Top critical review
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NOT typical Lego game and NOT typical RTS game, but still fun
on April 13, 2011
First of all, this is NOT a standard Lego game--anyone who reads the description should know this. It is described as a real-time strategy (RTS) game and that label is slightly more accurate. However, the game is not very similar to Lego Battles, which is closer to what you would expect for RTS--in the older Lego Battles game, you would have to build farms to support a population and then choose whether your people would be soldiers, builders, etc.; the prior game was obviously geared towards children and was good for teaching resource management and strategy. In this newer Ninjago game, there is less strategy involved. In the warrior class, you can only have one of each type so there isn't much room for choosing how to deploy your forces. You just have to make sure to collect enough bricks to build as many individual ninjas as you can. The game is also somewhat unbalanced--it seems impossible to beat some levels unless you equip special "red bricks" with power-ups like "regenerating health" but then the battles can often go from impossible to too easy. The battles can also be somewhat action-oriented--there are some where the only way to survive appears to be running around avoiding swarms of re-spawning enemies until the timer runs out (at which point, they stop re-spawning and you can gradually eliminate them).
Parents: the paragraph above should tell you whether this the game you think it is and whether your child will like it. It is NOT like Lego Batman, Star Wars, etc. Consider yourselves warned.
People who liked the first Lego Battles: you may find this version disappointing. I liked the first game and wish that this game retained more of the RTS flavor. There is more story to this game and it is still fun, though. I just wish there was more room to build different weapons and such--I miss the dragons, catapults, ships, etc. I am about 75% of the way through the story mode and will update this, if there are new things to build in the last chapters of the game. By the way, you no longer have to collect those annoying blue studs--there are currency studs everywhere and you just need enough per level to get the "true ninja" status.