Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 08/10/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Lego turns yet another corner

No excuses about why I've been away, let's get straight back into it. One of the things waiting for me on my desk when I returned from my recent Melbourne holiday (the weather was lovely, thank you) was a package containing LEGO Island, a 3D action adventure CD-ROM game. If you're thinking "how is LEGO supposed to work on a CD-ROM?", then your thought processes are similar to mine and you should seek immediate medical help.

Actually, the premise for the game (aimed at 6-12 year olds) doesn't sound too bad; you get to build different things and meet different characters while trying to defeat the Brickster, an evil figure set on tearing the town down brick by brick (any resemblance to a certain J. Howard is entirely coincidental). What depresses me is how Lego has changed since I was a child.

When I first started buying Lego at the tender age of five, the compact 'people' figures (like the Information guy pictured here, who was sent free with the CD) were still a novelty, and there weren't very many specialised attachments or theme sets: it was all bricks, blocks and wheels. Walking through Toys R Us recently, I was shocked to see that the Lego pirate sets include highly detailed figures, complete with cutlasses and eyepatches, as well as sails and all other manner of specialised paraphernalia.

LEGO Island continues the theme, with five Lego characters who come with pizzas, chef's hats, and prebuilt motorcycles. Where's the fun in that? Well, yes, OK, there's probably a lot of fun in that, but I didn't get to have it when I was a child so now I'm bitter and resentful. Bah humbug. I'll report on what the actual game is like when I get home to a decent PC with a sound card and a real processor.

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