The LEGO company has recently launched a new kind of LEGO product, called LEGO Games. The LEGO Games logo exemplifies the core concept of the games – a die whose faces can be changed.
I was fortunate enough to be a consultant on this project. I did not contribute to the design of any particular game, but rather provided feedback on the games, advised on developing the format for presenting the game rules, and wrote some background documents for parents and players. Though I still consult with LEGO, my relationship with LEGO is far enough removed from the actual games for me to be able to present you with honest, and only slightly biased reviews of the games we find to be particularly in consonance with our criteria for games that are deserving of the Major Fun Award.
Every game involves three phases of play: build (which provides players with the kind of LEGO building experience they have come to expect from LEGO), play (a new way for LEGO builders to interact with their creations – actual, playable, sharable, thought- and often laugh-provoking games), and change (invitations to redesign everything about the game – from the die to the board and pieces to the way the game is played). In sum, LEGO games are as much an invitation to play games as they are to design them. You can understanding why I, in particular, am so interested in LEGO Games. What I managed to do with the idea of sports, LEGO has done with board games. By combining all three elements of play (constructive, social, and creative) in one game, LEGO has made a unique contribution to the game play experience.