any good?
This action/adventure game manages to capture the action of the movie perfectly, but its lack of depth won't keep players interested for long. Lego is no stranger to tapping into kids' imagination and bringing them into all kinds of worlds: science fiction, fantasy, comic books, pop culture. There's no genre untouched by the colorful plastic building blocks. The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, based on the recent big-screen adventures of Lego's masters of Spinjitsu, drops players into a world of martial arts and mystic powers, with a sense of humor that's sharper than a ninja's katana.
While The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game follows the general formula of the rest of the Lego games, there are a few tweaks and additions meant to make it stand out. For starters, this game is a lot more combat-focused than others. Players zip back and forth between enemies, building up combos in fluid motions, and taking out enemies in fight scenes that would do a martial arts movie proud. The Battle Maps are a fun way to duke it out with friends and family, and the Challenge Dojo helps players perfect their ninja reflexes. Still, even with the new modes, the game feels small in comparison to other Lego games. The cast of characters, though diverse, feels light, and the story mode can be completed start-to-finish in a day. It's not that the game is bad, it's just that it doesn't feel like there's enough of it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. How does the style of a game change how the violence influences younger players? Why is it more acceptable when it's cartoonish and unrealistic in nature?
Talk about commercialism in media. How do movies, TV shows, and video games influence what you buy? Do they encourage you to buy related products, like toys?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: September 22, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.