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Lego Fever

(Gamelab; US: 19 Aug 2007)

Lego Fever is a fantastic little game put together by GameLab, a fledgling development house based in New York City. It seems that dull grayness has taken over Lego World, and best Lego friends Harry and Jens are determined to bring back the color. You, of course, are Harry and Jens, and as the two friends you partake in three different activities, all with the goal of bringing color to the regrettably drab lives of the denizens of Lego World.  It’s fast-paced, well designed, and fun as hell.


The three games go something like this:  In the first type of game, called Puzzle Mode, Jens runs aimlessly in one direction while you stack blocks to help him get to the sad, gray people to bring color to them.  This could involve building bridges, steps, or even walls to turn Jens around.  Then there’s Chase Mode, which is sort of the same as Puzzle Mode, except that Harry only wants to run in one direction.  You’re still giving color to those without, but in Chase Mode, you have to keep ahead of the oncoming tidal wave of gray.  Finally, there’s Clump Mode, which requires that you move blocks around to match three of the same color, thus making them disappear in true puzzle game fashion. 


The three modes, while not necessarily all that original in their design, are executed perfectly.  The puzzles start, as they should, extremely, almost insultingly simple.  As such, they are perfect vehicles for getting used to the mechanics of the game.  Pick up a block here; move it here.  Simple enough.  Jens and Harry are pretty happy Lego dudes, they’re good at what they do, and it feels as though this is going to be another one of those walk-in-the-park puzzle games that companies are churning out at will these days.


And then, it shifts.


By the end of the first of five worlds, things start to get frustratingly difficult, but just the right kind of frustratingly difficult.  From then on, it’s the sort of game that’ll keep you up late, throwing things at the computer every time you lose, the sort of game that has you convinced that the answer is just beyond your grasp.  Lego Fever is a fantastic little game, something that goes beyond just the Lego aesthetic and actually involves the building of blocks in its gameplay.  If you don’t mind your puzzles wrapped up in a whole heaping of cute, Lego Fever is a wonderful little diversion.

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Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.


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