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LEGO Friends
SCREENSHOTS

LEGO Friends

4/11/2014

19.99

Can a video game teach kids about friendship? That is the premise of this new game starring the five BFFs of the LEGO Friends toy brand.
The Bottom Line
This special game for girls models being smart, responsible, creative, accepting, and supportive within an open world filled with fun missions.

Overview

Based on the 2013 Toy of the Year award-winning LEGO Friends construction sets, the game features the five diverse friends around which this brand is built. Girl gamers join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia, and Andrea in Heartlake City to go on adventures, play mini-games, and complete missions that help solidify the bonds of friendship.

How to Play

You join this world as Olivia's visiting cousin and are immediately swept into the world of these BFFs. Olivia serves as your mentor, showing you how to play the game. Her interests in science, nature, and the environment emerge as she takes you to her science class at Heartlake High School.

Olivia introduces you to Mia, the animal lover of the group. Mia requests your help at finding a missing kitten that is hiding in the heat vents of the school. Mia also introduces you to Stephanie, the Student Council president and avid soccer player. With friends Emma and Andrea, you explore fashion and dance. They are also into horseback riding and cooking.

Teaches Friendship

LEGO Friends teaches friendship by showing young gamers that helping others is a great way to bond and make personal connections. When you develop trust, friends will open up and share other things.

The game applies those principles by having the player go on missions and adventures with each of the five friends. As you help the new acquaintances, whether that is by working on the science fair or rescuing an injured fawn, your friendship with them grows to the point that they feel comfortable sharing personal goals and aspirations. They also offer advice and gift you useful things, including Olivia's pet robot Zobo, which you can use to fix all things mechanical.

An Open-World Game with Missions

This open-world game plays out over 24 different places accessed via an onscreen map that lets you transport to five major locations. As you talk to others, many of them ask for your help. The missions they propose show up on the bottom screen of the Nintendo 3DS and you can choose which tasks you want to work on. Selecting one means that a yellow directional arrow appears on the upper screen, helping you to find what you need. Even though the characters talk to you, some reading is required, making this game best for girls ages 6-10.

As with most LEGO games, you collect LEGO studs for money. Here, you use the money to customize the clothing, hairstyles, and accessories your character wears -- thus allowing girls to express themselves inside the game. You also collect pets to care for and train. Some adventures even allow you to become your pet and then play from your pet's perspective.

Game Analysis

While this game showcases LEGO Friends building sets and will likely increase the player's desire to explore those real toys, it also does a great job of demonstrating what it means to be a good friend, showing kids why being kind to others is important.

LEGO Friends is a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by games filled with violence. There is no violence and no destruction of the environments; rather you help build things by putting together bouncing piles of LEGOs.

The characters you befriend are all great role models for girls, since they are smart, responsible, creative, accepting, and supportive. They are receptive to trying new things and encourage that behavior in the girl gamers who are lucky enough to play this special game.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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LEGO Friends
Released: 4/8/2014
Company: Warner Bros. Interactive
Price: 19.99
ESRB: E (Everyone)
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo DS
Available: Amazon

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