Digital interaction has become an increasingly vital element of recent LEGO themes. The brand new Hidden Side range exhibits important focus upon app integration, hence many people have expressed an interest in that feature of Hidden Side sets.
I have therefore been exploring the Hidden Side app within recent weeks and have prepared some comments about its gameplay and interactive functions. In fact, both aspects of the app have exceeded my expectations!
Players can decide between two different roles, depending on whether you own any Hidden Side sets. The ghostly faction provides unique gameplay, assembling your team before haunting an environment by distributing gloom. There is no direct interaction between the physical set and your mobile phone in this game mode, although you can explore digital versions of the models.
The gameplay involves charging around the environment in search of collectable gloom. You can then launch gloom at certain objects within the set, corresponding with several of the gloom spots you may encounter when playing as a ghost hunter and scanning models! The controls sometimes feel slightly awkward in my opinion but that has detracted little from my enjoyment of the game.
Of course, ghosts cannot haunt their environment without opposition. You will therefore be pursued by an enormous mobile phone in the sky, occupying the role of the ghost hunter which targets your ghoul. Furthermore, limited time is available for haunting during most levels, although screenshots here were taken in the training level so there is no time limit.
Successfully covering the environment with gloom will earn subscribers and spirit. These collectables can then redeem upgrades and bonus functionality for subsequent levels. I appreciate the connection between this aspect of the Hidden Side app and the ghost hunting side, despite the dramatic variation in their respective gameplay.
While playing as the ghosts is certainly enjoyable, Hidden Side was designed for taking on the role of the ghost hunters. This gameplay is focused almost exclusively upon interactivity with the models and you will therefore be asked to choose which set you are going to explore. Eight separate locations are available at the moment but the map will expand to encompass further sets in the future.
Each location features entirely different environments and I initially chose 70423 Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 which is among my favourite sets from the theme. The subject should be positioned on level surfaces for scanning, although I have found the scanner to be rather forgiving and the resultant effect is impressive. Of course, the resolution of the physical model will depend partly upon the quality of the camera.
Gameplay is focused predominantly upon clearing gloom spots which are separated according to their relevant colour spectrum. Twisting the colour wheel to show yellow, for instance, will prompt the player to search for yellow gloom spots. Once discovered, these colourful spots are scanned and 'degloomed' to unlock currency or collectable items.
However, scanning gloom spots will sometimes cause ghosts to emerge, as demonstrated during my exploration of 70425 Newbury Haunted High School. These characters fly around the screen, hurling gloom and other projectiles at the player while you seek to vanquish them. The gameplay is relatively simple, although the ghosts' motion does vary significantly and I think the difficulty level is appropriate.
Furthermore, you might occasionally be prompted to make alterations to the set, including positioning minifigures on 2x2 plates with two studs or uncovering colourful bricks to be scanned. This interaction with the physical model distinguishes the Hidden Side app from previous LEGO mobile games and its variety is appreciated, even though I think these activities could be slightly more frequent.
70425 Newbury Haunted High School offers particularly notable transformation once you uncover the featured Soul Artefact. Such accessories are connected to boss ghosts that occupy the sets, including an intimidating teddy bear named Mr. Nibs! Defeating these ghosts can become challenging as you try to avoid their attacks but I think that seems suitable, given their apparent importance.
Physical models have always been the focus of my interest in LEGO, although I have enjoyed some LEGO video games too. My expectations for the Hidden Side app were accordingly fairly low but this has proven to be a pleasant surprise! The scanning functionality is superb and the surrounding digital environment seems remarkably extensive, introducing exceptional dynamism to each model.
Moreover, the gameplay provides reasonable variation and I can envisage its collectable aspects will appeal to younger players. I am similarly pleased with how colour wheels have been integrated within most Hidden Side models, without spoiling their design. For these reasons, I would recommend trying the Hidden Side app, even if only to view the environment which surrounds each set.
You can view the Hidden Side app device requirements here.
Have you explored the Hidden Side app and are you enjoying it? Let us know in the comments.
You can read our Hidden Side set reviews here: