LEGO has announced this morning LEGO Fusion, a unique new system that will allow a sort of synchronization between fun app-based games and physical, creative LEGO building. The mash-up is developed by LEGO’s Future Lab, and its intent is to marry digital and analog play. A senior design manager behind the project, Ditte Bruun Pederson, noted that while researching a new project to pursue, the LEGO team discovered that children don’t really differentiate between physical play and digital. “To them, it’s not two separate worlds. It’s one world that blends together. It’s all just play.”
LEGO went on to say that there are three types of games kids typically like: building/managing games, tower defense style games, and racing. So, the team developed four different LEGO Fusion games to fit into those categories:
- LEGO Fusion Town: create a miniature LEGO city
- LEGO Fusion Battle Towers: places you in a medieval battle where you’ll need to build the best castle and fighters
- LEGO Fusion Create & Race: create a customized car and participate in a time-based race or demolition derby.
- LEGO Fusion Resort Designer: similar to Town Master, but allows you to decorate the interior of buildings also.
Each game is sold in a set that contains 200 brings along with a “capture” brick building plate that allows what you build to be sent to the corresponding app. The plate and app determine not only the dimensions of what you have built, but the color as well, and then translate the information into your game. “For most kids, if you simply give them a pile of bricks and tell them to build something, they go blank. The games are used to facilitate creativity,” Pedersen says.
The apps for the games are free to download, however in order to progress within the game world, players would need the physical bricks. Each LEGO Fusion set costs $34.99 and will be widely available at Toys R Us, LEGO stores and Legoland (both in store and online). The Town Master, Battle Towers, Create & Race kits will be available in August, with Resort Designer following in September.