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8 Times Lego Copied Other Video Games

VOICE OVER: Ty Richardson WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Lego games are wonderful, though some of them have had some pretty obvious influences. For this list, we'll be looking at how various Lego installments copied other franchises. Our list includes "Lego Brawls" (2019) copying the "Super Smash Bros." series (1999-), "Lego Battles" (2009) copying the "Age of Empires" series (1997-), "Lego Universe" (2010) copying "World of Warcraft" (2004), and more!
Transcript
Script written by Ty Richardson

Lego games are wonderful, though some of them have had some pretty obvious influences. For this list, we'll be looking at how various Lego installments copied other franchises. Our list includes "Lego Brawls" (2019) copying the "Super Smash Bros." series (1999-), "Lego Battles" (2009) copying the "Age of Empires" series (1997-), "Lego Universe" (2010) copying "World of Warcraft" (2004), and more! Have you played any of these games? Let us know in the comments below!

“Lego Loco” (1998)

“SimCity” series (1989-2014)

City-building simulators like the “SimCity” series were kind of a niche genre of games, but the small market that played them could not get enough of the creative potential behind placing buildings where you wanted to and constructing roads how you saw fit. So, it kind of makes sense that Lego would copy most of what “SimCity” already established. Granted, “Lego Loco” has a bit more of a unique spin with its focus on trains and railways. Even so, when jumping between the two games, it’s almost hard to tell which game is which.

“Lego Legacy: Heroes Unboxed” (2020)

Various Gacha Games

The idea of using various Lego characters to fight baddies would be a pretty exciting one…if only that idea had come a lot sooner. “Lego Legacy” is basically the same as any other mobile gacha game; do missions, fight enemies, use resources to rebuild your town and recruit new characters, rinse and repeat. It’s a formula that is all too common in the mobile market with games like “Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem” and “South Park: Phone Destroyer” having been out years prior. Sure, some folks might like it, but if you’ve played any other gacha-style action RPG, you won’t stick around for long.

“Lego Rock Band” (2009)

“Rock Band” series (2007-17)

Now, we understand why you might be confused; “Lego Rock Band” was co-developed by Harmonix, the creators of “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero”, and TT Games. So, does it really count as a copy of the IP it's collaborating with? Arguably, yes. The problem with “Lego Rock Band” stems from its lack of any real Lego-ness. It's all in the visuals and character creation, and nothing about the gameplay has anything to do with Lego. Basically, you could have just modded any other “Rock Band” game with Lego characters, and it wouldn’t look any different. It’s a shame, too, because TT Games could have made building a part of the game. Maybe nailing solos or getting massive combos could build a bigger and better stage mid-song? Overall, “Lego Rock Band” wasn’t a terrible game - it just didn’t do anything unique for Lego fans.

“Lego Brawls” (2019)

“Super Smash Bros.” series (1999-)

If, for some reason, you absolutely need a mobile version of “Smash Bros.”, well, it seems Lego is trying to cater to you. “Lego Brawls” is exactly what it looks like: a platform fighter featuring a bunch of crazy, wacky characters. Only difference is that it’s a 4v4 game where players fight for control of the center of the map. So, there’s a little more to it than just beating each other until someone is KO’d. Judging by high-scoring user reviews and the release of console and PC versions in Summer 2022, the game has a solid following to still be around these last few years. So, might be worth a try?

“Lego Universe” (2010)

“World of Warcraft” (2004)

By 2010, players had already chosen their paths and got themselves cozy into long-term games, especially when those folks started playing “World of Warcraft”. Almost any competitor that tried stealing “WoW’s” turf ended up having their servers pulled or studios drained of cash. “Lego Universe” was one of those games. Like any other MMO, “Lego Universe” wanted you to explore worlds, join raids to fight big enemies, socialize with other players, the whole nine yards. In addition to “World of Warcraft” and the success of other MMO’s, “Lego Universe” stood no chance in the market as Warner Brothers, their publisher, launched ANOTHER MMO service a few months later, “DC Universe Online”. Due to a lack of reliable revenue, “Lego Universe” was shut down in January 2012. A second MMO, “Lego Minifigures Online”, was launched in 2015 only to be shut down a little more than a year later.

“Lego Worlds” (2017)

“Minecraft” (2011)

Long has “Minecraft’s” voxel style been compared to Lego’s bricks and minifigs. For a time, many folks had wondered if Lego would ever try their own “Minecraft”-style game. Well, we got it, and it wasn’t too great. “Lego Worlds” was like “Minecraft” but with no Survival Mode - you know, the mode that most of its fanbase plays in. Instead, “Lego Worlds” was entirely focused on building and finding new pieces and structures to build through completing missions. Unfortunately, the weak story and tutorials, bland worlds, and arduous building and menus made the game an absolute chore to play. It simply wasn’t as fun as building Legos in real life.

“Lego Battles” (2009)

“Age of Empires” series (1997-)

Now, we’re not calling “Lego Battles” a copy of “Age of Empires” because of the similarities in themes. We’re well aware of the classic Lego sets of castles, spaceships, and galleons that existed long before the famed RTS franchise. However, “Lego Battles” felt like it wanted to be “Age of Empires” with its base building and unit recruiting, but without any of the complexities that made “Age of Empires” fun. It was oversimplified to the point where victories could be achieved without much effort. Even for a DS game, this could have been fleshed out a lot more.

“Legoland” (2000)

“Roller Coaster Tycoon” series (1999-)

Though you can’t build different areas of the real Legoland, you can do so in the 2000 PC game. Build your own version of the Lego theme park from a variety of rides, scenery pieces, mascots, and much more. Say, doesn’t this sound too familiar? Yeah, it’s basically “Roller Coaster Tycoon”, which had launched its first game the year before. However, games took less time to make back then, so there’s plenty of reason to assume someone at Lego saw “Roller Coaster Tycoon” and said “we need something like this!” But hey, at least it’s just as fun as the game it copied! We just wish it did a little more to stand out on its own.
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