Lego combines physical and virtual world to avoid kids' 'zombie gaze'

Four games let children play with the virtual version of what they physically built

Main entrance of the Lego group HQ in Denmark

Main entrance of the Lego group HQ in Denmark

Lego, the Danish maker of the namesake toy bricks known to kids all over the world, has figured out what appears to be an ingenious way to combine the physical world of their traditional building blocks with the virtual world of app games.

The company is releasing a series of four games, each comprising a free iOS or Android app, a set of Lego bricks and a small brick-building plate with a printed design that allows smartphone and tablet cameras to identify the size and colors of the bricks built onto it. The goal is to build a 2D structure on the capture plate, scan it with the app and import it to transform the creation into 3D in the digital world.

By combining the physical and virtual worlds, Lego wants to help parents prevent what it calls "zombie gaze," when children get fixated on their device screens for large blocks of time, it said.

Lego's new Create & Race game, for example, lets players virtually "drive" the cars they build with the physical bricks. Players design a custom vehicle, build a physical version and scan the car with a mobile phone to import it into the app, where it can be raced. The cars can be optimized for racing, demolition or stunts and they can be raced against friends to try to top the leaderboard. Players also learn that every brick shape and color on the vehicle matter for performance.

The Town Master game lets players design and build a town with buildings that can include houses, pizzerias and fire stations. Players can complete missions like fighting fires and catching robbers and also have to keep the citizens of the town happy by physically building more structures. Players can also earn points to gain access to additional structures and run additional towns.

Lego will also offer a game called Battle Towers that lets players build a tower that they have to defend against attacks so they can rule a kingdom. If a tower is damaged in battle, it can be repaired with a timed build with the game's real bricks.

Children can design their own beach resort in Resort Builder, building 2D facades and designing the interiors of buildings such as surf shops and beach houses that they can then capture and import into the app. Within the game, levels can be unlocked and more resorts can be built after players complete missions like rescuing dolphins, surfing and other activities, Lego said.

Town Master, Battle Towers, and Create & Race will be available in August 2014, while Resort Designer will launch in September. The sets cost US$34.99 and as of September Lego Fusion will allow players to access their creations and game play on any compatible iOS or Android device.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Tags mobile applicationslegomobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?