‘Lego Dimensions’ Hands-On Preview – Forbes

My first 30 minutes with Lego Dimensions revealed a classic TT Games video-game with intelligent and coherent use of the Toy Pad peripheral and physical toys.

Lego Dimensions is the next entry into the Toys to Life experience from Warner and Lego, completing with Skylanders, Disney Infinity and amiibo. It uses physical Lego toys to access in game characters that leverage a range of strong movie franchises. This much we knew, what was less clear was how the game would play in practice, and in particular how integral the physical toys were.

To progress through the levels of the game players will use the Toy Pad peripheral in a number of modes: Scale, Chroma, Locate, Shift & Elemental. This applies a particular function to characters in different parts of the color coded surfaces.

You may be faced with a level with color coded doorways, the chroma mode can be used to turn each switch to the appropriate color. You may need to get through a tiny to get a key, in Scale mode you place a mini-figure on one side of the Toy Pad to make it smaller or bigger. It’s a little confusing at first but soon clicks as the puzzles start making more sense.

Although this can at times feel like busy work, going back and forth from one location to another to simply turn a brick the right combinations of colors, it creates a genuine need for the physical toys as an integral part of the experience. It is also a natural extension of the Lego video-game mechanics into the real world.

Another nice touch is that you can use the Toy Pad to switch characters. By keeping only one minifigure on there at a time, switching two over has the effect of switching to the required hero for a particular task. Again this may sound minor but I have wasted plenty of time endlessly switching from one Lego minifigure to the next mistakenly. By using the physical toys to do this the process is suddenly much simpler.