LEGO Island: The First Lego Game on PC

LEGO Island: The First Lego Game on PC


[typing]
[funky jazz music] This is one of those games I know that plenty of
people grew up with, but I’d never played until now. Lego Island, developed and published by Mindscape
in 1997 for Windows PCs. This is the first of the officially-
licensed Lego video games, and in a world where we’ve got a new Lego thing
tossed out what seems like every other month, it’s kinda neat to look back at where it all started. This is a later print run of the
original release of the game, which boasts how it’s sold over a million copies, so you should give in to peer pressure and buy it, too! Otherwise, you’ll be a loser for the next 19 years, until you pick it up on eBay for a YouTube video. Inside the box, you get the game
on a delightfully-colorful CD-ROM and an instruction manual in the form of a comic book! OK, just seeing this, I’m already sold
on the game. This is awesome! Sure, it’s talking about the same installation stuff
and gameplay elements any other manual does, but it’s presented in a way that makes me happy! Lego Island begins by providing
some full-screen intro cinematics, generously tossing around characters and locations that mean absolutely nothing having not played the game, but it’s just so earnest in how cool it thinks it is,
so I’ll give it a pass! After this you’re greeted by an Infomaniac… [chuckles]
Wait, that came out wrong. He’s THE Infomaniac! Gotta be careful with the phrasing! Anyway, this dude is hyped up on
something strong, and possibly illegal. INFOMANIAC: Hellooooo! ¡Hola! Willkommen! Bienvenue! Konnichiwa! Aloooooha! How ya doin’? Yo! And in any language, welcome to Lego Island! LGR: I don’t think I’ve ingested
enough sugary cereal for this game. Oh, well, enter a name and
choose a character to play as. Each one of them has their own little intro video and each one of them will be responded
to in specific ways by the population. What population, you may ask? Well, Lego Island is an open-world sandbox. In reality, it’s more like a fancy 3D interface
for a selection of short mini-games. Think Sonic’s Schoolhouse, but with fewer accidental expletives. In a way, it also resembles
those children’s activity centers you used to see so many of in the mid-’90s, where you wander around and
click on things to see what happens and occasionally you’re given
some kind of objective to complete. It’s open-ended, but it’s not exactly high on emergent
gameplay or creative freedom, which is a bit strange for a
Lego game, if you think about it. Here, you’ve got an island to explore, which features an assortment of buildings,
citizens and random events taking place. And in six key areas, you’ll be
presented with six different events: pizza delivery, auto racing, tow truck driving, ambulance driving, helicopter piloting, and crappy Wave Racer. And yes, you’ll notice a pattern there. For a game about Lego bricks, which is a toy that lets you imagine
and create literally anything, there sure is a huge focus on vehicles. Again, I’m kind of confused by
the lack of creative freedom, but, hey, it’s the first Lego game,
so I guess they had to start somewhere. At least you get to build most
of the vehicles in the game, although, again, you’re only limited
to creating them brick by brick, tock by tick, [crossfade to WOMAN singing]
No matter how thin, no matter how thick. ♫ Papa told Mama And Laura told Nick You can move a mountain If you do it brick by brick ♫ LGR: Sorry, that song is darned catchy. [clears throat]
Uh, yes, other than changing come colors and stickers on a few of the pieces, you can only place them in the order
and the location the game tells you to, which… alright. That’s fine. It’s still a welcome aside to the rest of the game which is… okay. It’s okay! Not amazing, not groundbreaking, but totally passable. I can imagine I would probably like this a lot more when it released and I was 11 years old, but without any nostalgic ties to the game, there’s not really a lot to write home about here. For one thing, the tech behind the
game is a pain and a half to deal with. I started playing the game using Direct3D mode on my main Windows 98 PC, with a 750 MHz Pentium III
and a 16MB Voodoo3 card and… Wow! To say the game runs too fast and
the controls are insanely twitchy is an understatement. It seems Lego Island is one of those games that ties the underlying simulation to the frame rate. And since it’s made for a 120 MHz Pentium I system, you start running into major
issues on anything much speedier that pushes the game beyond
10 frames per second or so. Yes, ten! That’s just… ugh, no! So I ended up forcing it to run under
a software-emulated graphics mode and slowed down my CPU a bit, and I got it to be a more-tolerable 25-ish frames. It’s still not ideal, since the
controls remain too responsive, some of the animations are screwed up, and the whole game looks darker for some reason, but hey, I’ll take it over THIS any day. Right. So, the game is hard to run at the correct speeds, even on what you think would be appropriate hardware, but what about the gameplay? Well, there’s really just not much to speak of. As established earlier, the side activities
all involve driving to some degree, and none of them are particularly fun. Pizza Delivery puts you on a skateboard and has you delivering pies
to citizens around the island. Auto Racing is the absolute worst
driving experience I’ve had in a long time. Tow Truck Driving doesn’t involve you doing anything except going somewhere and watching a cutscene. Ambulance Driving is… really the
same thing as Tow Truck Driving, just with dead people, or people that almost die. Helicopter Piloting is kinda neat,
if only for the different perspective. And Crappy Wave Racer… is crappy Wave Racer, but still not as bad as Auto Racing, thank goodness. So, if it’s not for the gameplay,
why is this so well-remembered? Well, I think I know the answer, and that is personality! Lego Island is chock full of it, even if this is just a glorified activity
center with crappy engine code and some pretty weak mini-games. Lego Island is an absolute charm fest when it comes to the snarky characters, the upbeat soundtrack and the story. Yes, there’s a story. The gist of it is that there’s an
evil dude called the Brickster, and since he’s a man that just
wants to watch the world burn, he’s in jail. That is, until you deliver a spicy-hot pizza to him, which he uses to destroy the locks and escape. Which, hey, you can’t blame me. The sign says “No Pizazz.” Nothing about pizzas. How was I supposed to know? After some cutscenes that remind me of something straight out of a spastic Garry’s Mod Machinima, you go on a wild goose chase after the Brickster. He’s driving around destroying all the buildings and you’ve got to stop him before
the whole place is looking more grim than the Lego Group’s financial outlook circa 2004. Eventually, you’ll take to the skies and toss pizzas at him to slow him down, and toss donuts to the cops
to lure them to the Brickster. And if you succeed, then yay! The world is saved and Lego stock prices soar. If you don’t, then oh my God is it terrifying! [BRICKSTER laughs maniacally] BRICKSTER: All mine! Mine?… [man sobbing]
[sad Dixieland music plays] LGR: And that… is Lego Island. A game that charmed the pants off me, even though I’m not wearing pants. Maybe it’s not the most fantastic PC game of ’97 and maybe it’s not the outlet of creative freedom that I thought it could be for a Lego game. But it still manages to remind me of
some of the best parts of childhood. Where villains are bad because bad things happen. Where anyone can do anything if they only show up, because that’s what my generation
was taught for some reason. And if you fail, then it’s the worst thing in the world and all you can do is admire the carnage. Three cheers for pre-pubescent memories, Lego Island! Hip hip hooray! [woman singing]
♫ If you think the family’s ready For a plate of good spaghetti Sorry if it makes you cry But all we got is pizza pie… ♫ LGR: And if you enjoyed this episode of LGR, perhaps you would like some other episodes of LGR, which are these right here. You can click them, or come back
every Monday and Friday to see more. That’s when the episodes come out. And as always, thank you very much for watching.

100 thoughts on “LEGO Island: The First Lego Game on PC

  1. Somehow im able to run lego iland in my compaq presario cq 56 running windows xp native ( had to put 32 bit for lego island to run) and it runs just fine except if i ise the keyboard instead of my joystick it gets way too sensitive.

  2. I'm quite disappointed that I never knew about this game. It was released 3 weeks before my 13th birthday and I grew up with LEGO, so I would have been young enough to appreciate it, and old enough to play well.

  3. This was an amazing game! I can remember wishing how more immersive it could have been if they created more content and designed it to be more open-world, legitimately open. My favourite mission was the pizza delivery and then stopping the Brickster from destroying the whole island!

    Wow, showing my age haha how life travels so quickly. This was groundbreaking for its time!

  4. I've just been triggered by the bad ending with the Brickster. I'd locked those memories away and suddenly all the trauma has come back.

  5. This was my favorite game ever. I used to wake up so early juste to turn on my old pc and play lego island. I was playing everyday. One day I woke up, I put the cd in my computer and the game wasn't loading ! I freaked out, I woke up my parents and they told me that my game wasn't working anymore. I cried for several week. I asked to get the same game again but we never found the game. Nobody was selling. It probably was the saddest episode of my life :'(

  6. okay now im scared i was thinking about this game earlyer today.. just thinking.. this is not the first time i get recommended video about just thinking about something..

  7. Man I loved this game back when I was a kid lmao. Funny enough though that the main memories I had of it was a dude scating around delivering pizzas and the brickster demolishing the whole town. I do remember replaying it over and over though and man this just took me back in a weird way. I was probably like 5 or something, but yeah this game was fun lol.

  8. I spent hours upon hours just driving vehicles and boats on this game during stormy nights. Including tonka and matchbox games.

  9. We had this at school, in a certain computer that was loaded with old DOS games and yeah, since it was back in 2001-ish..
    "New" games,, sadly i never got the computer bc it was thrown away-

  10. Jesus fucking christ, I don't and never will know why but my fucking god this game was so MOTHERFUCKING BROKEN FOR ME. I cried, I fucking CRIED because this was the most broken game I have ever played

    Might just be me though idk

  11. The first few times I played this game I had no clue what to do and walked around. I played some minigames but I was so bad that I lost interest and thought what a let down that game was. Then one day I somehow let the brickster free and it made fun. I remember that the controls of the helicopter were so unresponsive that I often got the bad ending and was angry at the bad controls. But one time I did it and I was incredibly happy and even tried to free the trickster again but of cause I didn't know how so yeah. That game is mostly because of his bad controls in my memory

  12. I have a keychain of the brickster minifigure, I think it came with this game. I loved this game as a kid, it was great to see it again!

  13. Remember this as a kid…good times. Would love a review of Earthsiege 2…spent countless hours with that late 90's game!!

  14. I only took on the Brickster once. As a kid I knew not to not approach criminals which actually let to me not doing much with the game for a bit. I mostly enjoyed exploring and doing the race track.

  15. The whole reason i got into this game, back when i was 12 i helped at a preschool. (i decided to get homeschooled after 5th grade) The game would not run, so the teacher lemme take it home and find out what is wrong with it. I was 12, and had played a bunch of Outlast 2 at the time, but when i failed the game and saw the bad (and creepy if i might add) ending, i got so mad at myself. and was so creeped out. I told the teacher that the bad ending was too scary for little kids, and that they would prob fail first time, so she let me keep it. Cut to 4 yrs later, and i am playing it with friends. And then, after 4 years of trying, I finnaly got the happy ending. All of me and my friends cheered and drinked coke. Then cut to 2 yrs later, As a 18 year old (a adult) ((and also present day[last week} yes)) I brought the game to my work place and gave it to my boss. He has a 9 yr old son, so i told the boss to let his son play it. Then 3 days ago i got the game back and gave it to a local thrift shop. 6 yrs of bad vuju.

  16. I think this ran 2fps on my home PC back in the day, but I loved it. The first game that felt like I was in a Reboot game cube game.

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