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Lego Star Wars: Castaways Review

Recently, in an Apple Arcade near near you

Lego and Star Wars go together like putting that final piece on on your Lego set - They just click. Launching in November of 2021, Lego Star Wars: Castaways brings an interesting premise to the tried and true Lego video game formula - It's Star Wars but on a "deserted" island, and everything is Lego.

I'm sure that some business executive at Gameloft (the developer of this game) put together the Lego pieces of the current gaming climate to come up with Lego Star Wars + multiplayer survival. The concept for Lego Star Wars: Castaways is a good idea, as Lego Star Wars games have historically been very accessible for all ages. Now Gameloft is bringing a new spin on that formula. Can Darth Vader survive on an island? Well I definitely know that he doesn't need sunscreen.

Ahoy there, we are castaways

Well you don't actually get to play as Darth Vader, or any main character from Star Wars, in this Lego game. He does show up occasionally to ruin your day however.

In Star Wars: Castaways your design your own Lego avatar to play as, and get to choose from a randomly generated Star Wars username. Beyond the fact that "Dreven Honor 900" sort of sounds like a skateboard trick that Tony Hawk might do, I thought the Star Wars themed names helped immerse me in the tropical Star Wars world. You'll be seeing other players' names quite a lot as they are also running around the island talking to NPCs and completing quests. The main gameplay loop sees you picking up quests on the island and then jumping into "HoloSims" where you re-live some key moments from the original Star Wars trilogy.

The high level premise is that those moments from Star Wars movies have purple corruption nodes that shouldn't be there, so you need to head into the HoloSims to defeat the corruption. The actual gameplay once you're in a HoloSim is typical for any other Lego game - Mostly beat'em up fighting with some very simple puzzle solving thrown in. Actually I found that most of the puzzles only involved moving boxes from one area to another, so I hesitate to say that this game has any puzzles in it at all.

There are also different classes that you can acquire and level up with different specialties - trooper (gunplay), force adept (lightsaber swordplay), support (fairly self explanatory), and agent (specialized weapons). I mostly stuck to the force adept class, which is what I suspect many people will do because, I mean, lightsaber. It's definitely a refreshing idea for a Lego Star Wars game to offer class selection, but I found very little reason to ever play support or want to play with others using the support class. When your character dies in combat you revive almost instantly with very little punishment (you lose a bit of money).

Online multiplayer, except everyone is a mime

You start out as the trooper class, and the game doesn't make it super obvious how to change classes which actually sort of works out so you don't constantly lobby into games of all jedi-wannabes. The best tip that I can give to a new player would be to make sure you are talking to a bunch of the island NPCs because that's how you can change class and customize your character.

As you roam around the island you'll also notice tons of other players running around too. It's really cool to play this game thinking that you're in an MMO of some sort, but there aren't many ways to interact with other players beyond simple emotes and randomly inviting whoever is online to join the level you are entering. Emotes are useless, but I did find it hilarious when the game would say something like "you've unlocked disgust"... Honey I unlocked that a long time ago.

Because of this emphasis on multiplayer and community, I often didn't even feel like playing through levels unless I got one or two others to join me. There are only a handful of levels available, and while you can explore different parts of each one the goal is almost always the same and rather short to complete. Just clear the purple corruption and complete any side quests that are marked along the way. I think the target audience for this game must be mostly children, because the game does a great job of marking exactly where you need to go both for completing a level and obtaining side quest items. You really don't even need to read the text in this game, although there is a good amount of reading to be done. I haven't seen a guiding arrow this good since Crazy Taxi.

Ok but why is it all gorgeous

One of the biggest things that Lego Star Wars: Castaways has going for it is the presentation. Lego games have had nearly 2 decades to perfect the presentation and it really shows when an Apple Arcade spinoff is as gorgeous as this. Cutscenes look like real Lego pieces and gameplay looks just as good as what you might find full Lego games on console. There are a few graphical hiccups here and there, but none that ruin gameplay. For whatever reason the game kept changing the color of my character's beard every time I tried on new hats. What's up with that?

The music is great too, if a bit repetitive. Everyone loves the music from Star Wars, but developer Gameloft could have gone further. While the music that's used is indeed great, it repeats a lot. There is tons of great music from all corners of Star Wars' multiple films/TV shows in the galaxy so why does this game continuously repeat the same tracks?

I should also mention that Lego Star Wars: Castaways sneaks in a lot of charming corners if you seek them out. Running into storm troopers working out in a Death Star gym is hilarious.

Conclusion - Who is this game for?

Well are you an adult? If yes then you might be drawn in by the gorgeous presentation and heavy nostalgia. I even have a soft spot in my heart for beat'em ups and collectathons, but I found that this game is not as expansive or interesting as Lego games on console. While exploring the island is fun, there are only about 10 actual levels in the game. The levels are relatively short, which is fine for mobile, but I just didn't care to continuously grind them while completing objectives and leveling up my class.

Then again are you a child? This game doesn't really even require you to read, and you get a full experience without having to worry about in-app purchases. You even get to play multiplayer with others without having to worry about anyone saying something inappropriate or cursing. I would absolutely recommend this game to a kid, although I also have a feeling that a kid would quickly want to graduate to a more fulfilling experience such as the upcoming Lego Skywalker Saga on console.


  • Sublime presentation and nostalgia

  • Elegant (if simple) gameplay for a more civilized age

  • No great way to interact with the community


  • No great way to interact with the community

  • Simple gameplay gets too repetitive too quickly


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