LEGO Rock Band Preview: Building Family Fun-TimeS

The problem with this game is all in the name. LEGO Rock Band makes you wonder "why LEGO?" Maybe "Rock Band: Play Rock Band With Your Kids" would have been better.

Because if you don't have kids, this game is largely pointless. It's Rock Band, except with a more pedestrian songlist, and no real changes to the way the game is structured, or plays.

But that's if you don't have kids. If you do have kids around, and want a game to play with them, well. This looks pretty damn good.

What Is It?

It's Rock Band, only with LEGO. Meaning those sultry rock stars are replaced with LEGO characters (including the "themed" ones like pirates and vikings), and the coloured note blocks are replaced by, yes, coloured LEGO blocks.

What We Saw

I saw a few tracks being played by Telltale staff, before jumping on stage and playing a Foo Fighters track myself (on guitar).

How Far Along Is It?

Aside from a few bits of unfinished graphics in the background, the game looks mostly done. It's due out this holiday season.

What Needs Improvement?

LEGO Feedback: The one area that LEGO Rock Band tries to actually change the game, instead of just its characters and display, is in a new "challenge" mode, where bands must successfully complete sections of a song in order to accomplish a single goal.

For example, everyone passes a section of a song and part of a building in the background is knocked down. Complete the whole song and the building comes down.

It's a nice progress meter for kids, but you're concentrating so hard on the notes that you barely notice what's happening in the background. It could do with being shown a little more prominently.

What Should Stay The Same?

LEGO Sliding Difficulty: While this is a kids game, adults are going to want to play it too, whether they're parents or just hardcore LEGO fans. So the game features an ever wider variety of difficulties than regular Rock Band, from expert for the adults all the way down to LEGO Easy, which will let kids keep playing even if they're smashing on the drums (though they'll have to be doing it with some kind of timing; the game will measure their beat, not the colour they're hitting).

There's also the standard "no fail" mode in there as well.

Final Thoughts

With its cute aesthetic, LEGO brand, Rock Band brand and an excellent scaling difficulty system for all ages, it's hard not to see LEGO Rock Band as one of the better family gaming options this Christmas.