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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Game Creator, an online Lego-themed game creator, comes pretty close to being completely awesome. Kids can choose The Lego Movie characters, including Emmet and Wyldstyle, to create their own platform-style games using a flexible step-by-step process. The forum is filled with pretty tame requests to "play my game" or general "this site is so cool" comments, and moderators review submissions before they're posted. Kids who love Lego and designing within Minecraft or Little Big Planet should enjoy this free option.
What's it about?
To play or to build -- that is the question. Kids can play previously designed games using basic keyboard controls to battle enemies or create their own with a very simple game creator. The game creator leads kids through six steps plus a final test-and-edit step. Kids select from eight Lego heroes and choose their special abilities and powers plus three goals: battle enemies, collect crystals, or do both and, of course, finish by getting to the door. Emmet throws bricks, and Wyldstyle has a martial-arts and super-cycle attack; Solomon Blaze always carries his grappling hook, and Laval wields a mean sword. Once kids can complete their own games successfully, they're given a chance to register and share them, earning their first badge and points. Friend requests and matches are based on controlled profile choices.
Is it any good?
LEGO GAME CREATOR asks kids to follow the instructions to create their own games but still makes them feel like "the special" by giving them just the right amount of control over game elements and quirky but fun profile gimmicks such as the ability to select three-part preset screen names and changing their profile DNA. Design elements are the other highlight, with walls that appear intermittently and floors that disappear when you step on them, objects that make you invincible, and hazards that send out projectiles every so often. The tone is tongue in cheek, just like in the movie.
For the most part, kids won't feel micromanaged, but there are some downsides. Gameplay can be really slow with all characters except Wyldstyle and Zane, and the goal for play flashes a tad too quickly (some kids might need guidance). The game filter at the bottom does not seem to work. Little kids might have a hard time getting back to the game-creator site if they go to their profile or to other games hosted on the general Cartoon Network site. Finally, aside from the obvious violence of battling helmeted enemies firing automatic weapons, a huge gun called a power shot, and a spy drone attack, it's a positive experience. No one actually dies, but the Lego parts do go flying.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Subjects: Arts: playing
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, hypothesis-testing, part-whole relationships, strategy
Creativity: making new creations
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Genre: Creating
- Topics: Superheroes
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
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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.