A few years ago Lego released Life of George, a building game involving Lego and your phone. It has been an under appreciated experiment of combining Lego with technology. The original release of Life of George (21200) has recently been updated and repackaged as Life of George (212001). It seems like the only difference between the two is a redesigned box. The original box has almost no details and was quite minimalist. The packaging appears to have been created before the iPhone app was completed, so there are almost no similarities with the box and the app. There is also no mention of the Android version. All of these oddities have been corrected in the new release. The original box is pictured here.
Life of George contains:
The normal retail price is $29.99 but can be found for much less. Amazon currently has it listed at ±$20.00.
Life of George
Life of George is a world wide tour where George is filling out his travel journal with photos. George finds himself exploring North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Each continent has many journal “pages” with a good amount of photo challenges to do. There is even a special Holiday 2012 chapter filled with many more levels.
If you happen to finish all of the include content, then you can move on (or skip) to the user generated challenges. This is where the creativity of Lego shines. The hundreds and hundreds (thousands?) of online user challenges offer many many hours of Lego fun. With just 144 Lego bricks and 6 colors, the variety of what can be built is limitless. Pikachu, Spiderman, Mario, Link, Jake, Mickey Mouse, Boba Fett, and Angry Birds are just a few of the challenges in the User Gallery.
There is also a Build Your Own mode, where your own creations can be photographed, documented, and uploaded for other Life of George users to view and build.
If you happen to have some friends or family around, there is a multiplayer mode to try out. After five quick challenges the scores are totaled and a winner declared. If you can find them, Life of George supports up to 4 different players.
To play Life of George, you need to use the included Lego bricks, the play mat, and your phone. Select which “photo” challenge to do, and then build it as fast as possible. There is a generous timer counting down, which can really build up the tension.
When the challenge is completed, you place the model on the play mat, and line up the board with the camera on your phone. This portion of the game can give some people trouble, but I found that if the whole play mat is in the camera frame then the app worked perfectly.
Life of George then compares your photo to the model, and assigns a score based on accuracy and quickness. The app needs to be balanced for people of all ages. So it can be pretty difficult to get a full 5 star score. To earn 1-2 stars you really need to mess up, most scores seem to land in the 3-4 range.
Overall the Life of George app is full of fun. Everything looks good and works well. Lego has been focused on making this a great experience. It alone is worth the price of admission.
Build Your Brain with George
Build Your Brain with George is another app that works with the Life of George set. Build Your Brain is free on the various phone app stores. This time around the focus is on small challenges that test your ability to recognize patterns, and non-traditional Lego instructions.
This time around George is now a host of a game show. Randomly assigning tasks from six different categories. Such as Silhouette challenges, Logic puzzles, Bonus modes, Memory challenges, and Shape Finding.
Some of these challenges are super easy, and some are really difficult. Once again the game can be played between 1-4 players. Competing for high scores, and the largest ”Brain Level.”
Build Your Brain with George is not as smooth of an experience as Life of George. A lot of the challenges can be unclear, and the camera recognition is not as accurate. The nature of Build Your Brain can lead to frustration, and the small technical issues do not help. It is still a good experience, and has a whole lot in common with the Nintendo games “Brain Age” and “Big Brain Academy.”
Lego Life of George is a whole lot of fun. Even the box says so: “Awesome!” The whole package adds up to be a good value. It is amazing to see what can be built with only 144 basic Lego bricks.
Lego Life of George (21201) is currently available at Amazon.