Gamers across the land will testify to movie tie-in games to usually being a load of rubbish. But when Lego get their hands on a game and add their own mix of humour and the Lego environment, the movie tie-in genre takes a new twist. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is the latest in a long line of Lego games, following the plots of the films and allowing the gamer to take control of the many characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean game review PlayEject

A scene from Pirates 2 – or is it 3?

If you’ve ever played a Lego game before then you’ll know what to expect: the miniaturised characters from the films are made up of Lego pieces so they are identifiable and they have to solve a few puzzles and collect coins on the way. Sounds simple enough and it is – a very easy game to pick up and play yet made attractive to all ages groups given the Lego branding and the humour injected into the cut scenes.

Pirates of the Caribbean is no different – with the famous dramatic music kicking in and Jack Sparrow landing ashore and straight into jail, you take on the immediate role of Will Turner and his employer from the swordsmith. The first puzzle is simple enough yet sets the scene perfectly. Build a broken cog, feed carrots to the donkey, smash up some boxes to collect coins and have a small fight. In the first 10 minutes pretty much the entire game is summed up in the laid back way we’ve come to love from the Lego franchise.

But that’s where the problems begin – within the first 10 minutes the game has thrown at you what you should expect from then on. Yes there’s variations in the gameplay later on such as each character having something different to offer or the puzzles being more complex and requiring team work but play for another 30 minutes and you’ll have just seen all that.

There’s a few nice additions to the Lego franchise in this installment – the character wheel is clever, allowing you to select from more than one character at a time (rather than just playing a level with 2 characters and switching between, you can chose from the 3+ characters on that level) which adds depth to some of the levels. Also there’s good replay appeal -with each level holding secrets that can’t be accessed in the first play through as certain characters are needed to reach different places etc.

Other aspects of the Lego games are still here – the collectable pieces found throughout the game make up different ships which can be found from the menu section and you can create your own characters from the Lego pieces later on as well as replaying levels with different characters that are unlocked from later missions.

In our opinion, the enjoyment with playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is over fairly quickly. After playing it for a couple of hours we weren’t wanting to play it much more. The environment may change but the levels and objectives remain the same – solve a puzzle, move on, build something, move on, collect coins.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean game review PlayEject

Hello Beastie – Fend off the Kraken

On the plus side, the cut scenes are very well done, moving the story along in time with the films and providing laugh out loud comedy at times. All this without any voice acting is difficult stuff yet Disney Studios and Lego have done it again. For gamers wanting something simple to pick up and play or for younger gamers, you could find a lot worse than Pirates of the Caribbean. Although sticking with it to the end would take patience.

There is a sense of achievement when you max out the coin collection for the level or when you find a ships bottle piece but its not enough. Overall, although we enjoyed the first hour or so, it became a chore to sit through the rest of the game playing a game we felt was too similar to the other Lego franchises. Some levels are better than others and the co-op is great but not enough for us.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean game trailer:

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