LEGO, we are back on good terms. You fell out of my favor two weeks ago when I reviewed The Yoda Chronicles here on HD; it was easily the worst LEGO video game I have ever played (and I have played almost every one). Unlike The Yoda Chronicles, Microfighters knows what it’s doing, and it does it well—ad nauseum, but still well. Microfighters is the newest installment to the LEGO Star Wars universe—a game created to help promote the line of LEGO toys by the same name. Thankfully it knows it is an app instead of a full-blown console title, and respects the limits of the form. In fact, Microfighters embraces its mini-status and is a simple runner instead of a full-on action game. You can play on either the light or dark side—although the gameplay is exactly the same on both sides of the force.
You start off on either Geonosis or Coruscant, and have to defeat between two and three levels before moving to another planet. The dark and light side each have five planets, which means you’ll get hours of play out of each side. Like many other runners, the graphics don’t change on a particular planet but the fights get more and more difficult with each level. As you defeat more enemies, your ammo gets more powerful, multiplies per shot, and shoots faster. You can add more firepower into the mix with bonus attacks purchased with studs, as well as adding heart containers or other bonuses.
While Microfighters doesn’t necessarily do anything new, it is a comfortable addition to the runner genre. Microfighters is clearly a LEGO game, though, with the inclusion of bonus elements purchased with studs, golden bricks earned by becoming a “true pilot” in each level, and hidden red bricks on every level. You earn your studs by fighting off enemy advances (whoever the enemy may be), and destroying boulders and bunkers. If you collect enough studs, you earn your “true pilot” status, which gets you one gold brick per level.
Additionally, there are hidden red bricks in each level that you can only find by blowing up literally everything and sweeping from side to side in the most thorough fashion imaginable. While that may sound tedious, it mirrors the console games almost exactly. It also adds replay value, as finding the red bricks all in the first go-through is nearly impossible.
Microfighters is a lot of fun, but there is definitely room for improvement. The cut scenes are cute little additions to the game, though they could have been used to add a storyline—ANY STORYLINE—to this game. Also, considering the game is certain to have a wide range of age groups playing it, there should be an easy way to change the difficulty level. However, changing the difficulty is not an option at all. I would also like to see at least some changes between the dark and light side games. As it stands all that really changes is the color of your ships’ lasers.
Considering what a flop I found The Yoda Chronicles to be, I would say Microfighters is a major step in the right direction for LEGO and app games. As long as LEGO keeps it up with the “mini-game” style for their app titles I am looking forward to their next effort. There are tons of opportunities for their full games to be minimized, and I really hope LEGO takes advantage of that in the future. As it stands, Microfighters only succeeds because it didn’t take any risks.
Is it Hardcore?
WIth more variables between sides of the force and a developed storyline, I’d be happy to bump this up to 3 or 4 stars.