Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

LEGO Battles (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for LEGO Battles on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Lego Battles is a real-time strategy game with many of the hallmarks of the genre: base-building, unit management, and so on. Because it's "made of" Lego, though, these aspects have been simplified somewhat to appeal to a broader, primarily younger, audience than your typical RTS.

The single-player campaign is split into six stories, each of which consists of three acts containing numerous missions. Each story is introduced with a wonderful animated cut-scene chock full of Lego-branded humour, and offers at least a couple of hours of content as well as a unique Lego army - from pirates to wizards to aliens and beyond - to play with. Mission types include rescues, artifact collections and last man standing encounters, amongst others. Most of these are fairly mundane, and a few tend to overstay their welcome, but they serve their purpose and the game never leaves you confused about what you should be doing next.

This leaves you free to focus on more important things, such as building your base. Each army has its own take on the standard building types, but they all offer the same basic RTS functionality: unit and vehicle creation, resource gathering, etc.. A selection of defensive structures such as walls and upgradeable turrets also come in handy when completing certain objectives. Buildings tend to be easily distinguishable from one another, and their construction is simple and intuitive thanks to the DS' touch screen. The result is a smooth and enjoyable base-building process that requires a minimum of effort on your part.

Screenshot for LEGO Battles on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Controlling your army, on the other hand, is a little more challenging. The general mechanics work well enough: you can select a group of units by dragging a box around them on the touch screen, and a few handy shortcuts - such as double-tapping a unit to select all units of that type, and issuing orders to patrol or guard - helps to keep things fluid. Unfortunately, with a maximum of around twenty units under your control at any one time, picking out a face in the crowd on the DS' small screens can be quite a challenge, and micro-management often becomes an almost impossibly tricky process, particularly during the heat of battle.

The game's larger (and arguably largest) shortfall, however, is its wayward path finding. Traversing the larger maps in particular can be an extremely frustrating process. Attempting to order your army to move from one side of the map to the other will almost always result in a selection of units bumping into trees and others obstacles before coming to a complete standstill. As a result of this, you'll generally need to keep an eye on units as they're moving and be prepared to constantly re-issue movement commands to get around obstructions. Naturally, this greatly reduces your ability to multi-task successfully, and the game suffers for it.

Screenshot for LEGO Battles on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


The touch screen controls work brilliantly when creating buildings, selecting units and issuing orders, but the lacklustre path finding is a major drawback that provides frustration aplenty.


The sprites aren't overly complex or detailed, but they're cute and visually appealing. Things can get pretty busy during the heat of battle, too, and there is occasional slowdown as a result.


The background music for each story within the campaign does a good job of creating a unique ambience whether you're battling on pirate ships or a desolate alien planet.


The single-player campaign is really rather lengthy (albeit quite repetitive after a while), plus there's a fully-featured Free Play mode, local multiplayer, and goodies such as new characters and concept art to unlock.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


About this score

Lego Battles is an admirable attempt to bring the real-time strategy genre to the Nintendo DS. For the most part the touch screen provides a great interface for constructing buildings and managing units. Unfortunately, poor path finding and AI tarnishes the experience and adds a great deal of frustration to the mix. The end product is surprisingly addictive, though, and you might well find yourself, at least in the short-term, coming back for more despite the game's flaws.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

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Good Reveiw
Won't be getting it...
Legos are kind of weird to me

I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out

Sounds like a decent attempt of a RTS on a handheld. Shame there isn't that many. Not exactly the best genre to play on a handheld (and one with limited capbilities as well).

L.B. Liker (guest) 20.07.2010 09:51#3

I have this game and love it. Sometimes it's a little tricky in battle, but i've almost mastered that. I never get tired of this game. Overall i'd give it a 9.5/10.

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