There's one major benefit that The LEGO Movie Video Game (and the movie itself, for that matter) has over the many other LEGO games you can play on smartphones, consoles, and computers.
All the others are tied to a franchise that exists in its own right, and dictates the kind of environments and quests that you'll play through.
Here LEGO has created its own mythology, and that allows it a lot more freedom, especially when it comes to this long-awaited iPhone adaptation.
Of course, it does need to follow the plot of the movie to a significant degree, but there's flexibility aplenty within its hilarious and warming plot for a game that pulls no punches.The most interesting person ever
Naturally you step into the blocky shoes of the movie's star Emmett, who, to begin with, is no more interesting here than he was on the big screen.
And the game reflects that with quirky, inconsequential missions to kick things off, which is actually a great tactic. As the game progresses, your tasks becoming increasingly important until, spoiler alert, you're finally ready to save the world.
Various scenes from the movie are played out with quick, amusing cut scenes keeping you up to speed without becoming a distraction.
They're expanded upon through lots of coin collecting, exploration, and puzzle solving, but all in the same highly accessible manner as other LEGO titles. Explore and collect as much as you can stomach, and then simply jump right back into the story at your pleasure.
There are some great action sequences, such as riding Wyldstyle's improvised bike through the highways of Bricksburg, and the pseudo-isometric viewpoint works superbly in crafting a smartphone game that’s comparable (in terms of accessibility and game speed) to its console-based big brother.Un-bricked
The LEGO Movie Video Game is pretty fast in a few select places, and at those times the touch controls can fail you.
But they're smooth enough to pose no real discomfort during the majority of the game, which revolves around solving the puzzles, building stuff, and collecting other stuff.
You might grimace when a well-timed jump is demanded, though there is an option to couple a MFi compatible controller to your device, which sounds like a superb idea if you have one.
Mainly because you've a whopping 45 levels to get through, and a lot of tasks are quite unique. There are 90 characters from within The LEGO Movie that you'll be taking this journey with, so you can see how their individual master builder abilities can add a hell of a lot of variety to the levels. A good, solid D-pad and buttons would make those tasks a lot more reachable.
Perhaps the best thing about The LEGO Movie Video Game, which represents its real benefit over the other LEGO games, is the plot progression.
In a Batman LEGO game, for example, you begin as Batman, and you have Batman’s abilities throughout. Here you get to evolve and grow along with Emmett, and that makes for a much stronger narrative element than the other games have been able to achieve due to their tight license tie-ins.
So is this the LEGO game to end all LEGO games? No, absolutely not, and that's part of the brilliance of these games. No matter how many times LEGO games are rehashed and bent around a different franchise, they inexplicably remain fun and playable.
The thing about The LEGO Movie Video Game is that it probably would be the best in the series, if we hadn't already seen everything it has to offer. Rest assured this is a quality LEGO title exactly as you'd expect. That means the usual excellent gameplay, humour and sprawling level designs, but also no surprises.
If it was the first time we'd seen this, it'd get a Gold Award easily (keep that in mind if this is your first LEGO game (welcome back from your extended trip to Mars, by the way)) but since it's treading such familiar ground, the edge of its excitement has been ever so slightly dulled.