Suggested Age: 7-14
Casual Build Time: approximately 1 hour
Dimensions: Gateway – over 6″ x 7″ x 4″ / Batmobile – over 1″ x 2″ x 1″
Today’s review is for something a little different. One of my Christmas presents this year was a shiny Playstation 4 and with it I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the LEGO Dimensions Starter Kit. This is LEGO’s rival to the ever popular Skylanders games, one that combines the joy of building LEGO models with a cute kid-friendly platform game.
The box contains a copy of the game along with the pieces necessary to build the portal, three minifigures (Wyldstyle, Gandalf and Batman) and a 3-in-1 Batmobile. It also has a handful of accessories for the figures and four toy tags – the important pieces of kit that allow the Toy Pad to recognise your figures.
Here’s a closer look at the construction of the portal:
In terms of value, the starter kit alone isn’t too bad. Bearing in mind that new Playstation 4 games cost around £40, I would have expected to spend this amount for the game plus the medium sized LEGO kit. However, you need to also bear in mind that this game has hidden costs. While you can complete the Story Mode with this set alone, to get 100% completion and unlock all of the extra levels you do need to buy additional sets (which currently cost anywhere between £10 and £35 depending on size), so if you are a completionist this game can be incredibly expensive.
However, in terms of novelty value, this game is great. If you’ve played a LEGO game before, you know the kind of thing to expect. However, the physical portal adds a whole extra level. To begin with, the game prompts you to build only the minifigures. However, as the story progresses you unlock extras. There are even easy to follow on-screen manuals that take you through the process of building the Gateway and Batmobile with easy step by step instructions.
The Gateway even slowly changes appearance as you play through the game. As you may be able to see, there are five purple disks that surround the portal. At the start of the game, these are clipped to the back of the portal and you are prompted to clip them to the front as you find these items (each representing a new power for your minifigs) in the game. At a certain point of the game the portal even gets broken, enabling you to build the robotic sidekick X-PO (voiced in game by Joel McHale).
Yet the thing I love most about this game are the figures. These fall into two categories. Minifigures are characters that you can control, each possessing unique abilities that help you to get through puzzles. Batman can use his grappling hook to pull levers, Gandalf has his magic to solve magic-based puzzles (and is surprisingly destructive) and Wyldstyle can jump higher and build large objects that the others can’t.
The other figures are the larger vehicles, which can be ridden by characters in game and are necessary to clear some obstacles. Each vehicle in the game is a 3-in-1 and the instructions on how to rebuild it can be found in game once certain criteria are satisfied, giving the game itself a lot of replayability to unlock everything.
All in all, if you can afford this game I would definitely recommend it. It was lots of fun to play and the Gateway was a fantastic novelty. I’ll definitely have to grab a few of the level packs and talk about this more in future posts.