LEGO Master Builders Unite!
As part of a promotional tie-in with the wonderful LEGO Movie, the Google Chrome browser has brought all the tools necessary for you to become a master builder with just an internet connection. I’ll admit when the advertisement played at the theater I was intrigued, but expecting some sort of LEGO mini-game that would be fun but ultimately wouldn’t hold my interest. What I found instead was a feature-rich design suite that should satisfy even the most hardcore LEGO fans, and enough lessons to learn how to use all of the different tools.
The build academy is where Morgan Freeman’s wizard Vitruvius guides you through the basics of the builder suite. How to select bricks, rotate, change color, zoom in and out. Then he has you follow the instructions to replicate a model on screen. After you complete each tutorial, a new level opens up with a new model to create and more advanced techniques to master. The number of these is staggering, with over 11 different themed LEGO worlds to unlock including Space, Pirate, and City themes.
Once you feel you have the basics down, you can jump at any time into the free build mode. Let your imagination run wild and once you’ve finished, publish your creation to the world! Once published, you can share on Google Plus to a chorus of crickets, but you can also view your object in the LEGO World! Using Google maps, you can zoom in and see all the creations that people have made around your area, including pre-made town landmarks!
Like other games with similar mechanics, such as Minecraft, a big part of the fun is in seeing what the community has created. By integrating that vitally into the experience it elevates it to the next level. Not only can you see what other people are making, but specifically what your neighbors are building!
Overall I was really impressed with the wealth of tools that were offered to help bring the joy and experience of LEGOs to the digital era. If you just want to follow instructions and build models, then the Build Academy has you covered. If you want to experiment and build that robo-zombie raptor you’ve always dreamed of, you can do that too. Best of all, you can share it with the world. If you’re looking to recapture the LEGO magic, or just don’t have the money to buy all of the sets, then you should check out Build with Chrome.