Warner Bros. and The Lego Group have announced the launch of Lego Legends of Chima Online in open beta. The browser-game is now available to play for free, but the game’s full launch isn’t expected to happen until sometime this fall.
Developed by WB Games Montreal, Lego Legends of Chima Online is set in the lush land of Chima, as players can choose from one of four characters and take to battle against evil crocodiles and other baddies that wish to gather “Chi,” the land’s most valuable resource. Like many magical substances, Chi can do as much harm as good when in the wrong hands, so players must work fast with others to take back the land from those that would do it harm.
As a free-to-play browser game, Legends of Chima Online is available to play without a download, and feels incredibly similar to a Facebook game. Players can take to the campaign on their own, completing fetch quests and battles without the help of others, but are actually encouraged to add friends to increase the pace of progress.
Each player has a home base that can be upgraded with homes and functional buildings like a blacksmith’s tent. Homes produce studs over time, the game’s free currency, and Gold Bricks, the game’s premium currency, can be used to expand this home base to hold more buildings.
Out in the world at large, locations are filled with destructible items, each containing studs, healing food items, or collectible Lego bricks, and enemies will attack automatically when players enter new areas. These enemies can be defeated with a click of either the left or right mouse button, with each assigned to a different weapon or tool in the player’s left or right hands.
As players complete quests, they receive experience points and blueprints that can be used in the blacksmith’s shop (for instance) to create new tools and weapons. Like many MMOs, players can use their studs and Gold Bricks to purchase items in the game’s store that they may not be able to find elsewhere, or at least not without playing the game for a considerable amount of time.
The Lego Group’s experience with children’s toys and games shows in Legends of Chima Online, as players are assigned fictitious names to protect the privacy of young players, and parents are emailed when their children first create an account. Players can still visit each others’ bases and interact with items there, but there’s an overall protection of privacy throughout the game.
While Legends of Chima Online is currently only in open beta, the game already accepts real money purchases and subscriptions for premium accounts, each offering additional inventory slots, power slots, home base land expansions, Gold Bricks and more. There’s no indication that the game will undergo a server wipe before the game’s official launch this fall, but we’ve reached out to Warner Bros and The Lego Group to see if these purchased items really are safe.
Update: Warner Bros. tells Inside Social Games that “everything will be kept on your character between Open Beta to the final game including your character name, progress, items, CHI orbs and other consumables, powers, buildings, gold bricks, and any remaining days of membership. Also, chat functions will be available at launch as well.”
For now, interested children and adults alike can try Lego Legends of Chima Online for free in the browser of their choice.