In LEGO Rock Raiders, you lead and control a team of highly trained engineers as they explore three underground worlds consisting of lava, ice and rock. Your objective is to mine tunnels and collect energy crystals and LEGO ore to be used to power and build new machinery. Obstacles and dangers lurk around every corner, though, as the precious materials are guarded by several indigenous creatures including Rock, Lava and Ice monsters, Slimy Slugs, bats and spiders.
Your crew of five includes Bandit (navigator and sailor), Docs (geologist), Jet (pilot), Sparks (mechanic) and Axle (machinery operator). To keep the team safe, you need to establish and maintain a Rock Raiders Headquarters and defend it from attack from the menacing denizens of the underground. To accomplish the mission, you control a fleet of mining vehicles and machines (hover scout, digger, transport truck, rapid rider, laser cutter, tunnel scout, loader dozer, granite grinder, chrome crusher and cargo carrier) and various tools (drill, shovel, hammer, spanner, laser beam, pusher beam, dynamite and freezer beam).
LEGO Rock Raiders is designed for building block enthusiasts ages eight and up, features a point-and-click interface and requires a 3D accelerator. Adjustable options include game speed, music volume, sound effects volume, brightness, help menus and graphic displays.
Lego Rock Raiders is a game that a parent might want to buy his or her child(ren) as an alternative to other more violent computer games. Lego Rock Raiders is also a game that a parent might want to buy his or her child(ren) as an alternative to a sleeping pill.
The game is, of course, based on Lego's popular building-block set that everybody knows, loves, and accidentally swallows. A group of Rock Raiders just happened to be passing by in their large and well-rendered starship when a wormhole opened up and sucked them in. The wormhole spit them out in an uncharted region of the Gamma Quadrant...erm, I mean, when they emerged their ship was badly damaged and they were forced to land on a nearby planet in order to mine ore and energy crystals so that they could make repairs.
The graphics in Rock Raiders are simple yet clean. The Legomen (and women) all look the way they should, the lighting fits perfectly, and the animations are smooth. For those familiar with Dungeon Keeper 1 and 2, one might forget which game he is playing for just a split second (I know I did; I kept wondering why the cursor wouldn't smack an idle Rock Raider every now and then).
The sound in the game is also well-made. Music consists of a background, low-key, bass-heavy, techno that blends in well with the underground environment. Voice acting and identification cues are effective in their execution, though perhaps too effective when it comes to the Chief's Shakespere-length monologues...err...mission briefings. For being a little plastic man, the Chief sure has big lungs =P.
And then there comes the gameplay in Rock Raiders: sitting, waiting, and wishing that your cursor really was the hand in Dungeon Keeper so that you could slap your workers in order to make them go faster. The AI for your Legomen is pretty good, so good in fact that with only a few mouse clicks you have earned the joy of staring emptily at the screen watching your Rock Raiders pick their way precariously over rubble and carry ore for the rest of the mission. Even when the mission objectives are to rescue a stranded mining team, the gameplay is still the same: watch your men mine on their own so that you have enough resources to build something; this type of play gets boring very quickly. Combat is also nonexistant: if a monster enters your base then a single click of a mouse button will put the base on alert and the Legomen will repel the monster on their own.
It's a pity that a cute and attractive game turned out to be such a bore. Young kids and Lego nuts will probably like it but older audiences should look elsewhere.
People who downloaded Lego Rock Raiders have also downloaded:
LEGO: Legoland, Lego Racers, LEGO Island, Lego Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, Lego Alpha Team, Lego Racers 2, Lego Loco, LEGO Stunt Rally
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