Looking at the box for LEGO Worlds it would be understandable to assume that this is a LEGO version of Minecraft. And to some extent this is true. Although each of these games shares the world-building concept, LEGO Worlds definitely has its own feel. It released on the PS4 and Xbox One months ago and is now finally arriving on the Switch. So, does the Switch version end up a brick or is it something to build on?
When you boot up the game there are two main modes to choose from. There is a sandbox option that is basically just a way to get right to building your own world. There really isn’t much more to say about this mode beyond the mechanics I will discuss later. If you’ve played any other game that has similar mechanics, you know what you are getting into.
The meat of the game, however, lies in the adventure mode. This is essentially the “story mode” of the game where you must complete missions. You get these by approaching characters or finding tasks scattered about the environment. This continues on throughout every new world you encounter. What makes things fun and interesting is that, as you progress and upgrade your ship with gold LEGO pieces, you are taken to a variety of worlds to explore and manipulate. It was exciting to continuously unlock new worlds to explore and I found myself wondering what waited for me and what the new areas would look like. Would it be a lava world evolving around a volcano, a world made of candy (Candy Mountain, Charlie!), or something even more unique? As cool as each new land was to discover, I couldn’t help but be disappointed there wasn’t at least a little narrative with the charm of prior games anywhere to be found here.
The missions do take advantage of the world building skills that you have learned. Each of the worlds is made entirely of LEGO bricks. As you progress in the game you gain more building and destruction abilities. Eventually you are able to do pretty much alter anything in the worlds that you would be able to do in real life, except in the game you have an endless supply of any and all LEGO pieces you may need. This was by far my favorite part of the game. I often smiled at the ridiculous sections of the world I would make and especially when I would trap a LEGO figure in an odd situation. It kind of reminded me of locking a Sims character in a closet. Most prior Lego games have had realistic textures and backgrounds with LEGO bricks strewn about, but here the entire world is created with LEGO and therefore could be completely taken apart, which is a neat aspect that I really appreciate.
Despite the world building and manipulating being my favorite parts, the execution left much to be desired and really highlights the game’s most glaring problem: the controls. Yes, the amount of control you have over the types and colors of bricks at your disposal is quite deep. However, controlling these bricks and the process involved when manipulating the worlds never felt quite natural. I kept waiting for myself to get used to the controls and be able to focus on my creations, but this never really happened. Even after putting in hours of world building I am still pressing the wrong buttons and figuring out the best way to line up the camera. It’s extra frustrating because I can see the potential of what I can do, but the controls just get in the way.
Overall, LEGO Worlds is a fun game. I don’t think that it reaches the level of the games that helped form its DNA. Minecraft is better at the world building and many of the other LEGO games feature better story modes, complete with charming and humorous voice acting. I do see myself playing this game for a long time though. The Switch’s hybrid nature really works for this game as I can quickly take it out of the dock and play in handheld mode while watching sports on the TV. I am very likely to primarily play this way and look forward to seeing what I can build.
Lego Worlds Review
- Graphics - 7.5/107.5/10
- Sound - 7.5/107.5/10
- Gameplay - 6.5/106.5/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GOOD
LEGO Worlds can be a fun game of building and manipulating worlds when the controls aren’t getting in the way. The amount of things you can do is quite impressive. Having a game like this can be a perfect fit for casual gaming, especially in handheld mode. It’s the type of game I am happy to have on my Switch to boot up on occasion and just see what I can do.