The Lego video games are by no means new, as Lego Star Wars made its debut on the PS2. What is new, however, is Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga‘s arrival on iOS devices. As with many mobile ports, this comes with tweaks and compromise. So the question is: is this new version worth playing?
I’ll say that it’s definitely worth trying, as Lego Star Wars is a free download. Well, “freemuim” is a better descriptor. You can download the game and play through the first episode at no cost, but every episode after that, plus some other features around the hub world, will cost you. Now don’t get me wrong – it’s nice having any part of the game for free, but free-to-play games work best when they either charge for aesthetic content only, or allow everything to be accessed via in-game currency or time played. In short, it feels like slight trickery when you download this game with it’s “free” moniker.
Now if you download Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga with intent to purchase the remaining content or simply to try the free episode, you are in for a (slightly compromised) good time. The game plays exactly as you remember it. As you make your way through iconic moments from the Star Wars films, you’ll use Jedis’ force powers and lightsabers, droids’ accessibility, and smugglers’ guns and jetpacks to fight baddies and collect studs. Characters have powers of their own, allowing you to access hidden areas when replaying levels; you’ll find collectibles and cheat-activating red bricks by doing so. There’s no shortage of content here (barring payment, of course).
The biggest change comes with the game’s controls. Obviously, a controller is the preferred way to play Lego Star Wars, but that’s not an option here. Instead, you can choose between classic or touch controls. The classic setup creates transparent buttons on the right side of the screen for jumping, attacking, using powers, and switching characters. Rest your thumb on the left side, and a directional pad will appear. This setup works, but my left thumb was constantly uncomfortable. That being said, it’s preferable to the touch control option; this works like an MMO or PC action-RPG. Simply tap anything on the screen, and you’ll move to and interact with it. This should work well, but with the sheer amount of stuff on screen 90% of the time, it feels claustrophobic. Go classic or don’t go, basically.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is a little rough around the edges. Graphically speaking, it looks quite good for an iOS game, with the look of the consoles games directly lifted for the iOS version; there’s just a slight drop in resolution. Regarding controls, the choice of setups is convenient, but only the classic setup is worth using. As a free-to-play game, this is a somewhat satisfying package, but the majority of content is distinctly locked behind pay walls. I can’t just review the free episode unfortunately, but if for some reason you’ve yet to play Lego Star Wars, this is another option f0r you.