Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

LEGO Legends of CHIMA: Laval’s Journey

LEGO Legends of CHIMA: Laval’s Journey

Spring 2014 Video Games
Ages: 10 & Up
Price: $19.99
Gaming System: Nintendo DS

Based on the Cartoon Network's series "Lego Legends of Chima" and its tie-in toy products, this handheld DS game borrows from Nintendo's highly successful Lego adaptations of such film franchises as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Batman for its game play. But instead of star power in the lead roles and familiar plots, it substitutes cartoon-ready Lego Chima characters and story lines. Knowing the show is a plus, but not a pre-requisite, for playing.

This extensive platform adventure, with all of its puzzling, collecting and fighting, is pretty typical Lego-style video gaming. There are more than a dozen worlds, ranging from castles and caves to mountains and cityscapes. Leading the way through these treacherous terrains are anthropomorphic characters such as Laval, a descendant of the lion, and the main villain Cragger, of crocodile bloodlines. The good-guy animals battle all sorts of bestial bad boys all while running and jumping through the many free, explorable worlds; bashing blocky buildings, swinging large swords, smashing obstructions, and gathering shiny objects.

And why? Because, of course, it's up to one heroic warrior, Laval, to rise up and save the land of Chima from destruction. If the classic character Zelda found his way into the Lego universe, this might be what it would look like.

The game isn't all that difficult to play, (and therefore fine for younger video-adventurers), and its graphics are good, though it tends to lose some definition in higher-action scenes. The characters are fairly black-and-white—not in color, but in morality, featuring the bad-guy-versus-good-guy dynamic throughout. Educationally speaking, the game stimulates problem solving and decision-making skills, but mostly this is a fun and fast-paced combat game for lovers of all things LEGO.

Don Oldenburg   ©2014 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

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