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Aspyr Media
Release Date
August 2005

LEGO Star Wars
August 9, 2005 | Dustin Smith

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One of the reasons I really enjoy this game is because it hearkens back to the days when games weren't all about flashy graphics and twitchy trigger fingers. It's about fun. Simple fun. Because of the simplicity of it, this game could be played on a Super Nintendo controller. There are only four major buttons other than the obvious movement controls: jump, action, special, and swap. Two other buttons are used only in free play mode to switch characters on the fly.

Although jumping is pretty self-explanatory, most major characters, such as the Jedi and Jar Jar Binks, also have a double jump. The action button lets you take out your lightsaber or blaster (depending on which character is active) and use the weapon to great effect. Most of the characters also have a special ability, such as Force powers for Jedi, unlocking doors for droids, or using a grappling hook to reach higher places for blaster-wielding characters. Each character's distinct abilities are necessary to beat the levels, which leads us to the swap button. Interestingly enough, you will always have another character following you around. This way if you play one character you will have someone else to swap to, such as a blaster-user to reach higher ground or a droid to open unlocked doors. However, you can also use the swap button to swap to characters in the level (but not in your party) as well. For example, in the first level of Episode One when you play as Qui-Gon Jin and Obi-Wan you soon encounter TC-14, a C-3PO look-alike. You can swap to TC-14 any time you are near it to help you go through doors previously locked.

Of course you can also combine the jump and action buttons to do more powerful jump attacks or use your Force abilities to find studs, use force push and knock an enemy literally to pieces, or put together blocks to solve puzzles. For your life meter you have four hearts—no more, no less—and both enemies and containers drop hearts for you at an alarming rate, so regaining your health is never a problem.

The fun factor drastically increases when someone else joins your revels in the cuteness of LEGOs and Star Wars. The nice thing about the game is that at any time, any player (providing there is still someone playing) may drop out of the game, go grab a cheeseburger, and do some carpet shopping, then come back and join in the fun once more. It's simple, fun, cute, and charming all in the same game.


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