LEGO Group unveils first fully integrated digital-to-physical gaming experience

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Life Of George 1

A LEGO press release published today reveals an interesting hybrid game that combines physical bricks with a digital game played on iOS devices:

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LEGO Group unveils first fully integrated digital-to-physical gaming experience

Combining physical building with a digital gaming application, LEGO® Life of George invites builders to test building skills in a race against time

The LEGO Group has announced LEGO® Life of George, its first product to combine digital and physical play for a hands-on LEGO gaming experience. Featuring patent-pending brick recognition software, powered by EyeCue, the game challenges players to build models, and place them on a play mat that acts as a “green screen” to capture the image and receive a score based on accuracy and speed.

Beginning October 1, 2011, players can purchase the LEGO Life of George set for $29.99 from LEGO Stores and shop.lego.com and download the free Apple iOS compatible gaming application.

LEGO Life of George is a 12-level game that can be played in novice or expert mode. Each level showcases an adventure from George, around whom the game revolves, and is comprised of models of varying difficulty based on the number of bricks needed and the building techniques required to replicate them. Builders are challenged to physically recreate the virtual models from George’s photo album using the LEGO bricks included with the game; once they have successfully completed all 10 models the next level will be unlocked.

In addition to Game Mode which can be played alone or against one competitor in a pass-and-play format, a Creation Mode called “My Life” enables users to design and capture their own models in the app’s virtual scrapbook.

“We understand consumers’ powerful connection to casual gaming, and we have seen how successfully the LEGO brand can translate to a virtual experience, so we pursued development of a fun way to combine both physical and virtual play into one product,” says Paal Smith-Meyer, head of new business at LEGO Group.

“Life of George is a result of our desire to provide an innovative way for existing and new fans to play with LEGO bricks and interact with the brand.”

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Apart from the rather lame title, it certainly sounds intriguing. The video below shows how it's played. It looks as if you're challenged to build a 2D model, then take a photo of it with your iPhone/pad/pod. The game then determines how closely you've built it and, presumably, lets you progress.

See what you think:

(Thanks to toomuchdew for the news)

Update: here's more information from another press release, about George:

George is a software engineer by day and adventurer by night. His main hobbies are travel, photography and numbers, and has a fun storyline for players to follow and engage with via his Facebook page, I Am George. Fans can expect to see updates and photography from George on his travels as well as hints to new game levels and app updates through his posts.

30 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks like LEGO forgot to mention that not everyone can fork out £400+ for an iPhone/iPad.

And for those that do have one (who will undoubtedly be of a maturer audience), they're going to want something a bit more challenging than this! Bahhhh

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By in United States,

I feel that there are probably enough parents that let their children play with their iPhones, etc. for this to work somewhat. Even the simple builds could be fun for adults or teens, provided you want to practice speed building or beat the clock. And who knows, the plus of an app is that they could always update it with more challenging stuff later, or add on. I just hope they let you use bricks from your collection to make stuff, or recognize colors not in the set that you buy for the mat and bricks.

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By in United States,

Already on sale at the Westfield London Lego store

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By in United States,

I think this might be a hit! You have to agree that this will be a lot more popular than LEGO Universe (that one was a flop in my opinion). I think its great Lego is thinking outside the box and combining technology with their building blocks; after all, technology is the future of the world!

@miniroll32; I do agree with you that not everyone has an iTouch/iPhone/iPad. However, since I can literally throw a rock @ Apple headquaters, all families have at least 1 Apple product in Silicon Valley. It depends on the target audience....

Overall, it depends on how to plays out. There is pros and cons to it. (I myself don't have an iTouch) and the concept is totally new and cool that might make kids pick it up and buy it!

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By in Netherlands,

No Android app o.O

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By in United States,

interesting concept. Hopefully Android support is soon to follow.

My question is this: Do consumers WANT their digital entertainment and their physical entertainment to be integrated? I know I personally enjoy building with LEGO in a physical world. I also enjoy playing video games, MMOs, etc. But to me, those two experiences, while both enjoyed, are very different things I do at different times for different reasons. I'm not sure I have any want or need for them to somehow become melded into one harmonious experience.

I'd be interested to hear others thoughts along this line.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^^^ It's not in the AppStore as far as I can tell yet, so buyers will be disappointed...

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By in United States,

There are currently well over 200 million (MILLION!!) iOS devices sold to date. My guess is that some of those iOS folks have....kids. This is a massive market and I think this is a fantastic little app. I for one will probably pick this up and let my kids play with it on my iPhone. Way to think out of the box, Lego!

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By in United States,

Has anyone found a way to use the app without the official kit? In other words, can you use graph paper (or something else) instead of the official playmat to get the software to take a photo?

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By in United States,

I'll toss my name in too for android support! Hopefully TLG is looking at this post and sees the number of people looking for android support. Android outnumbers iOS, I hate all this iOS first stuff :(

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By in United States,

While watching this I was thinking, "Wow, this looks so cool!" But then I remembered... oh wait... I lack an iPod Touch. Or an iPhone. But I do have an Android. Too bad there's no support for Android. Or rather, actual gaming consoles (psst... 3DS LEGO!!! :P)

But wow, this is cool. I expect other companies are gonna copy in the future though.

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By in United States,

That looks pretty sweet!!

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By in United States,

While I think it looks cool, I'm a bit annoyed. I mean, did thousands of send Lego letters saying they want a Lego/iphone? I doubt it. Yet they ignore the thousands of letters they DO get, like maybe paying more attention to TFOL's. But back on topic I think its cool and has potential, but is this what we asked for?

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By in Canada,

^I totally agree, being a TFOL myself.

On a side note, Bricktober is almost upon us!

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks like an improvement on the creationary concept. Free app but $30 for the bricks and grid pad? Wonder how necessary buying the official set is as otherwise everyone will just download the app instead for free?!?

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By in United States,

do you need internet on your phone to download?

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By in Australia,

Huge kudos to TLG for experimenting with a fairly radical concept. Deserves a purchase just to encourage this melding of real world objects and virtual.

Although it may be just a game, there's an incredible merging of technology here. The pattern recognition alone, on a pocket device that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable.

Imagine the near future: point your smartphone at a model and have it display the set reference!

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By in United States,

Is this the big new set of 2012???

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By in United States,

this set is due out october first in LEGO stores.

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By in Canada,

Android.

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By in Germany,

Boooooooh!

Apple only. All thumbs down for this!
Why not include the miriads of Android users? :-/

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By in United States,

- you can use any LEGO bricks as long as what youre building is flat- so only one brick high.
- you need the gaming mat. it acts as sort of a "green screen" so the camera can distinguish the pieces used.
- for now, its only availble on apple products because this is a totally new and different thing- to be sure that it would work properly on the Android platforms, they would have needed to develop it for 5 android-platforms. with apple, its only one.
- works with iphone 4, iphone 3GS and ipod touch. not sure about ipad or the new iphone 5 thats coming out.
- no internet connection is required to play the game – but it can be downloaded from apple’s appStore

hope that helps :)

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By in United States,

@Hello_World!:

ARRGH, I was just going to post that. Beat me by... 23 minutes.

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By in Germany,

@asherkobin: That site is SO "awesome" it has "awesome" written all over it... :P

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By in Canada,

$35 is a bit much I think..
Also the site doesn't include the ipads as compatible....
Will it still work on an ipad?

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By in Canada,

^ You don't have to own the set/play mat to download the game. I searched 'Life Of George' in the app store an tried it out.

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