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PC Lego Rock Raiders Developer: Data Design Interactive | Publisher: Lego Media
Rating: CMithril
Type: Strategy Skill Level: Novice
Players: 1-8 Available: Now

Lego Rock Raiders is a game that a parent might want to buy his or her child(ren) as an alternative to other more violent computer games. Lego Rock Raiders is also a game that a parent might want to buy his or her child(ren) as an alternative to a sleeping pill.

The game is, of course, based on Lego's popular building-block set that everybody knows, loves, and accidentally swallows. A group of Rock Raiders just happened to be passing by in their large and well-rendered starship when a wormhole opened up and sucked them in. The wormhole spit them out in an uncharted region of the Gamma Quadrant...erm, I mean, when they emerged their ship was badly damaged and they were forced to land on a nearby planet in order to mine ore and energy crystals so that they could make repairs.

The graphics in Rock Raiders are simple yet clean. The Legomen (and women) all look the way they should, the lighting fits perfectly, and the animations are smooth. For those familiar with Dungeon Keeper 1 and 2, one might forget which game he is playing for just a split second (I know I did; I kept wondering why the cursor wouldn't smack an idle Rock Raider every now and then).

The sound in the game is also well-made. Music consists of a background, low-key, bass-heavy, techno that blends in well with the underground environment. Voice acting and identification cues are effective in their execution, though perhaps too effective when it comes to the Chief's Shakespere-length monologues...err...mission briefings. For being a little plastic man, the Chief sure has big lungs =P.

And then there comes the gameplay in Rock Raiders: sitting, waiting, and wishing that your cursor really was the hand in Dungeon Keeper so that you could slap your workers in order to make them go faster. The AI for your Legomen is pretty good, so good in fact that with only a few mouse clicks you have earned the joy of staring emptily at the screen watching your Rock Raiders pick their way precariously over rubble and carry ore for the rest of the mission. Even when the mission objectives are to rescue a stranded mining team, the gameplay is still the same: watch your men mine on their own so that you have enough resources to build something; this type of play gets boring very quickly. Combat is also nonexistant: if a monster enters your base then a single click of a mouse button will put the base on alert and the Legomen will repel the monster on their own.

Its a pity that a cute and attractive game turned out to be such a bore. Young kids and Lego nuts will probably like it but older audiences should look elsewhere.

· · · Mithril





Rating: CMithril
Graphics: 8 Sound: 7
Gameplay: 5 Replay: 4
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