Lego, quite a while back, came out with games. I’ve been interested in them since I first saw them, but never had a chance to play them myself. That changed today, as my son received one of the Heroica games as a Christmas present. It is the Waldurk Forest set.

If you don’t want to read all I have to say, I’ll sum it up like this, I think the game is incredible.

Like any other lego set, the first step is to build it. The game “board” is made up of small plates, and on each are different pieces to build the setting of the overall game. There are also some small pieces to put together to keep track of stats and inventory for characters. And there are little microfigures to represent the heros and monsters. These are smaller than the normal lego mini-figs and they don’t have arms or legs that move. The head is also fixed on. They are just a single piece. In this set there are spiders, which are also a single molded piece.

This is a very basic role playing game. Included in this set, are a Ranger, Druid and Barbarian. They represent different classes of characters. They each have a special ability. The set also comes with a number of weapons that can be purchased and when a player uses them, it grants that player a single use of the special ability of a different character.

The plates that make up the board can be connected in different ways. The set came with two different “mission maps” that show different ways to lay out the game. It incorporates the monsters, potions, gold and treasure chests which can turn out to be gold or the loss of health. The end goal can be killing a certain monster or reaching a certain point on the mission map. The mechanics are very easy and my kids (ages 8-12) picked up on how the game works quickly.

If there is such a thing as a gateway RPG, this is it. What has me really excited is that it’s all pretty much standard lego parts. We can take pieces from other kits that the kids already have, and build larger boards. The instructions encourage kids to try changing up the rules and seeing how that impacts the game. It’s a game that follows the basic lego philosophy. Not only is the board configurable, the rules are as well. My son and I have already talked about creating our own potions and modifying other aspects of the game.

I’m extremely excited about the potential of this whole platform. There is so much here that I think is going to be a lot of fun for me and the kids.

Lego is great about making sure kits have all the pieces. But somehow in this one, the core of our die was left out. It’s a 6d and there are square pieces to afix to each side. We have the square pieces, just not the part they connect onto. I wanted the kids to play with the images they’d see rolling the proper die with the kit, so I wrote a little javascript page to allow them to “roll” the dice. It’s at http://geeksinaction.org/roll. It has worked very well for the games we’ve played so far. Of course Lego customer service is awesome and they say we’ll have the missing piece within a week. Ordering it was dead easy.

I’m a huge fan of lego. Their normal set, mindstorm and now Heroica. They are a great company, offering some really amazing products.