If you have been following my personal Instagram feed, you’d probably notice that my five-year-old Philip and I love to play with the LEGO Creator sets. When LEGO Fusion Town Master set was released mid last year, I was quite disappointed to learn that it would not be available worldwide. Hence when my good friend attended this year’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, I requested him to get us a copy. So, that was basically how Philip and I spent our Easter weekend; we created a bunch of building models to keep our town busy and its citizens happy.
Build, Scan, and Play
The idea of bringing your LEGO brick buildings to life on your iPad is exciting, and both the 21204 set and the iOS game make it all possible in a really cool way. As the Town Master, you start by creating a small house where the first citizen lives using the bricks from the set.
The LEGO Fusion set has a special baseplate to build your buildings. Instead of building the entire structure, you only need to build the facade. You can use any of the 20 models included in the set instructions or come up with your own.
Once your building is ready, pick up your iPad and scan the model. You need to start from the special baseplate and raise your iPad accordingly until all the buildings are properly scanned. When you get it right, the Fusion button will be enabled, allowing you to start the fusion. If you have a large iPad, you may need to help your kids to hold the iPad as they tap the Fusion button.
You might need to wait a while for the fusion process to complete, but once it is done you can place the virtual building inside your town. The game will automatically generate the roads leading to that building. Each building increases your town population by one. Once you have placed several buildings inside your town, things start to be very interesting.
Each building costs some in-game money — called studs. You start with enough studs to build your first few houses. You can collect studs from the nearby forest or by completing missions. Different buildings will enable different missions. For example, once you have a hospital built, you can have a mission to help accident victims. The rewards of these missions are really significant that you won’t be running out of studs anytime soon.
Parents Need to Know
LEGO Fusion Town Master is not a standalone game. It requires you to have the special Fusion baseplate. You can mix in non-Fusion bricks that you have, but the game will interpret it as one of the bricks from this set. The 21204 set contains 256 LEGO pieces including one Mayor mini figure. It’s not available worldwide, but you may be able to order it from the official LEGO store.
The iOS game requires iOS 7 and an A5 device or newer — equivalent to iPhone 4s, iPad 2, and the 1st generation iPad mini. The game contains no ads, no in-app purchase, and no links to social network. It’s appropriate for kids ages 5+ who are proficient enough with building LEGO bricks on their own. Please note that the iOS game is only available in the US App Store.
If you find this set interesting, you might want to check out two other Fusion sets: LEGO Fusion Battle Towers and LEGO Fusion Resort Designer.
Things I Like
Both Philip and I really love watching our LEGO buildings come alive in the virtual world. We love seeing how the town citizens interact with the buildings. We also get to see what kinds of new buildings that they want from their thought bubbles. It really is a nice feedback loop: from building a real-world LEGO model to scanning it, then seeing how the citizens interact and creating new buildings based on their needs.
If you have ever played any Sim City games previously, it definitely has the same vibe only I think it’s much cooler. As you expand your town, new buildings will be unlocked. And, when you build the Metro Station, you can create an entirely new town that your citizens can be transported to.
LEGO Fusion Town Master is a great concept done right. As a standalone, the 21204 set won’t do much. But once it’s paired with the iOS game, it turns into something magical. I’ve never seen Philip so excited when he’s playing with his LEGO bricks. I wish I could order the other LEGO Fusion sets as well.