Munchkin gaming

No, not loot munchkins!

I’m talking my own little munchkin, my peanut, my kid and kaboomel, Alex.

Thanks to Dechion, I got into the Lego Universe closed Beta, and played it a little this last weekend. We’re all under the non-disclosure agreement, so I can’t actually post screenshots or anything, but it was actually very fun. They’re doing some awesome work over there with it, and it’s feeling very polished so far.

The thing of it is, they are only opening the servers for brief windows on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday morning. I played briefly Thursday on the downlow on the key Dechion gave me, and then Cassie got her own key Friday.

The trouble started Friday, when she began downloading the program. Prying 7 year old eyes saw the word LEGO, and the inquisition began.

“What’s that?!?”

Oh, you can imagine where it went from there.

Anyway, Cassie was careful to explain that mommy was downloading a game that was being worked on, but wasn’t really available to play yet. We were testing it, and helping the company that was making it get ready for when they could sell it someday.

Of course, once it was installed, she couldn’t actually play it Friday.

Saturday rolls around, Alex is chilling out watching movies in the other room, I get my Lego Universe on.

Alex sneaks in behind me, and “Oh WOW is that the LEGO game!?! Can I play? “I’m very very very good!”

Ah, crap.

So of course I let him play on my character, but frankly I’ve been finding it difficult enough to get used to myself. The controls and camera angles are a bit loose right now, you can tell they haven’t finished tuning them. I can deal, but I’ve got mad skillz.

So Alex is playing in one area without enemies, a safe area where he can smash buildings instead of things that hit back.

Shortly afterwards, servers close. Alex gets it, we told him several times, not a real game, they shut it down.

Sunday morning… “Daddy can I play again please?”

I let him play, but the area in the beginning, the first real world, where he really wanted to play, the super-fast spawning enemies swamp and crush him repeatedly. Fun value =Β  gone. They just spawn too fast for him to handle while he’s learning, all over the place. Then the server goes down, and crisis averted, right?

He goes over to his best friends’ on a playdate on Monday, and they spend the entire time playing two player LEGO Batman on the Wii.


So, now nothing is for it but he obsesses about playing LEGO Star Wars.

Wait, what?

Yeah, see, we don’t have LEGO Batman. But we DO have LEGO Star Wars original trilogy AND new trilogy versions.

He spends the next two days wandering around holding the game case, moaning.

Yeah, I’m weak. I cracked. Cassie was all, “Maybe you can play for a little bit later after dinner”, and next thing you know, he’s negotiating playtime rules.

“I promise I’ll be good, and eat dinner, and if you let me play now I won’t play tonight at all, and you can tell me to stop whenever you want and I’ll stop, oh please can I play?!?”

Turns out, he KICKS ASS!

I watched him last night, he’s blowing that damn place up, man. LEGO Star Wars (new trilogy) is getting destroyed, at least on the campaign mode.

He figured out how to use the belt grapples to go up ledges all by himself, too. I showed him character swapping and using robots to open doors near where their portraits are shown, but he’s kicking ass.

He LOVES Yoda, but he shares the love among different characters. He doesn’t stay fixated on just one.

Wait until he gets bored, and finds out we also have the original trilogy version to try!

He’s so cute!

Oh, and for those of you that read all the way to the end, I’ve got one unused Beta key for the Lego Universe Closed Beta to give away. Two days after Dechion gave me the one I activated, I got a Beta key myself.

First person to reply in the comments asking for the Lego Universe Beta key wins it! Bonus props for having kids that would like to try it too.

(Make sure you use your real email in your comment.)

19 thoughts on “Munchkin gaming

  1. Ahh, Captain Shat…I mean, Kirk mode. How I love it.

    Sounds like the little guy is going to be a great gamer as he gets older.

    LEGO online sounds interesting! I can’t wait until the non-disclosure is up and images and gameplay footage comes out. πŸ™‚


  2. Just wanted to recommend an oldie but goodie – Lego Chess for pc. It’s how my Alex and I learned how to play chess. (My Alex is a girl though :D)


  3. hmmm…..I got one too the other day…I wasn’t sure about trying it out yet with the limited time that the servers are online. Maybe based on the your comments, I’ll have to give it a try.


  4. LEGO Indiana Jones totally rocks too. The newest version doesn’t lock the screen. Each person can wander away from the other and the screen splits to show both characters.


  5. Hehe… sounds like my weekend. I told my 5-year-old I got an email from Lego to test their new game… He’s been a fan of the lego games since we got a Wii, so of course he wants to help test, so we log on, create a character and he gets to run around smashing stuff. He was very disappointed when I explained the testing schedule, as by the time dinner was over the servers were closed. We’ll be back next weekend though assuming he doesn’t lose his gaming privileges like he did for the past few days.

    He’s had the Lego Wii games for quite some time, they’re absolutely the best for kids, and my wife actually likes to play them too. I highly recommend the Indiana Jones game, (the new one with the Crystal Skull). Even if you have the original game, the new one completely re-vamps the old levels, it’s a completely different game. It still maintains a lot of the old mechanics, and those shared between all the games, but the levels are for the most part new.

    I just wish there were more of those type of games that have accessible game play and fun well thought out levels and less of the type games.


  6. Arghhh … And me who commented so often about you should check this upcoming game for you and your son!


    I do plan to subscribe and play with my 6 year old boy. Raven is an old hand at LEGO Star Wars and he has completed both games all on his own (and there are two of the games I recommended for your son). I enjoy playing both LEGO Start Wars triologies with him much more than LEGO Batman (color scheme is too dark for me to enjoy the game) and LEGO Indiana Jones (some puzzles are quite difficult). The upcoming LEGO Harry Potter (year 1-4) game looks fantastic!

    Hello? Hello? Anybody listening?

    A happy April Fools day to you and your family!


  7. I just checked out the trailer for Lego Universe, looks like a blast. I really admire the designers who have worked on all the Lego games. Even the custom flash player they made for the trailer is cool. The opening scene of the game trailer immediately brought me back to sitting cross legged on a giant sheet, completely surrounded by tiny colored blocks. The greatest thing is my four year old has just inherited my collection and she is always, ALWAYS looking to take them out. Makes me a proud pappa.
    .-= greyjasper´s last blog ..Bring the Pain Bitch! =-.


  8. Long time reader (and podcast listener), first time commentor. Long time WOW player too. Love the blog John, even when you and Cassie are not talking about your favorite ONLINE pasttime. Despite knowing I won’t get your spare key (and anxiously awaiting my own key for weeks now), I had to comment and share with you. I have 7 year old boy/girl twins. We love playing Lego Star Wars together. We’ve completed everything in the game, but we still boot it up on the Wii to smash some bricks. Not sure which worries me more; My son loves red lightsabers and dark jedi, and my daughter is in love with Anakin. We’ve been playing Lego Indian Jones, despite them not being allowed to watch the movies. It has opened up a lot of questions about the characters and stories that I have to fill in. Funny for me to reminisce. We’re looking forward to playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 at the end of May. Its funny watching them grow up playing these games. It used to be that I had to do a lot of the work. Now my son has better Super Mario skills than I could ever dream of, but he still asks me to beat some of the bosses.

    They know I play WOW, but I haven’t let them participate due to my wife’s feelings about that game. My son does know what a boss fight is though, haha. I really look forward to sharing Lego Universe with them, based on all the videos I have seen. I look forward to reading your perspective on the game too. I wonder if Daniel has a beta key yet…


  9. My friends have a 7 and 4 year old who play co-op on Lego Star Wars. Sometime the older one gets annoyed at the younger lagging behind or falling off things, but she’s been generally good about helping her little sis get through difficult spots.

    Give the pair of them characters with thermal detonators, and they’ll spend half an hour in one hallway blowing themselves up and giggling wildly about it. It’s adorable, in a geeky explosive gamer kind of way.


  10. Sorry Chris, Regis is a ninja commenter.

    Don’t give up, though. If you’d really like to play, go visit the Lego Universe website and apply for the closed Beta. I don’t know what the odds are, but Cassie and I both signed up a few weeks ago and BOTH of us got keys, emailed to us over the course of last weekend. I don’t think they’re all being sent out at the same time. Dechion said he signed up with two email accounts, and that’s how he got two invites. So give it a try, maybe it’ll happen for you too!

    I’ll really hope so.


  11. I would love a lego key.I think my kids would get a blast out of it and I love beta testing. You’re kid sounds cute!


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