Tuesday marks the release of LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, the 17th licensed LEGO video game since LEGO Star Wars kicked things off in 2005. There have since been LEGO games adapting Batman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The LEGO Movie, and Jurassic Park. And that’s not even getting into the content packs released for the toys-to-life game LEGO Dimensions, which include Back to the Future, Doctor Who, and more.
Some might say that’s series overkill, but if you’ve played any of these games, you know they possess an irresistible charm, retelling your favorite stories in comic pantomime and providing family-friendly couch co-op in an era that’s largely ceded multiplayer to the M-rated online realm.
So developer TT Games: Keep ’em coming! And to help them out, here’s a list of the next five licensed LEGO video games they should tackle, chosen according to this highly scientific formula I’ve developed for a successful LEGO title:
- Tons of potential characters
- Diverse special abilities that can be used by those characters
- A visual look that can recognizably be converted into LEGO bricks
- How much I personally enjoy the franchise in question
Now, on to the list!
This one feels like a no-brainer. You’ve got a massive body of work to pull from; unique, beloved characters; and a brand-new summer blockbuster out this year that will crank fan enthusiasm up to fever pitch. The game could either milk nostalgia by plucking from all of the Star Trek series over the years (think Pine-era Kirk and Nimoy-era Spock busting bricks together on the Borg cube) or take the traditional LEGO game approach and exclusively follow the story told in the current movie series.
The only problem? LEGO competitor KRE-O holds the Trek license. But maybe some kind of Spider-Man-esque prisoner exchange could fix that…
One of the most satisfying things to do in a LEGO game is to smash every last breakable object into a cascade of studs (the series’ currency). A Transformers LEGO game could tap into this child-like glee by leaning hard into director Michael Bay’s recent CGI spectacles, which basically treat cities as if they were made of LEGO bricks anyway. Plus, this would allow TT Games to finally spend some time improving the driving mechanics in the series, which generally feel as if you’re steering with both your arms in splints.
The Hunger Games
Seventeen games and not one of them based on a franchise with a female lead? It’s time to change that, TT Games, and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games is where you should start. Her trademark bow and arrow combo maps perfectly to LEGO controls, and while some definite liberties would have to be taken with minor characters to get them combat-ready, they’d all look cool as heck from a visual perspective.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Here’s another long-running franchise enjoying renewed interest thanks to Michael Bay. (Wow, I never thought I’d write “thanks to Michael Bay” without sarcasm.) Put simply, the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is pure fun. This is a franchise that features surfer-dude turtles named after Renaissance painters, punk-rock pigs, and what’s essentially an evil brain with arms — and that’s just scratching the surface. As a bonus, LEGO already sells a diverse set of TMNT-licensed physical sets you could use as inspiration.
The Walking Dead
I’ll freely admit that this one is a pipe dream for me. The Walking Dead isn’t exactly “family” fare (although I bet your kids are watching it when you’re not paying attention), but there’s no denying it’s an unstoppable cultural force that has already spawned LEGO stop-motion videos and elaborate dioramas. And I would absolutely love to see how you’d adapt some of the series’ most horrifying moments into cutesy, pantomimed vignettes. I’m thinking of Negan and Lucille, or how the Governor lost his eye… You know, fun for the whole family!
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