Lego is soaked with nostalgia. Who doesn’t remember meticulously digging through the pile of Lego pieces looking for that one segment you need to finish Step 10 of the Lego set you were building? Fast track to 2011, and now you can do it all over again multiple times. Melding camera scanning technology with old fashion Lego bricks, Life of George is one of Lego’s newest creations – a quick paced Lego building game that both young and old can enjoy.
But is this a fun trip down memory lane, or just a quick way for Lego to make some cash by jumping onto the iPhone game market?
The premise is simple: You open the box, download and launch the app on your iPhone, and start building the 2-dimensional figure that you’re shown on the screen before the time runs out. Once you’re done, you lay it out on the dotted mat, press the camera icon, and let it scan the mat. You’re scored on two things – how accurate your Lego figure is to the original, and how fast you did it.
The software is remarkably flawless and well designed with smooth cartoon animations (resembling something from the WarioWare series) and an intuitive and easy to use interface. George’s Book of Life is filled with themed destinations (Hawaii, New York, Shopping, Pirates, etc) each with it’s own set of 10 random objects to construct. You have to fill all 10 photos in each theme, by building them, to move on to the next destination.
Life of George uses EyeCue‘s scanning technology to quickly detect and scan your mat each time you press the photo icon and hold up your phone. You have to get the whole mat in the photo and it’s recommended that you tilt your phone to reduce any camera glare. Though it works flawlessly most of the time, about 1 time in 10, it usually doesn’t scan properly. This is mostly due to the software scanning too soon while I’m trying to hold the phone in the right place. Because of this incorrect scan, the software thinks you built the object incorrectly and you end up getting a big fat ZERO for your effort.
You can only scan your object once per puzzle – you don’t get a second chance. And it’s not as simple as deleting that photo and going back into it again because the game randomly assigns the objects within the theme. This can lead to mild frustration.
There’s a few additional games added in the app. First, there’s the ability to make your own Life of You book which allows you to build your own objects and then pass the phone to your friends and let them build it (though there’s no way to share them online). The second addition is a 2-player mode. It’s a little lacking in features though. You have 5 rounds and you each take turns building a randomly assigned object and accumulate points. Even though it’s simplistic, it’s a welcomed feature.
- The game is simple. You build what you’re shown and take photos.
- The app is beautifully designed. It works well with fat fingers and simple minds. Plus the animations and little store scenes leading into each destination are clean and cute.
- The extras are a welcomed addition. Having a 2 player game makes this much more fun, plus being able to build and store your own creations is something you’d expect with a game like this – thankfully it’s all here!
- It’s Lego! Do I really need to say more?
- That damn ticking clock! Is it really necessary? It may add unnecessary stress to some older players. I think a better way of doing it would be to have a clock the seconds it takes you to make it, rather than count down from a set limit.
- The difficulty setting only decreases the time limit. I was expecting it to bring forth more complex models for each theme.
- The camera scan function. It works surprisingly well, but there are still a few hiccups if you don’t get the camera at the right angle before it scans.
- Requires an iOS device. I’m sure they could have put it on the Android system too.
- In-app purchases. Although the initial app (which is free) comes with tons of destinations to last you a few hours, there is an option to purchase a new pack of levels. I just dumped $35 on this game and you want me to pay $2 for a Christmas themed destination?! This should really be free too.
When I first heard about this game in October, I went all over the place looking for it. Toys R Us, Walmart, Sears, Mastermind Games, and even the Lego Store out at Sherway Gardens. No such luck locating it. Eventually, I had to cave in and order it from the Lego store resulting in an extra $8 deliver charge. The game retails for $34.99CAD, so it’s a bit on the pricey side for what it is – a box with a cardboard mat and 144 Lego pieces. Still, it’s Lego, and it works with my iPhone merging technology with old toys – a must buy for any Lego fan! For $35, you’ll get hours of enjoyment out of it.
LEGO – Life of George
4.5 Gears out of 5
For more information, visit the Life of George website.