LEGO Dimensions, the toys-to-life game which brings together more franchises than San Diego Comic-Con, has been out for a month now and has seen a plethora of positive reviews from critics and fans alike. With phase two of the additional packs now hitting the shelves, including the first physical LEGO minifigure of Doctor Who, I’m working my way through the sets from both phases, starting with a life-long favourite on mine, The Simpsons.
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Set Number: 71202
Minifigure: Homer Simpson
I think at this point it’s safe to say that almost everyone on the planet knows who The Simpsons are. The yellow-skinned family has been on our TV screens for nearly thirty years and in that time have appeared in multiple video games, a big-budget movie and endless merchandising. It’s surprising how long it’s taken, but in the last two years Homer and co have finally made it into the LEGO universe.
A slowly expanding LEGO franchise has been emerging since 2014 with two series’ of minifigure collections, the iconic Simpsons house and even an extremely popular Kwik-E-Mart set. Given the popularity of the show as a whole and how well the LEGO versions have sold, it wasn’t too surprising to see Springfield’s first family pop up on the LEGO Dimensions roster.
The core story mode of LEGO Dimensions features a level set in Springfield with Batman and co landing in the town on their multi-dimensional adventure. The level itself is quite restrictive, in the sense that it doesn’t allow much exploration around the town and instead is focused mostly in the nuclear power plant. The only way you’re going to get more from the Simpsons is to purchase the level pack, but is it worth the price-tag?
First of all, what comes in the box for you to build?
Physically, the Simpsons level pack includes a Homer Simpson minifigure, Homer’s car and a Taut-O-Vision TV set. The minifigure is identical to the one used in series one of The Simpsons minifigures collection with the standard white shirt and blue trouser attire. The only difference compared to that minifigure is the accessory, rather than a doughnut, this version of Homer has a buzz cola can – I can only assume that Duff beer wasn’t allowed due to the target audience for the product.
In-game, Homer has two very useful abilities, one of which, if I’m honest seems a little odd. The first, the ability to burp shatter glass, similar to Black Canary in the LEGO Batman games but in true Homer Simpson fashion it requires belching. The second ability is an odd choice but extremely handy, Homer can essentially Hulk out, causing him to grow in size and destroy LEGO objects just by walking through them.
Homer’s Car is a new figure designed specifically for LEGO Dimensions, similar in size to the Batmobile included in the starter pack. This mini vehicle looks great considering its condensed design and the bright pink and grey pieces accurately recreate the car from the show. Like the Batmobile, you can unlock additional instructions in-game to create new vehicles out of the same LEGO pieces. In the case of Homer’s car, you’ll also be able to create a submarine and jet-ski, very useful for the open-world hubs, most of which feature water areas.
At first, the Taut-O-Vision seems like a last minute addition, like the designers desperately needed an additional accessory for the pack and had no idea where to go. Thankfully, though, this TV is one of the most useful additions you could ask for in the game as it has the ability to blow up shiny silver LEGO pieces. Just like Homer’s car, there are additional in-game instructions available for this accessory which allow you to turn the TV into either a ridable laser-wielding robot or a deadly video camera. It’s safe to say that this one accessory opens up a lot in game for completionists out there.
Once you’re all set up and plugged in, adding Homer to your LEGO Dimensions hub plate will unlock a new level featuring the man himself. Like everything in LEGO Dimensions, you can use any of the other characters you have as long as Homer is in-game as well.
The level is actually based on a classic episode from the TV show, the chilli cook-off episode from season 8, El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer). Fans of the show will no doubt be familiar with the episode, in which Homer attempts to outwit Chief Wiggum and his super-spiced chilli by pouring candle wax into his mouth. Needless to say, the plan doesn’t go smoothly and Homer ends up on a hallucinogenic adventure with a talking coyote to find his soulmate.
The level plays out that story but with a LEGO twist involving all the standard puzzle solving we’ve come to expect from TT Games. The level is made up of four stages, getting from the Simpson’s home to the chilli cook-off, the event itself, the desert dreamscape and the lighthouse where Homer discovers his soulmate at the end of the episode.
The level of detail that has gone into recreating key scenes and entire landscapes from the episode is impressive, right down to the “sunrise, sunset” scene. It’s a fun experience, and quite a lengthy level, relative to other add-on packs. A number of the Springfield supporting cast feature in the level and with the number of different locations featured it is enjoyable enough that it will no doubt please any Simpsons fan.
It’s also interesting to note that, as with many LEGO-based games these days, some of the actual sound bites from the source material are included, most notably the voiceover work by Johnny Cash as the coyote.
In addition to unlocking the exclusive level, owning a Simpsons figure means that you are free to explore The Simpsons hub world, which unsurprisingly is a LEGO recreation of Springfield. The open-world features most of the landmarks from the show, including Evergreen Terrace, the school, the power plant, Kwik-E-Mart and more.
If you’ve explored the hubs available from the starter pack – DC, LEGO Movie and Lord Of The Rings – then you should know what to expect in terms of side-missions and additional collectibles. There is an array of tasks to do, including renovating certain areas at the request of Mayor Quimby and help Hans Moleman through the gang invested streets. All of the additional tasks tie in to the show in some way.
Overall, these add-on packs are difficult to review, mainly to assess whether the pack does provide value for money. As I said in my review of the LEGO Dimensions starter pack, the main issue with the game is the expense and so it really depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. If you’re looking to complete the full LEGO Dimensions collection then yes, this is value for money as it does provide you with an additional level, the Homer minifigure, the car and one of the best accessories in-game.
That said, if you’re simply looking for additional LEGO Simpsons content then you could save yourself at least £15 by just purchasing the Bart or Krusty fun packs because they will allow you access to the open-world hub. The exclusive level in this pack is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but alone, it does not warrant the RRP.
Overall, though, it’s a fantastic pack with plenty on offer for Simpsons fans. This pack will entertain, it does have useful accessories which can be used throughout the game in the story and other world hubs, it’s just let down by its price.