LEGO Legends of CHIMA Online goes into open beta
Legends of CHIMA is newer line of LEGO products -- including LEGO sets and video games -- where animal warriors with special powers battle between good and evil. There's a computer-animated show, too. I've watched a couple of episodes with my four-year-old son and we both enjoyed it. The two of us haven't played any of the video games yet, but today I tried out LEGO Legends of CHIMA Online -- a new free-to-play online game gears towards kids. It just entered open beta, so everyone can give it a go.
After playing for about an hour, Legends of CHIMA Online plays like a kid-friendly version of Diablo, but with a town-building element to it. After creating your race and creating your character, you start off playing with a quick tutorial teaching you the basics of the game. You equip better body parts that change your appearance and upgrade your stats, and get better weapons like swords and air guns.
By picking up LEGO blocks and LEGO bricks and studs, you'll build an outpost of all different kinds of buildings. Some building give you more studs every couple of minutes, while others let you create and craft weapons and armor, or provide your hero with special skills and abilities.
The controls are very simple, with movement and attacks all being handled by left and right mouse clicks. You pick up LEGO studs simply by running over them. However, picking up loot and hearts to restore health is a little more finicky. Considering it's a kids game, trying to click on tiny items could be a little harder, and I would have liked the ability to just run over an item to pick it up.
While the whole game is free, there are options for membership. Membership plans come in one, three, six and 12-month plans costing as much as $7.99/month to as little as $5.00/month. With membership, you get bigger inventory space, additional power slots, get to trade more, extra outpost expansions, exclusive items, exclusive buildings, ability to upgrade buildings to level five, and you get Gold bricks.
Gold bricks are used to purchase exclusive items from the shop. You do get some Gold bricks for free just by playing, but it won't get you more than two items. There are items you can buy with the silver LEGO studs (the main currency in the game), but you'll also have to use that currency to build structures.
As a parent, when it comes to online games, children's safety should be of the utmost importance. There's plenty of safeguards in place. You don't have to worry about vulgar names, because you have to set your name buy choosing words from three drop-down menus. Also, you can set people you play with to anyone, only friends or no one.
Overall, LEGO Legends of CHIMA Online seems like a nice free-to-play experience that kids and parents can both enjoy. I plan on showing it to my son later today. If you want to sign up and play the open beta, visit the CHIMA Online.