Playing Lego Dimensions will see you jumping through worlds like The Wizard of Oz, The Simpsons, Back to the Future, Portal, Doctor Who, and a whole bunch of other franchises Lego hasn’t tapped before, all trying to find ways of stopping that villain from taking over the Lego Universe.
Because these franchises are common, you’ll encounter familiar characters voiced by many of the original actors though with Lego actors.
And as you do, you might even have to arrange your Lego characters on a pad in a different way.
That’s sort of where Lego Dimensions gets a little complicated, because while it turns into a basic puzzle, it’s the sort that doesn’t give away much, asking you to guess and match your on-board players to various parts of the game world. Adults will probably be fine with this, though there were points we even felt a little frustration, almost as much as building the Lego bits and wondering why we had left over pieces (did we miss something?).
Fortunately, these bits aren’t long, and you can get back into basic button mashing, kicking the crap out of the enemy and trying to score as many Lego coins as you can in game to unlock other characters and parts of the game.
Worth noting, however, is that you kind of need to buy more Lego if you want to play as these characters.
And it’s specific Lego, by the way, with Lego Dimensions packs bringing new characters — Doctor Who, Homer Simpson, Marty McFly, Chell from Portal — as well as new vehicles for you to play with.
These cost real money and can be found in a real store, and while that’s not surprising, because other “toys to life” games like Disney Infinity and Skylanders do this, Lego’s Dimensions add-ons still require you to build things, just like the rest of the game, which means an add-on toy isn’t just a way of introducing a new character to the game (though it’s certainly that, too), but rather a potentially fun experience of building some Lego while you’re at it.
And you get a Lego minifig that Lego has never made before, which is quite cool, too.
It does need to be said that the bulk of the Dimensions game — which has quite a few hours of gameplay in it — is kind of like a demo for the rest of the add-on packs Lego is selling.
Essentially, you’re playing one long mission of each world that Dimensions sells a pack for, and while there’s a sandbox mode where you can unlock more things and find lots of secrets, you kind of need extra characters to do many of these things, such as using a Ghostbusters character to get rid of ghosts in The Wizard of Oz. It doesn’t make sense, but it does make the game more interesting, even if it means you’re probably going to spend a good $40 on a new pack every month because your child (or even your inner child) demands it.