Legoland
Review By: Gringo

Being a child again would be fantastic. No need to be embarrassed about playing with Lego, making quirky miniature buildings for a land of flat-headed lumps of plastic. Sadly for me, the closest link I have to my childhood remains my hostility to getting washed. So with a desire to get back to the heady days of bed-wetting and imagination I launched myself into Legoland.

It plays like Theme Park's younger brother, the one who tries hard to be as popular as Big Bro', but ends up face down in the dirt. The aim is to build rides based on real Legoland Park attractions and watch the coins roll in. However, as a theme park simulator Legoland falls far short of the mark. The irritating interface will see you alternating between at least three menus every five seconds, whilst the 'playing' field is a third of the screen size.

Playing Legoland really is like being a child in charge of a theme park: there are no concerns. Gone are the problems of angry staff. Wages? Who needs them? Gone is the balancing of budgets between research and maintenance. This is Legoland, and not a single customer complains. Everybody is too happy. There is no challenge.

The game progresses in levels: allegedly build so much and you progress. That simple. It gets ludicrous: if you're short on restaurants, build thirty - don't worry about money. This is the computer version of Switzerland: everyone is loaded and happy to enter an empty park. Much like its mighty predecessor Theme Park, there is no real end to Legoland, except a Certificate to prove you're a Great Park Manager. As I did nothing to earn said honour I burnt the flimsy qualification with glee.

It was the most fun I had since installing the game. Because installing was a regular A1 fun explosion! Anyway, the graphics achieve their purpose: they really do look like Lego buildings. But the lack of point will turn gamers off quickly. For a game based on Lego, it's baffling that you can build nothing - everything is pre-set. Including, it seems, the fact you'll win no matter what.


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