It’s been a while since we first talked about the new LEGO board games (here and here (almost two years ago)). Since their US release they have made a BIG splash, landing at the top of several holiday suggestion lists and top sellers at various game stores.

So what are they?

18 games: 12 small, 5 medium, 1 big box. The lead designer is Cephas Howard, with consultation with luminaries no less than Reiner Knizia and Bernie DeKoven. You have to build the games before you can play them, but they store in the box without having to be taken apart. The games can, in some instances and in some ways, be customized; not just the decorative aspects, but sometimes the physical arrangement of the board (changing the game play). The rules encourage you to modify the game rules, as well.

Which is probably for the best, since most of the games look pretty bad.


Robo Champ: Basically Cootie with LEGO pieces. Roll the die and take that part. Try to complete your robot first.

Magikus: Similar to Robo Champ, you roll the die and take the part. However, you first select which row or column to roll for. Try to complete your potion first.

Monster 4: Roll the dice, place the colored piece, try to get four in a row. A spider might knock pieces off the board occasionally.

Lava Dragon: Roll the die, be the first to get to the top of the mountain. However, you move as many spaces as your color appears on the die roll, and this changes as the game progresses. While still nearly all luck, it’s at least an interesting addition.

Race 3000: Roll and move, first to the finish wins. The die faces also adjust during the course of the game, but don’t make it a better game for that.

Pirate Code: Mastermind with a die.

Shave a Sheep: Roll the die, and either take wool, score all your taken wool, or move the wolf to remove someone’s wool. A bit of push your luck.

UFO Attack: Roll the die to complete your ship while you try to knock pieces off your opponent’s ship.

Magma Monster: Race game with a die, with two ways to interfere with your opponent’s progress.

Pirate Plank: Roll the die to move your piece away from the end of the plank or your opponent’s piece closer. Be the last survivor.

Orient Bazaar: I don’t know much about this one. Roll the die to collect items to sell at the bazaar. First to 15 gold coins wins.

Meteor Strike: Roll the die to see if you can place a space station, blast one, or collect a meteor.


Minotaurus: Race to the center of the maze. Roll a die to see if you move yourself or a wall. Meeting the minotaur sends you back to the start.

Lunar Command: A Knizia game, and you can tell. Roll the die, and either move pieces a total of four spaces, or move the UFO four spaces, or add pieces to your ship keeping in mind rules of placement. When a ship is formed, players gain points based on certain factors. The player with the most points wins.

Ramses Pyramid: Another Knizia design. Move around the board collecting jewels or peeking at the hidden jewels. Then try to climb the pyramid by spending jewels, remembering the hidden jewels, or moving laterally. The die can also cause player interaction. First to the top of the pyramid wins.

Atlantis Treasure: Roll the die to move and collect treasures, hinder your opponent’s movement, or shoot them to take their treasures. First to collect three treasures wins.

Hogwarts: Roll the dice collecting what you need to complete your homework. Moving staircases impede your progress.

Big Box

Creationary: Pictionary with LEGO bricks.

Impressed? The Knizia games look pretty cool, and some of the others might please younger kids (age 8- or so). Otherwise, the bits are pretty cool, but you have to decide if you get more value from the bits in the game versus buying a toy set.