Published Jun 12, 2015The modern Lego game era began a decade ago with Lego Star Wars, which parlayed the early viral success of stop-motion "Legomation" shorts on then-new YouTube into an indomitable IP. The games lovingly and hilariously spoofed the source films, setting a blueprint for an expansive, family-friendly franchise that ran through numerous adaptations (Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings) before moving into original stories set in the super-heroic Marvel and DC worlds and even a Grand Theft Auto-style sandbox set in their own Lego City.
Lego: Jurassic World brings developer Traveller's Tales back to their movie parody roots before they get back to their next evolution, the upcoming toy to life game, Lego Dimensions. Lucky for them, Jurassic World has become a brachiosaurus-sized smash. Lucky for us, the game includes the original Jurassic Park, too, making it a fun nostalgic romp for fans of the '94 film. It spoofs the other two movies as well, but the effect is lessened because who even remembers what happened in them? You can also choose from a shockingly high number of playable characters, but unlike the Lego Batman or Marvel games, most are obscure lookalikes and offer little added value.
While the original Lego games were effectively silent, they brought in voice-acting few years ago, and for the spoofs, they usually crib dialogue directly from the films; this results in adorable mini-fig versions of Jeff Goldblum and Chris Pratt. Those kids from the first film remain as annoying as ever, of course. The gameplay is also the same as it ever was — a combination of platforming, puzzle solving, brick breaking and item collecting bolstered by the best drop-in, drop-out co-op in the business. (It's even better on Wii U, where one player can use the gamepad screen rather than having to deal with a split screen when the players are too far apart). There's still some kid-friendly combat, but it's less than usual considering, y'know, dinosaurs require more running from than fighting with.
The only real addition to their toolset is the ability to play as a dinosaur, but it's a pretty great addition. You can also genetically modify and raise dinos if you find the hidden amber on each level. Oh, and one of the big new skills is the ability to search through giant piles of dino poop for important items. Against all odds, this remains hilarious for a long time. (Travelers Tales/Warner Bros Interactive)