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Lego City Undercover video game review

This screengrab shows a scene from the video

This screengrab shows a scene from the video game "Lego City Undercover." Credit: AP / Nintendo

Lego City Undercover forgoes the wizardry and intergalactic wonder of big-budget franchises for something much more simple: a good old-fashioned police romp set in sprawling Lego City, a diverse metropolis where cars are made out of colorful plastic bricks and residents have interchangeable heads.

As undercover officer Chase McCain, a player must seamlessly switch between multiple disguises with different abilities to hunt down Lego City lawbreakers. For example, when dressed as a farmer, McCain can water plants that blossom into vines that can be climbed. If he's imitating a burglar, his crowbar can crack open doors. There's even an astronaut suit.

The game's zany writing and voice acting alternate between corny and hilarious. ("I'll come back and give you my insurance details later!" McCain yells after smashing into other cars.) While youngsters might enjoy Lego City the most, there's plenty here for adults who grew up with Grand Theft Auto, including sendups of "Goodfellas" and "The Shawshank Redemption."

McCain can get behind the wheel of more than 100 vehicles: cars, trucks, boats and helicopters. He can also ride horses, pigs and, at one point, a dinosaur. Outside of the story missions that take McCain inside such Lego City locales as a museum and prison, there are enough side pursuits for even the most obsessive gamers, from capturing aliens to painting bricks.


RATING E10, everyone 10 and older

PLOT The mini-figures come home

DETAILS Nintendo Wii, $50

BOTTOM LINE Building loads of fun

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