I think I’m in love.
Lego Dimensions was our present to the family. It had the kids’ names under ‘to’ and our names under ‘from’ but it was for all of us. Well, maybe not my wife but she’s not much of a gamer (except for that time we had a Wii and we’d have friends around, crack a bottle of wine and play Wii Sports or Singstar and see who could make the bigger fool of themselves).
So, Lego Dimensions is for the kids and I. If I’m being honest I think I fall into the target demographic more than they do. They loved the Lego Movie, know all their superheroes, watch the current Scooby Doo series and have a vague knowledge of some of the other Lego themes (Ninjago) and licensed properties (Ghostbusters, The Simpsons and Jurassic World) but they don’t get the in-jokes.
It’s the nod to nerds that I love the most. I used to watch Doctor Who with my parents and, now that I teach a bunch of students who are into the current incarnation, I’ve caught a few recent episodes. When you play as Doctor Who in the game you start as the twelfth doctor and if your character ‘dies’ you respawn as the first doctor and cycle your way through each version until you’re back on the doctor you start with. Each doctor has his own Tardis interior to match and all of the ‘old’ doctors have dialogue ripped from episodes of their series.
This is the same with other properties too so you get to giggle as Mad Dog drops the “duded-up, egg-sucking gutter trash” line when you’re playing the Back to the Future level.
I think my favourite geeky gift of nerdy nostalgia came in the Ghostbusters level, however, as you get to recreate the dancing toaster scene. But, if you’re looking for cool, the best level was the one unlocked once you found a set number of gold bricks. This ‘mystery level’ got the biggest reaction from me as I actually said “wow” when it first opened and laughed when I completed it.
I can see myself spending a small fortune on this game. I mean, that’s exactly how these particular games are built anyway. You buy the starter pack and then, over time, collect all of the add-ons and before you know it you have a drawer full of figures and other junk. I’ve never played or owned Skylanders but I’ve had Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions is far superior. Disney Infinity had a larger variety of figures but they were restricted to one or two playing environments whereas every character in Dimensions can traverse every world. The added bonus is that, while the figures for Infinity were immaculate they were built to be looked at not played with. Every character and figure in Lego Dimensions is buildable (and for the vehicles and items, can be rebuilt in different designs) and you don’t need them on the game base, just the discs they stand on, so they can be played with like normal Lego (except in my house because I am a Lego nazi and won’t let my kids touch my sets that are on display in a glass fronted cabinet – my wife thinks the father in the Lego movie is pretty much me).
The gameplay is like every other Lego game; you break stuff, collect stuff, complete puzzles, defeat bosses. The only difference is that you now use the base pad to complete some of the puzzles, moving characters around the lit-up areas to imbue their on-screen counterparts with special powers. This can be frustrating at times but it’s a unique feature that keeps you mentally active as you progress through the game.
My kids aren’t able to progress through the story mode without me operating one of the characters but they don’t care, they’d much rather explore the Adventure Worlds which they can do with minimal assistance.
It’s a pricey hobby. If I want to 100% complete the game I’ll have to get at least one character from each franchise and the sets range from $25-50. To keep costs down I’ll wait for sales before buying new characters but I might get to the point where I talk to friends about borrowing some of their figures/vehicles.
Until then, I’m happy playing with the sets I’ve got.