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Lego Fusion

lego-fusion-smLego’s newest offering bridges “virtual and physical play spaces,” reports Wilson Rothman in The Wall Street Journal (6/21/14). Called Lego Fusion, the “idea is simple: Build something using the special platform and bricks … then launch a free app on your Android or iOS device. Take a picture of your creation, then watch as it gets sucked into one of four virtual worlds on your smartphone or tablet.” The target audience is “7- to 12-year olds (and let’s face it, their gleefully Lego-obsessed parents.)”

Among the games is Town Master, which lets users “build houses and other structures” and Battle Towers, where you repair “your damaged citadels in the real world, using Lego bricks, of course.” Then there’s Create & Race, where rather than “building a car and then taking a picture of it, you design it in the app, then get step-by-step instructions on how to construct it with bricks.” Different color bricks serve different purposes; for example, a red brick “might make your car go faster, while a blue one could give it a turbo boost.”

By logging in with a Lego ID, you can race against friends, or, in Town Master, “visit other people’s towns and share yours with others.” The limitation is that users must “build on special platform pieces (which help the app’s image recognition to work), and the app only imports what is essentially a two-dimensional facade of your structure.” However, kids “will no doubt start dreaming up castles, cars and bungalows that even the game’s developers could never have seen coming.”