LEGO releasing sets that communicate with virtual world
June 20, 2014 // 10:32 a.m.
Iconic brick-building toy LEGO is launching a series of sets that can be captured by a mobile device to be played with digitally.
The Fusion sets allow for users to import structures onto a phone or tablet by taking a picture of a construction built on a special plate included in the kit. The companion game app then creates a virtual 3D version of the creation to be manipulated and played with on the device.
What form the game in the app takes depends on the Fusion set you are using. The city-themed set has a mission-based game flitting between houses, fire stations and shops, the castle-themed set is described like a tower defence game, a racing car themed set is described predictably and the pink-boxed LEGO Friends themed set will be primarily design focused.
Although gameplay will vary from set to set, all of the sets will require a back and forth between mobile device and physical bricks. The app will also be able to connect with other Fusion users to share scores and progress.
The LEGO Fusion kits are due to be released later this summer.
The LEGO group is likely following a trend set by Activision’s highly successful Skylanders franchise which has made a very strong business case for integrating physical collectibles into a video game environment. Disney has also followed suit with Disney Infinity and Nintendo is readying the launch of a range of similar figures for later this year.