this week, Puzzle Games She is 90 years old – an amazing milestone for a small game company that was on the verge of collapse at several stages in its life. It’s impressive that Lego has reached this milestone despite being one of the biggest toy brands on the planet, recognizable by kids everywhere, all while remaining a private company.
Lego has always had an interesting relationship with video games. On the other hand, the company understandably sees video games as competitive: When Lego’s financial results fell for the first time in 13 years (half a decade ago), the market factor the company was referring to was that kids were playing more video games. . At the same time, toys have become an integral part of Lego’s business.
We now get a high-quality Lego-based video game at least every two years – and often more than that. These are usually based on licensed Lego properties – so play adventures that tell comics, Star Wars, or Harry Potter and Friends – only with the tale woven into a blocky comic. We owe a lot to Lego games as British developer Traveler’s Tales envisioned them, in fact: a lot of the highly successful Lego movie shows have their origins in these gaming experiences.
But Lego games predate the first game of this style, Lego Star Wars, since 2005. And while I love the Lego games we have today, the 90th anniversary retrospective makes me think of all the things I missed when Lego games were more experimental.
For the most part, I’m talking about the late ’90s. 1997 to 2000 was a small golden age for Lego game creation, titled Lego Island, a PC title that was a very open world adventure. person’s perspective.
Lego Island was an adventure game and a bunch of mini-games, letting you build and race cars, deliver pizza, ride jet skis, or just explore the island for your first 3D recreation of actual Lego sets – some that most kids probably own. At the end of it all, there’s an epic showdown with the evil LEGO, a fugitive criminal who wants to destroy the entire island.
I was vaguely obsessed with Lego Island, but it was just one of the many titles featured in several affordable multi-packs at the time. Lego Loco has succumbed to my train mania with a low-impact, kid-friendly version of building a train-management city. Rock Raiders was basically an early real-time strategy game for kids, while Legoland was literally an amusement park, except you build a Lego theme park. I learned to play chess – and got really good at it – thanks to Lego Chess, as I always played Cowboys, being my favorite subject in the game.
Not all of these games are great, and many are too simple for their own good, but I have very fond memories of them and really love what they stand for. LEGO has been in a very experimental phase; The company will hire different game developers and essentially ask them to perform Lego transformations on established genres and properties. Instead of the numbers formula where the game stays the same but the franchise changes, each game was completely different and unique.
Most of them were on PC, but some of the more obvious ones have moved on to different consoles. Non-PC players are more likely to remember Kart Racing lego racers Most emotional games of the time. However, platforming didn’t matter as much as the energy these games had come to expect – which was a kind of linguistic exploration of video game themes that matches the way Lego as a whole treats its static themes. Wild West, Space and Beyond.
Everything would eventually change when Traveler’s Tales introduced a game with such a powerful formula and such a deadly franchise that it would become the blueprint for future Lego video games – but I miss those times.
But, that’s what he said… He could definitely come back, at least a little? In recent years we’ve had new Lego Star Wars and Marvel games, but we’ve also had unique little joys a la Lego Builder’s Journey, and genre imitations like Lego Brawls, which are basically a mobile version of Smash Bros. With Lego figures. We also had some great crossovers, the best of which was of course the brick-and-mortar DLC for Forza Horizon 4, which is based on actual Speed Champions sets.
None of this is quite the same as the weird and wonderful games of the ’90s, but it’s fun to see new Lego games popping up with the company’s own brands and themes rather than just sticking together.
But time passes and the connection between Lego and video games has changed again. In Lego Super Mario, we have a unique new approach that combines a mobile app and real bricks in an interactive and educational way. And for us seniors staring back and remembering the good old days, the company has an answer, too: We’re happy to open our wallets with beautiful, intricate, and expensive models of things like the NES, Atari 2600, Green Hill Zone, Horizon Tallneck, or Mario’s question mark mold.
There has never been a better time to be a fan of Lego and a fan of games. But, you know… I’ll always let that fire of nostalgia burn. Many of these old toys have now reached derelict software status – maybe I’ll pick them up and try them out – and it’s a perfect way to celebrate Lego’s 90th anniversary.