Flawed but competent RTS
After the success of its licensed adventures that lovingly parodied Star Wars and Indiana Jones, this is the first time in recent memory that a Lego game has had to stand on its own plastic feet without the support of a blockbuster franchise. And on a console starved of strategy games and where Nintendos home-grown Advance Wars still rules the roost Lego Battles is a flawed but competent RTS.
Staging the action against various backdrops that will be familiar to Lego fans including pirate, sci-fi and fairy tale fantasy worlds Lego Battles unfolds in a similar way to classic strategy games such as Starcraft, with players building units, collecting resources, constructing defenses and launching attacks on their rivals. Attacks and units unique to the various worlds brings a much-needed dash of variety to the familiar action, while the games lush presentation, simple controls and childish sense of humour also make this a charming take on your typical hardcore RTS.
But like so many strategy games, Lego Battles drops the ball when it comes to the intelligence of your troops, players having to micromanage their armies as they bumble across more complex maps in case they get trapped by walls or another environmental obstacles. And while the touch screen controls make sense and are perfectly intuitive, the DS occasionally misreads commands at the worst possible moment, leading to awkward fumbles when trying to command your troops in the heat of battle.