LEGO, a brand that is synonymous with fun, continues to bring joy into the households of fans both young and old in its physical and digital forms. In its digital form, LEGO has taken the families of gamers on many a cooperative journey through many different worlds. For this build, they have stepped out of the cooperative adventure space and into a genre of gaming that sees father and daughter, mother and son, and every combination of family member competing in head-to-head battles to see whose bricks are better assembled. So, is LEGO Brawls well-constructed, or is it just another mess of bricks without instructions?
LEGO Brawls is a platform fighting title that is akin to Super Smash Bros and the more recently released MultiVersus. The game itself has the same premise of head-to-head battles to come out victorious but differs in a way that it’s not just beating each other down as the game offers different modes with different objectives.
An initial tutorial is provided to establish basic knowledge of the game, but it isn’t enough to help the younger gamers with understanding how to battle. A few extra written tutorials are in the settings menu, but it would help to have interactive guided tutorial’s, especially for young gamers like the more detailed guides from MultiVersus for example.
Before players match up for the first time, it is time to create a character. LEGO Brawls lets the player build whatever their heart desires or head can imagine. Whether it’s an astronaut with a cat head, clown pants and a laser sword, or just anything really, there are pieces from 248 different mini figures to choose from. The player has the freedom of choice to customize and decide who they wish to battle with. The combinations are near endless as players select the headwear, head, torso, legs, feet, and a weapon to take into battle. Players start with select pieces to create their ideal mini figure, but as they progress the game unlocks more character pieces to customise characters with. Attack options are also able to be changed for use during battles. The game also offers a selection of “special figures” that come pre-built and can be selected for use prior to each battle. These characters come with pre-set special attack options that are upgradable and are based on the theme of the character.
Now that we’ve built our characters and are ready to go there are two options that can be selected, Battle and Party. Battle offers online matches where players are paired up against others online (or bots) and a voting system is in play to decide on what game mode will be played. The game modes on offer are as follows:
- Free For All Deathmatch
- Team Deathmatch
- Free For All style item collection events
Each game mode can be played across the many worlds seen in the ever-expanding LEGO universe including Ninjago, Jurassic Park, Vidiyo, Western, Monkey Kid and more. The variety is significant and will see players explore many familiar LEGO locations.
Once players have the game mode and location selected then it’s time to battle. This part is where the game needs a little bit more explanation in some instances. It may be a description at the voting screen, or more on the loading screen explaining the objective but many times the game type was missed and it took more than a few seconds for our young gamers to get their bearings. Once in, the controls are straight forward and simple. The controls work with the thumb stick or D-pad to move, one button for attacks (X), and two for special abilities (Y and B). Y and B offer single use options based on items collected by hitting item boxes that spawn within the game itself. These items vary across the abilities customised for the players character, through to items based on the world battled in. These controls get repetitive quite quickly as the player will regularly mash just one button in the name of timing. The simplicity of the controls work well for the younger gamer and can be a good introduction to the basic controls of gaming. Any regular gamer or non-LEGO fan will get tired of this quite quickly. When sitting down for a quick game with family, everyone can just pick up the controller and send some bricks flying, no matter the level of gaming experience.
The ultimate goal for all of this is victory! Victorious or not, players will earn XP and a random item from a LEGO chest on completion of the match. These items offer players more customisation options for their minifigure, be it physical feature, weapon or power up.
The rewarded XP goes towards the games progression system which comes in the form of the well-known battle pass system where XP goes towards unlocks with a key difference of players being required to select a LEGO world to progress in. This reviewer initially started with Ninjago and the progression unlocks the characters and items through each element on offer from the characters, starting with earth. There are many worlds to choose from and they can be changed at any time. Each world is recognisable and can bring with it some sort of interactivity within the play space. The graphics won’t blow the player away but it brings with it a great LEGO look and feel.
The other play option mentioned above is party, and this is where a lot of fun will be had. In this mode everything is customisable. All of your friends and family can jump in (couch or online co-op) and go head-to-head to claim minifig superiority.
LEGO and the LEGO games are both family friendly by design, and this game is no different. The game brings a beat’em up style that can be played by the younger and older gamer, on the couch or online, and that is the best way to play this game.