Lego Island

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Lego Island
Lego-island.jpg
North American cover art of Lego Island
Developer(s) Mindscape
Publisher(s) Mindscape
Distributor(s) Electronic Arts
Director(s)
  • Scott Anderson
  • Wes Jenkins
  • Dennis Goodrow
  • Paul J. Melmed
  • Mari Collings
Producer(s) Scott Anderson
Designer(s)
  • Dennis Goodrow
  • Wes Jenkins
Programmer(s) Dennis Goodrow
Artist(s)
  • David Patch
  • Jan Sleeper
Writer(s) Wes Jenkins
Composer(s)
  • Lorin Nelson
  • Michael Blakeman
  • Henry Salvia
  • Kathleen Enright
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA: October 2, 1997
  • EU: October 15, 1997
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Lego Island is a Lego-based action-adventure video game developed and published by Mindscape. Released for Microsoft Windows on October 2, 1997, the game is the first in the Lego Island series, followed by Lego Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, Island Xtreme Stunts and respective Lego sets.

Gameplay[edit]

Lego Island.jpg

Lego Island is a nonlinear video game with a first-person perspective. The player can choose to roam around and customize the island, build vehicles, or complete a series of missions including pizza delivery, jet ski racing, and catching an escaped prisoner. It also features a variety of playable characters who have unique abilities that can help the player throughout the game.

Plot[edit]

While there is no necessary objective to Lego Island, a special mission will occur if the player has built the police helicopter and is playing as Pepper Roni. Pepper's caretakers, Mama and Papa Brickolini, who run and own the Pizzeria, receive a call from the island's jail. Mistaking the caller for a police officer named Nick, Pepper is sent to deliver a pizza to the jail, which allows the Brickster to escape from his cell by using the pizza's fumes to melt the lock. He escapes in the police helicopter and steals the power brick from the top of the Information Center. If the helicopter is not built, the Brickster won't be able to escape at all and will reject the pizza. Once the Brickster escapes, police officers Nick and Laura Brick, the Infomaniac, and Papa and Mama Brickolini discover this and they realize the Brickster has tricked Pepper into freeing him. They assume that the Brickster has fled to the cave near the Residential Area, which is where he went during his last escape. The five then decide to send Pepper to recapture him.

Pepper proceeds to travel to the opposite side of the island to meet with Nick and Laura, encountering panicking citizens along the way. Once reaching the Residential Area, he finds two entrances blocked and heads through the only available entrance. After meeting up with Nick and Laura, the Brickster, who has stolen the ambulance from the hospital, greets them and a police officer contacts Nick and Laura about the stolen ambulance and that the Brickster is planning to disassemble the town with a laser gun that's powered by the stolen power brick, which can suck away bricks from buildings and plants. They then chase after him, but he gets away, dropping a brick that Laura plans to analyze. She sends Nick to guard the east side of the island and tells Pepper to chase after the Brickster and collect the Lego pieces that he drops. A long chase begins between Pepper and the Brickster in which he will stop in eight different areas to disassemble the nearby buildings and plants and will move when Pepper catches up. Occasionally, he will drop a piece to slow down Pepper if he gets close enough and he must pick it up. After collecting five pieces from the Brickster, he quickly heads for the cave entrance where he waits for Pepper to catch up. Once he does so, the Brickster drops one more piece and disappears into the cave. If the Pizzeria, Information Center, and Police Station are the only buildings left and the player does not manage to get the Brickster to drop all five pieces in the meantime, he will not head for the cave; instead he will disassemble the Pizzeria and the player will skip to the part where they rebuild the helicopter. After the Brickster goes into hiding, Nick and Laura arrive and they find out the six pieces that Pepper obtained from the Brickster are parts of the helicopter but four pieces are still missing. Pepper searches around the island for the remaining four pieces of the helicopter. Once all the pieces are found, the Informaniac sends Pepper to rebuild the helicopter. After Pepper and Bil Ding rebuild the helicopter, the Informaniac discusses his plan to use an invention called the Pizza Turbo Chucker to help Nick and Laura catch the Brickster before he can disassemble the remaining buildings, which requires throwing pizzas to slow down the Brickster, now driving a stolen police motorcycle (although it's unknown what happened to the ambulance), and doughnuts, to speed Nick and Laura up from the rebuilt helicopter.

Two different endings can occur, depending on whether the player succeeds or not. If all the buildings have been disassembled (except for the Information Center), it will trigger the bad ending, which shows the Brickster standing on the power brick, gloating about his victory with pieces of buildings scattered all around him. However, the Infomaniac then reassures the player that they can rebuild the island and the Brickster will be returned to his cell. The good ending will happen if Nick or Laura touch the Brickster, which shows the Brickster being caught by Nick and Laura and thrown back in jail. The power brick is returned to top of the Information Center, and everyone celebrates Pepper's success. The Infomaniac then thanks the player, who is once again free to roam around the island.

Development[edit]

Lego Island was co-created by Scott Anderson, Dennis Goodrow, Wes Jenkins, and Paul J. Melmed.

The SW developers on the project when the product was shipped were Jim Brown, Randy Chou (3D algorithms, general programming), Alex Goldobin (path algorithm) and Eric Ellis joined the project late. Gary Clayton provided the sound design, voice recording and score. Post-production was done at Russian Hill Recording in San Francisco.

When they began, technology was so limited that they considered making the game with a custom 3D engine, which was used in several id Software titles of the day. In the end, DirectX was chosen.

Originally, the game was to be part of a series, with five other games planned, including Beneath the Phanta Sea (this was the sea where Lego Island was located) and an archaeological game called Dig. Jenkins later worked on a pilot for a Lego TV series which included some Lego Island characters.

Reception[edit]

The game received critical acclaim from family publications and children. They praised the game for its interactive, customizable environments, simple pick-up-and-play gameplay mechanics, and quirky humour, and for retaining the cute, colourful feel of the toys the game was based on. Some[who?] praised the game's soundtrack.

The success of Lego Island convinced Lego to release more games based on their products (including the now popular Lego Star Wars games) as well as releasing two sequels to the game: Lego Island 2 The Brickster's Revenge in 2001 and Island Xtreme Stunts in 2002.

The game sold at least 909,000 copies.[1]

Awards[edit]

Lego Island won "Family Game of the Year" at the Interactive Achievement Awards in 1997, as well as the "Best Kid Title of the Year" award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It won several awards from family publications, including Family PC's top-rated virtual toy award, Family Life's "Critic's Choice" award and Home PC's kid testers' "Reviewer's Choice" stamp of approval.

Wes Jenkins won a Smithsonian Institution Innovation Award for his work on the game.

References[edit]

External links[edit]