LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™ Review

By , on November 8, 2013
Last modified 8 years, 9 months ago

LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • All 18 levels of the original campaign for 5 bucks.
  • Full cinematic score and dialogue pulled directly from the movies.
  • Reliably entertaining LEGO platforming fun.


  • Both control schemes work, but neither shines.
  • Still no multiplayer.


Though we do miss the multiplayer mode, LEGO The Lord of the Rings is a sturdy port of the console game, and a great way to explore Middle Earth on your mobile. 

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The LEGO games are, and always have been, about teamwork - friends coming together to assemble contraptions, collect shiny studs, and dismantle evil one brick at a time. It was only a matter of time, then, before developer Traveller's Tales turned its attention to that most famous of literary friendships, Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring.

The result is a game that provides a slick and entertaining interactive abridgement of the Lord of the Rings movies, even if the gameplay itself is a little overly familiar.

Over the course of Lego The Lord of the Rings' 18 stages, you'll take charge of Frodo, Samwise, Gandalf, Legolas, and numerous other characters from the story. The key to getting through each stage is switching between party members and utilising their individual skills. Sam can plant flowers and start fires, while Legolas can target distant objects with his bow. Merry can use a fishing rod to pull items from rivers or wells. Gandalf, meanwhile, can work his magical mojo on highlighted objects, which behaves a lot like the force powers in LEGO Star Wars.

This time out, spoken dialogue pulled directly from the films replaces the tinyfig's trademark grunts and murmurs. Luckily, hearing Ian McKellen's sombre delivery doesn't detract from the physical humour which is baked into every cutscene.

As is always the case with the iOS conversions of LEGO games, the controls are where the series reveals its console roots. You have the choice of either a floating stick and buttons, or a 'casual' tap and swipe system. Both do the job, though tapping on enemies to attack does make it difficult to see who's hitting who, especially on the smaller iPhone screen. These systems never do justice to the original joypad controls, but neither set-up spoils the fun.

The other downside is the lack of mutliplayer. This has always been an issue with the LEGO mobile ports, especially as the two-player option is one of the big draws of the console games. However, it's still rewarding to do battle on Weathertop and trek though the Mines of Moria solo, swapping characters where appropriate and solving problems with a single pair of hands.

Though it doesn't really deviate from the established LEGO instruction book - smash, collect, build, fight - LEGO The Lord of the Rings is a sturdy addition to the series. Though we wish there was a multiplayer mode, fans of the LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Batman series should be more than satisfied with this merry jaunt through Middle Earth.


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