Lego took itself into the realms of fantasy when it introduced its Chima series to its range of block based genius earlier this year and it was only a matter of time before it was developed into a computer game adventure considering Lego’s previous success with the likes of Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars and Lego Harry Potter. While the first game released was a simple iOS racer featuring the Speedorz bikes from the series, its latest, Lego The Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey, is the same full platform adventure that they’ve become famous for.
Released on the 21st June 2013 on the PSVita and Nintendo 3DS (a release on the Nintendo DS is scheduled for the Autumn), The Legends of Chima computer game is clearly a handheld based platformer.
The storyline is set in the Land of Chima, which is home to a series of animal tribes including Lions, Crocodiles, Eagles, Wolves, Gorillas, Foxes, Bears and Rhinoceroses. It picks up with the central character, a lion called Laval, as he’s cheated out of winning a Golden Chi Orb in a jousting competition by crocodile baddie, Cragger.
When he follows Cragger up to a citadel that’s been created by the crocs he discovers a wider plot to use the Chi Orbs to overthrow the lions and take over the whole of Chima. We also find out that the real enemy is Cragger’s devious sister who is magically manipulated him to help in the plot that sees him becoming the enemy of his former friend Laval.
The game is a cute platform adventure that’s probably better suited to the younger gamer or fans of the Chima series. The in-game graphics are pretty impressive with good music and voiced video cut scenes, however, the in between cut scenes that focus on close-ups of the in-game characters are blocky and do more to detract from the game than they add.
The gameplay is platform fighter with shaded of both both Lego Star Wars with Laval’s sword flashing around and Lego City Undercover with the slo-mo finishing moves. You may start the game playing as Laval the lion, who’s roar move is pretty cool, but there are more than 60 playable characters from the animated TV series with different fight moves, weapons and skills to help you get through the game.
You get to use the touch screen on the Nintendo 3DS version of the game to switch between players, as well as getting tips and tutorial notes to help you progress through the levels. The sheer abundance of characters, combined with the different puzzles throughout the game gives it a lot of variation to keep things interesting.
There are 15 levels to make it through, ranging from Gorilla Forest, Eagle Spire, the Rhino’s Quarry, Lion Temple and the Crocodile’s Swamp. The levels are lushly rendered with lots of items to interact with, including swing ropes, wall climbs, ledge jumps and waterfall obstacles.
While Lego The Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey isn’t quite as cool, fun or witty as either Lego City Undercover or the Star Wars series, it is an enjoyable kids fantasy adventure. The gameplay is fluid and the level progression isn’t too taxing, so it’s a good summer holidays jaunt to help make the road trip to Barmouth or wherever you’re going a lot less boring.
Lego The Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey review: 3.5/5