"The Dark Knight Rises" is at the multiplex now, but the Christian Bale version of Batman won't be getting a video game doppelgänger. Instead, fans of the Caped Crusader can enjoy Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, a more lighthearted, family-friendly romp.

The designers at the U.K.-based Traveller's Tales have hit upon a successful formula: Take Lego-ized versions of beloved characters like Harry Potter and the "Star Wars" gang. Set them loose in brightly colored versions of familiar settings, where they can destroy the furniture and build new devices out of Lego blocks. Throw in some clever but not too challenging puzzles and enough collectibles to keep the kids busy for weeks.

Lego Batman 2 adds a few new elements, most notably some first-rate voice acting, that energizes the confrontations between Bruce Wayne and a rogue's gallery of villains. (And other heroes, too: Batman's surly attitude toward Superman is hilarious.) Also, the game world is more open than usual, so you can freely explore Gotham City in between story missions.

There are dozens of playable characters as well as an assortment of suits that give Batman and Robin special powers. And cooperative play is available throughout, making Lego Batman 2 one of the best games available for parents and kids to play together.


RATING E for Everyone

PLOT "Dark Knight," Lego-style

DETAILS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $50

BOTTOM LINE A great one

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