LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles
The LEGO Group
Free on Apple iOS
It’s my week for LEGO games, obviously.
LEGO Star Wars follows Yoda in his quest to save the galaxy from an unspecified danger, which does involve, however, General Grievous, one of Star Wars’ cooler looking characters who really wasn’t given enough back story and also, incidentally, should have had far more lightsabre-to-limb accidents.
The game is played almost resource collection-style, in that you have a birds eye view of your tiny Star Wars characters, and you control several units at one time, without any particular control of individuals and their powers – so if Yoda’s in your team, he’ll hack and slash with his light sabre, rather than using any special powers.
You play through various capture-the-flag missions, such as liberating bases, finding people and defeating enemies. You can build a variety of Star Wars units, such as star ships, infantry and machines, and whether you get 501st Clone Troopers or Storm Troopers, X Wings or TIE Fighters, depends on which side you choose – Light (Jedi) or Dark (Sith). I’ve never found resource-building games that enthralling (think Command and Conquer) but the missions are short and easy enough, with bonus missions such as finding C3PO, to keep your attention sufficiently hooked that you’ll risk missing your bus while standing around at 10pm in the rain (not to get specific or anything).
The main reason for playing through, however, just like the Star Wars LEGO games of yore, is for the cut scenes. What Warner Bros didn’t quite get right in the LEGO Batman game reviewed recently, Star Wars: Yoda Chronicles have re-captured fantastically; the cut scenes are priceless, including various shots of C3PO fussily trying to restrain baby Jedis (“I forbid you to take off” *Ship takes off* “Oh! I forbid you to cheer!” *Kids cheer*) and said padawans trying to stop General Grievous by throwing themselves onto various body parts, who flails and shouts in righteous indignation, small Jedi clinging to his four limbs.
Gameplay occurs by tapping the screen to move, on enemies or brick piles to fire and collect studs, and approaching ‘build stations’ to heal your units and build more, with the game allowing up to five at a time (which is sensible – five AT ST walkers or X Wings is enough for a smaller screen). This is where the game falls down a bit, since your tapping will often be taken for a movement command, not an attack; this is particularly annoying when defending an object or person, as your units merrily wander off screen while said person is attacked by various Sith (or Jedi) troops and you frustratedly stab at your screen.
The game takes an age to load but flows fairly smoothly from there, and includes various extras like bonus levels which, once unlocked, can be played online to upgrade your units, different Star Wars worlds to play through, bonus missions such as time trials and, one of the more awesome bonuses, the Star Wars theme as background menu music.
It’s also free to play, so it’s pretty clear the force is strong with LEGO.