ByFields Corrielus 2019-08-05 1907
What is so special about the new series? Lego tries (again) to link the real world of colored bricks with the virtual world of smartphones. Lego has rightly recognized that the young target group is traveling earlier and earlier with smartphones and that the main target group is turning its back on the bricks earlier and earlier. With "Hidden Side", a series is now being launched on the market that supports playing in the real world as well as on the smartphone.
Let's first take a look at the classic set - our ghost bus consists of 689 parts. For experienced farmers, this should take a little more than an hour. The set consists of 5 minifigures and a ghost dog. Besides the ghost bus, which was modeled after an American school bus, there is also a toilet house in the package.
After you have set up the set (which by the way is very well integrated into the Lego City world) you can bring it to life in the app. For this you need an iPhone (at least iPhone 6s/iOS 11 with 1 GB free memory) or an Android smartphone with Android 7. The recommended age is 7 years.
After you've gone through a short tutorial in the app, you can decide whether you want to play on the hunter side or on the ghost side. If you want to be a hunter, you will inevitably need a built up set, the ghost side can also be played at any time without a physical model. I really like the fact that there are no in-app purchases, so nobody can "buy" an advantage. There is a "shop", but here only virtual Lego blocks, which you get in the game, can be exchanged.
The game itself is quickly explained, you scan your model, which is then displayed on the screen in a virtual world. Now you have to scan certain areas until the ghosts are startled. They have to be fired at with "Gloom", but beware - it will also be shot back. The better you do, the more Studs you can collect.
Finally, you can add the defeated ghost to your collection. Anyone who might get the idea that you could simply scan a photo of the model will be disappointed, because Lego has built a rotary wheel into the models, which you have to change the color several times, so that the game fun can continue.
On the ghost side you can start immediately and "free" Lego elements. Over time, your collection of ghosts and the number of subscribers will grow. Subscribers are virtual viewers. Each time you reach a certain number of new subscribers, you will receive a reward that you can use in the game.
I find the on-screen controls on the ghost side a bit hacky, but that may be a matter of practice and my abilities.
For a classic toy maker, the times are certainly not easy, although the combination of the two worlds could work. The Hidden Side Set led my 10-year-old son to reactivate the Lego collection, which had been abandoned for a long time. I am curious how long this will last.
This is also my biggest point of criticism so far - Lego has to see how a long-term motivation can be achieved. Here it is still missing at the moment. The problem with this topic is always the question of whether playing online together with friends is possible. I think the kids expect that, we parents see it rather critically. At the moment there is no function to connect with friends. Lego, however, hints in the FAQ that something "cool" is planned in this direction for 2020.
I, as an older Legofan, can take pleasure in the new sets. All eight currently available sets have their own charm and are within price limits. The cheapest set is UVP 19,99€, the most expensive one is 119,99€ - the street prices will surely settle down a little bit lower.
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