I love LEGO, I always have. When I was a kid I had around four boxes filled with miscellaneous bricks, minifigures, and more. Unfortunately I don’t have those boxes any more, but my love for LEGO still exists.
Now, this was over twenty years ago and although LEGO still exists in its physical form (though largely more expensive than I remember), it’s taken a prominent role in videogames fronted by Batman, Indiana Jones, or Luke Skywalker and the gang, however one game focuses on an entire collection of characters and that’s the Minifigures found in the really awesome mystery bags available in toy stores, and that’s LEGO Minifigures Online.
Now, this had been in beta for some time and was set to be a free-to-play MMO supported by microtransactions and more. Fortunately that didn’t work too well so Funcom decided to turn the game into a more pay-to-play MMO where players buy the game and get the full experience from the get go.
So, LEGO Minifigures Online at its core is an MMO. Players choose their character, their name (from a set of pre-defined words), and dive right into the world to begin their adventure. If however you’re expecting something as substantial as The Elder Scrolls or an equivalent MMO, then you may be a little disappointed.
This game is more a “My First MMO” in the sense that players are introduced into the core mechanics of what make an MMO tick, such as attacking a certain number of enemies, collecting a certain number of items, and tackling bosses in raids.
All of this is thrown into a blocky colourful LEGO world where (almost) everything can be destroyed in order to unlock stars which can be used to then upgrade their characters.
Probably the best part about LEGO Minifigures Online is the fact that all of the Minifigures available in those mystery bags can be found and collected in the game and are fully playable. A total of three Minifigures can be added to your team and can be switched out at any point in the game, this allows the user to create their perfect team with skills to tackle most situations at hand.
Each character can have their attributes levelled up too so if players find their perfect team, they can ensure that they’re performing their best using stars that players collect when smashing carts, or destroying the scenery.
These Minifigures each have two attacks using a combination of left and right clicks, the left being the more basic attack, and the right being the special attack which often requires a cooldown period after being used. This may seem simple, but it actually makes LEGO Minifigures Online the most accessible MMO ever where players can simply use the mouse to play.
This also allows for Funcom to launch the mobile app which offers an identical experience on a more portable platform. Having played both the PC version and the iOS version on an iPad I have to say that LEGO Minifigures Online is the most accessible MMO I’ve ever played. Whether you’re a PC gamer or a mobile gamer, you can dive right in.
LEGO Minifigures Online is openly aimed at a younger audience offering a safe place for young players to experience an MMO for the first time. Impressively it also manages to quickly show them how much of a grind MMOs can be, with the same type of count to ten challenges offered in popular MMOs like World of Warcraft and the like.
Ultimately players are tasked to take on enemy after enemy to progress through the fairly linear levels to ultimately fill up their experience bar which then opens up more levels where players once again do the same thing. There’s often times where players will be asked to complete tasks such as building canons and shooting targets, but ultimately it just leads to another enemy to take down.
And the monkeys, god damn I hate those blasted monkeys.
Though the game can be a joy for children and adults, there is sadly little in the way of keeping players hooked to the game. Combat is repetitive, and while sometimes the enemy can throw you off with some random ability, the game has to progress at such a rate that you’ll be at a decent level to take down the boss with little issue, which is a shame.
Even in boss battles, due to the inability to move and attack, you’ll just run around to avoid ranged attacks only to head back into hand to hand combat, and even if you refuse to move, you’ll often be able to take down the enemy before you take enough hits yourself. Even if things get a little tight, you can just switch out your Minifigure for another in your team with full health.
Aside from the usual “attack this person, and then that person, and then that group of characters”, players will often come across side-missions that’ll ask players to collect certain items such as bananas, apples, DNA samples, and more. This is a lovely break away from the trend of “attack this, attack that” and allows players to discover more things to destroy in order to collect stars.
Despite Funcom holding a pretty long beta for the game, there are still a number of bugs that players will likely come across, whether it’s the game not registering attacks, characters bugging out, or at times worlds refusing to recognise your past achievements. But these are getting patched out regularly.
LEGO Minifigures Online is a perfect gateway MMO for kids, but if you’re wanting something more substantial or a replacement from other MMO’s then you might be better off looking elsewhere. If you’re an MMO nut and want something pretty substantial on mobile however, LEGO Minifigures Online is a pretty good option.