The person who came up with the concept of merging three major entities in modern mass entertainment – Lego, Fortnite, and Minecraft – must be feeling quite pleased at the moment. On Thursday, Lego Fortnite was released as a new mode within Fortnite, but it can also be seen as its own separate game. It is an open-world crafting survival simulation game with the distinct style of Minecraft. Players are placed into a world that is uniquely generated for them, blending the visual elements of Lego and Fortnite with its vibrant colors and playful appeal.
Similar to Minecraft, the main attraction is the survival aspect, in which you can venture into the unknown, construct homes, cultivate plants, care for livestock, and battle various creatures. At first, your building options are restricted and you can only construct a basic shelter. However, as you advance and collect materials like wood, granite, and wool, you unlock a wider array of construction materials.
Similar to the game Minecraft, there is a cycle of day and night. During the daytime, you can build and explore freely, but at night, you must find shelter as dangerous creatures such as skeletons appear. While roaming through different terrains like hills, deserts, and plains, you may stumble upon hidden treasure chests, deserted structures, and other mysteries. Sometimes, glowing creatures known as will-o’-the-wisps may lead you to interesting discoveries.
The world in Minecraft is not as flexible as reality – you cannot excavate the ground and extract diamonds. However, the variety of Lego structures that can be constructed is remarkable. (Epic and Lego have expressed plans to include “thousands” of physical Lego pieces and components in the game). By adding crafting tables, a sawmill, and a spinning wheel, the options for crafting expand even further – from swords and shields to elaborate interior designs. For those who prefer purely building, there is a creative mode available, which eliminates monsters, the day/night cycle, and survival elements, allowing for a peaceful experience.
No matter which mode you choose, you can invite up to seven other players to join you in exploring and building in your world. I spent two hours playing with my 18-year-old son, and it reminded us of the fun we had playing Minecraft together on the Xbox 360 in the past – it was a surprisingly emotional evening.
Although it is based on the popular game Minecraft (which was heavily inspired by the indie game Infiniminer), this is a beautifully designed and calming spin-off. Players can personalize their character and explore the vast 95 square kilometers of land, including caves (although I have not come across one yet). The game has a serene atmosphere, thanks to its gentle graphics, stunning lighting (powered by Unreal Engine 5), and immersive sound effects. It is a well-made companion to the original game.
It will be interesting to witness the growth of the community. Upon downloading Lego Fortnite yesterday, there were already two million players – one can only imagine what they will create. While this is a major collaboration between multimillion dollar corporations and lacks originality, it’s still enjoyable. If popular entertainment brands are going to create metaverse-style worlds, let them be similar to this one: free, well-designed, and entertaining.