Whenever I sit down to review a children's computer game that is a virtual version of the real thing, my mind immediately goes into the "if it ain't real, it ain't worth a darn" frame of mind. Therefore, I had to make a conscious effort to set aside my prejudice when playing LEGO Loco.
Imagining myself to be a young, nimble-minded child, I instantly became entranced by the vastness and infinite possibilities inherent in LEGO Loco. From a toolbox not unlike Felix the Cat's Magic Bag of Tricks, I chose from hundreds of different items in which to build my vast animated train set. After an hour or so of setting everything up just like I wanted, I set the thing in motion. Boom! The city came alive right before my very eyes. My trains twisted and turned along intricately designed tracks, cruising at speeds determined by me, the creator of this magnificent world.
While playing LEGO Loco, I came to the harsh realization that my prejudice against virtual worlds was actually jealousy. Given the small budget Santa Claus operated on at my house, my electric train set was limited, to say the least. Not long after unwrapping the large blue package, oh so many years ago, I grew tired of watching my train go round and round a single oval track. If I had somehow traveled through time to 1998 and had the opportunity to play LEGO Loco, you couldn't have pulled me away from the computer with a thousand electric trains.
One of the coolest things about LEGO Loco is that you can actually make the trains crash into each other. Kudos to the designers for not doing the politically correct thing by having the trains simply stop. Another thing I really like about the game is the eraser. It is so easy to go in and take out something that you don't want. You can even play the game in auto delete mode, which enables you to eliminate an object by placing another on top of it.
LEGO Loco is extremely easy to play. Younger children will need some help with the manual but anyone from four years old and up will have little trouble with the game. Sending postcards is more complicated than playing with the train set but it is a fun and interesting addition to an already memory-intensive game.
The opening video sequence is extremely well animated but the graphics in the game are mundane. The objects are designed to resemble toys and in this they get the job done but are simplistic nonetheless. The music and sound effects are adequate for the most part but there is one annoying aspect to the supposed voice effects: the Station Master speaks pure gibberish. Only by reading the onscreen words can you understand what he is saying.
Having an entire room filled wall to wall with LEGO train sets would ultimately prove more fun than playing LEGO Loco, but, obviously, only the richest of the rich could afford such a thing, making this software package an excellent value. The "Loco" in LEGO Loco is short for locomotive; it is not Spanish for crazy. Children will, however, be "loco" for LEGO Loco.
Graphics: The graphics are nothing elaborate, but the various objects do resemble toys.
Sound: Other than the incomprehensible voices, this game has adequate sound.
Enjoyment: If you are a child and you enjoy creating worlds and then putting them into action, you'll like LEGO Loco. If you also have a fondness for trains, you'll love the game.
Replay Value: With so many possibilities, LEGO Loco can be played forever.
People who downloaded Lego Loco have also downloaded:
LEGO: Legoland, Lego Racers, LEGO Island, Lego Racers 2, LEGO Stunt Rally, Lego Rock Raiders, Lego Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, Lego Alpha Team
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