This week, Avram Piltch is showing off the newest addition to the LEGO augmented reality family: LEGO Hidden Side. Unlike the set that Avram tested last year, this series of products has both cool LEGO environments and AR that is fun. First, Avram discusses the sets themselves. With 8 in total, they vary from the simpler Graveyard Mystery to the more complex and beautiful Newbury Haunted High School. Like with any LEGO sets, the only real issue is the ease with which the pieces come apart.
The reason to mention the stability of the sets themselves is because of their integral nature in the game. Before you can play, you have to choose your region, which is indicated by the set you're wanting to play with. You then have to lock the app's AR to the physical location of the set. However, if it is not 100% perfect, it will not be recognized and you cannot play. For kids, this can be frustrating because any time you move a set, it could eject pieces or whole sections.
Once you've gotten past the technical issues of the game, it is a lot of fun. The augmented reality aspect of the game is not just a gimmick, as we've seen in the past, but legitimately adds to the experience. During his demo, Avram showed off that the tree in the set was actually in motion, plus it was raining in the graveyard. All of this is a precursor to the actual tasks of the game, which include finding items of a particular color and catching ghosts. The ghost hunting is similar to Pokemon GO, except you find them in the LEGO sets, not in the real world.
Avram will be publishing his full review to Tom's Hardware in the next few days, but spoiler, he recommends it to anyone with kids.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.