Chalk this one up as curious: we've seen a DS Lego strategy game from the people who brought Supreme Commander to the Xbox 360.
Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment was in New York City yesterday to show off a bunch of games, including Scribblenauts, which I knew to ask for, Mini Ninjas, which is embargoed, some other stuff and, oh yes, another Lego game.
Assuming I knew the Lego gaming formula cold I didn't expect anything new.
And I was running short on time and requested the five-minute speed-demo.
Too bad, because this one's a real curiosity. Lego Battles is a real-time-strategy game controlled with the DS stylus. Players control Castle-series Lego men, then graduate to Pirate levels and, finally Space Lego units. (I almost typed "Legos," but the last time I did that elicited some angry reader feedback.)
I saw very little of the game but enough to pique my curiosity. After all, the RTS genre was expected to flourish on the DS but instead has barely appeared on Nintendo's handheld.
In traditional RTS fashion, the player draws a box around their Lego units and clicks on places for them to move to or attack. A pull-down menu enables the player to build to build appropriately-themed Lego structures: towers and factories and the like. There was no drag-and-drop Lego construction, but manual block-building hasn't been much of a component of any of the recent Lego games.
The British Columbia-based development studio, Hellbent Games has previously worked on the port of the RTS Supreme Commander to the Xbox 360, suggesting some familiarity with the genre. TT Games, the studio behind the many recent Lego franchise games, is producing.
The game's press release teases 90 levels, multiplayer and the ability to mix the three Lego themes — plus ninjas. Lego Battles ships next month.
Is this enough to get excited about? Not quite. But imagine being told there's a Lego light-gun shooter for PSP or a Lego fighting game for the PS3. Such things don't exist (as far as we know). But a Lego RTS on RTS-starved DS? It's coming and worth a mention.