The Lego brand, like Lego itself, is continually getting rebuilt in new and fascinating shapes. What was after a box of constructing blocks has morphed into a series of video games, a Television and film franchise, a theme park, and now a nifty AR app for smartphones and tablets.
Lego Hidden Side is an app that performs in conjunction with a variety of physical Lego kits at a selection of sizes and value points. The 1 we have been sent for this preview is referred to as the Paranormal Intercept Bus, a huge-ish 689-piece mid-variety kit that took us a excellent couple of hours to place collectively.
This is not a Lego kit evaluation, but for what it is worth the guidelines have been clear and the bus itself is nicely sturdy, with numerous moving components. Along with the bus there’s a pull-out command centre that slots into the chassis, and a transportable toilet that, like all transportable toilets, turns into a monster below particular situations (in this case when viewed by way of the Hidden Side app).
The kit also comes with a handful of figures, and a handful of ghostly option pieces, such as a zomboid face that you can swap out for a regular 1.
Who you gonna get in touch with?
As soon as you have constructed your selected Lego kit and downloaded the Hidden Side app, the procedure is extremely seamless. Initially, you select whether or not to play as ghost or hunter in a fictionalised Lego location referred to as Newbury.
As a ghost, your aim is to hoover up green balls of gloom and fire it at numerous characteristics of the map to haunt them, against a time limit, when dodging ghost hunter fire from above. You take a group into these rounds, with coloured portals letting you tag unique group members in and out.
But it is the Hunter mode exactly where the AR comes into play. Right here your objective is to save Newbury by going to numerous places (corresponding to whichever Lego set(s) you personal) and exorcising all of the ghosts from them and defeating bosses.
Initially, the app prompts you to scan your Lego set in, with a neon outline telling you exactly where to point your telephone. As soon as it clicks, your set comes to life on the screen, on a road, surrounded by buildings, trees, and other characteristics. The bus even sets off down the road, providing the entire encounter a nicely kinetic increase.
It is an incredibly robust use of AR. Although the app recommends a effectively-lit space and a non-reflective surface, we discovered the tech quite bulletproof. The app in no way failed to scan in our bus, and after scanned it was locked in, permitting is to zoom in and out by moving closer and farther away, swing about to take a appear from unique angles, and so on.
Your objective in Hunter sections is to clear gloom, kill spirits, and catch ghosts (perversely, these are the extremely ghosts you use for haunting in Ghost mode). The telephone in your hand acts as a sort of paranormal scanner. Following prompts, you move the crosshair to the dish on your set to start out hunting for gloom, and then comply with the blips on your Aliens-style radar device to come across the hidden splats of gloom.
I ain’t afraid of no ghost
Every set comes with its personal colour wheel, and you need to have to physically turn this to reveal and scan the colour of the ghost you want to hunt subsequent. In the initial instance this indicates clearing gloom, but when a ghost reveals itself you need to have to start out firing.
Shoot also often and your gun will overheat, when taking also a lot harm will run down your battery and finish your turn. For a game ostensibly aimed at young children, Lego Hidden Side is not especially simple. You get to maintain the gloom you bank, on the other hand, so it is forgiving at least.
Outdoors the gameplay there are 3 currencies to accumulate and devote on numerous upgrades and so on. Subscribers let you gather numerous rewards, from gloom to power to analysis slots. Gloom, meanwhile, lets you obtain random upgrades, and spirit lets you upgrade your ghosts.
As a casual AR game, Hidden Globe possibly will not give Pokemon Go any sleepless nights, not least simply because you can not genuinely play it with out forking out for a Lego set – and you WILL be pestered to obtain a lot more after you obtain 1.
But it presents a premium encounter that Niantic’s juggernaut does not. Plus, the Ghost mode does not demand a camera, so it is playable with out AR if you take place to be away from your set and offline.
As AR apps go, Lego Hidden Side is at the premium finish of the marketplace, with all that entails – robust tech, a polished gameplay encounter, and a potentially higher price if you want to encounter anything it has to give.