LEGO Fortnite – A video game match made in heaven? [Review]

The LEGO Group has had its hand in the video game industry for a long time. From its first PC games in the 90’s to popular, cross-platform, licensed titles in Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jurassic World, Harry Potter, DC, Marvel, and of course, Star Wars, it could be said that the company has had a prolific mark on gaming. But, like anything, there have definitely been games along the way that didn’t hit the mark. Join us as we dive into the latest partnership with Epic Games’ Fortnite to see if it’s a flop or winner. Plus, we’ll look at some loot! LEGO Fortnite is free and available now across multiple gaming platforms.

The LEGO Group and Epic Games sent The Brothers Brick some items for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

What is Fortnite?

Before we look at the game in detail, let’s first provide an intro to Fortnite. This Epic Games title has developed a few new aspects over the past couple years, but its most noteworthy claim to fame is how well it has executed “Battle Royale” mode. The main version of this game – which can be played across multiple platforms – involves a PvP (Player vs Player) arena consisting of a large, vivid world where 100 players are dropped to fight each other until there is only one victor standing. What makes it so popular is that there are multiple strategies to win, from hiding out until the end, to being a sniper, to building a giant structure and launching rockets to get attention. Instead of blood and gore, eliminated players evaporate into glitter and loot. The gorgeous map changes each “season” to include new loot, weapons, animals, vehicles, terrain, buildings, and even bosses that you can fight separately from the other players. You can also complete side quests to earn goodies from the season-specific “Battle Pass” like skins, dance moves and bling. Finally, the Sim-like character skins can be mixed and matched to create unique avatars for each player.

But, with all that said, Fortnite has other ways to play in its rich environment that don’t include killing each other. There’s a racing game called Rocket Racing, a concert stage called Fortnite Festival where live concerts with noteworthy artists perform, and a long-term survival story game called Save the World. (And of course, now “LEGO Fortnite,” which we’ll get to shortly.) Perhaps the best part is that all of these Fortnite games are connected and can be accessed in the same space, and are FREE (except for Save the World). There is no cost to jump into the game and play. There are items you can buy in the in-game store with “V-bucks” that initially cost real money to obtain – like the aforementioned skins, dance moves, etc. – but buying these items has no winning advantage in gameplay. Plus, earning XP (experience points) in one game gives you XP across all the games. XP can help you get goodies too!

How does LEGO fit into Fortnite?

In recent history, the creators of Fortnite have changed the Battle Royale game to offer the option to play with or without building (matchmaking on separate servers). Before that, fortune favored those who could build extremely fast. People using hotkeys on a PC surely had the best advantage over those on other gaming platforms. Save the World also has huge building aspect. But the point is this: harvesting resources and building structures has always been a big part of the game.  In fact, you’re born into Battle Royale with a pickaxe in hand for harvesting resources. Seeing as LEGO is entirely about building, it was a natural fit. Additionally, in some ways Fortnite is limitless, or at least has infinite ways to approach how you play, which is LEGO’s whole mantra.

The other thing here is that the rich landscape of Fortnite has largely stayed the same, with a somewhat subtle yet obvious twist: things like plants, animals, loot, and build elements are pretty tactfully translated into LEGO. Even skins have been adapted reasonably well, with over 1,200 showing up in both versions of the game, including the highly identifiable Fortnite classics like Peely the banana and Meowscles the muscle-bound cat. As mentioned a couple times, expressing oneself through dancing is a fun aspect of the original game, and again, this has translated surprisingly well into LEGO.


First and foremost, the biggest difference between LEGO Fortnite and Battle Royale is that LEGO is NOT a PvP game. You can attack or be attacked by creatures like skeletons, spiders, and wolves, but you can not attack or be attacked by other players. There are also two ways to play LEGO Fortnite. You can choose to create or jump into a world that is a “sandbox” where the focus is on building and exploring, and you choose your potential dangers. Alternatively, you can choose to create or jump into a world that is “survival” based, where the focus is to expand your village while specifically avoiding or managing dangers. These dangers include the aforementioned creatures, as well as hunger, temperature, and stamina.

While creating worlds, you have up to eight slots, with each world being quite customizable. In addition to sandbox vs. survival, you can choose a cover image and a seed number (starting point) if you’d like to pick up at a certain point of development in another person’s world. You can also choose whether or not the game will have enemies or consider hunger, temperature, and/or stamina. Finally, you can choose whether or not you’ll have unlimited resources, if you can be eliminated (and drop your inventory when you die), if there will be friendly creatures, or if there will be friendly villagers (NPCs, aka Non-Player Characters). If you dislike a world, you aren’t stuck with it forever. You can delete it and free up one of your 8 spots. Additionally, within each world, you are also allowed to give a “key” to friends so that up to 8 can play with you at a time.

Once inside the game, the general idea is to explore, collect resources (primarily wood, stone, and food), and build a thriving village. Killing bad creatures gives you unique resources, as does petting (or sadly, killing) good creatures like LEGO-built chickens, cows, and sheep. These resources help you craft specialty items. As you build a better village, you can upgrade it and more NPC villagers will join you. These villagers can be given jobs (like harvesting) to help you level up faster.

When crafting, you have a palette of basic building components, as well as blueprints for larger sections of structures and items. Because of this – like LEGO – the possibilities are endless.

Some resources can only be obtained from caves, treasure chests, or specific monsters, which you have to explore to find. Therefore another big element of play is to find, explore, and plunder caves. Additionally, sometimes a glowing orb will appear and guide you a chest or a llama piñata. These are the mascot of Fortnite, and when they show up in either game, the loot they drop tends to be especially good. (The GIF below is sped up significantly.)

The elephant (or creeper) in the room

While reading this, you might be thinking, “This sounds really familiar…” and you’d be right to a degree. LEGO Fortnite shares many similarities with Minecraft, the pixelated sandbox survival video game. It’s interesting and a bit cheeky that LEGO has had a partnership with Minecraft for several years, and now this. Minecraft and physical LEGO have always been a good match, with all of their pixel-y squared-ness, and the set line has been popular. However, there has never been a crossover videogame. It makes one question why.

Coming from the humble perspective of this reviewer, I think a couple things are at play. It could boil down to expensive licensing and complexity of implementation. Minecraft is not free, therefore not as accessible. Or it could be simple aesthetics. While Minecraft makes for good LEGO sets, LEGO does not necessarily make for good Minecraft. The visuals of animated minifigures that we have come to know and love do not translate as well into the uber-pixelated Minecraft universe. Converting LEGO to Minecraft or Minecraft to LEGO in a digital space seems almost pointless because it doesn’t really let either of them shine.

Minecraft might be the king of this style of sandbox gaming, but its not the only one. A handful of titles use similar mechanics successfully, and the LEGO Group is capitalizing on how well it plays into their schtick. Fortnite just provided the perfect backdrop and foundation for the concept to flourish. It elevates both brands better than the other pairing possibly could.

Our loot

As previously mentioned, Epic Games and LEGO did provide us with an influencers box of loot to review. Inside is a shirt, a brick-built llama (numbered and sealed in plexiglass), a poster, and a seemingly unrelated set: LEGO DreamZzz 71469 Nightmare Shark Ship. However, a note with the box mentioned that the Shark Ship does make a cameo in the game somewhere at some point.

The shirt is a product of Neutral brand, a company that prides itself on sustainability. This topic has been one that LEGO has tried to push and make a commitment to over the last several years, doing things like swapping from plastic packaging to paper. As previously stated, the llama piñata is the mascot of Fortnite, so it was fitting that one was included here. However, it sounds like this was a build activity at some recent events, so it’s not necessarily a rare exclusive, albeit numbered and sealed.

The poster came in a nice hard-case cardboard tube. It is apparently #6 out of 10 comic strip iterations. I’d love to see the others, but it’s unclear if these will be widely available.

As far as the Nightmare Shark Ship goes, you’re going to have to read our review to learn more about it!

Conclusions and recommendations

This review is being made after playing the game on both the PC and PlayStation 4 for a couple hours each. I cannot speak for other platforms but I found both to be a pleasant experience. I do see very easy entry for beginners, as the mechanics are quite simple and everything is labeled with the appropriate keys/buttons to push. In general, things are pretty intuitive. I really don’t have many complaints that are worth noting at this point. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that it stays nighttime too long for my taste. I also had a hard time finding a cave, but having just begun the game, I can’t complain too much. (Changing my outfit seemed to be my lucky charm though!) Additionally, FREE and accessible is nothing to take for granted.

If you’re a serious gamer, this will probably be a fun one to relax with from time to time. If you’re a casual, occasional gamer like myself, the same applies, but you might just find that it’s a little addictive, leaving you craving for more. For parents wondering if this is right for their kids, it’s understandable for you to be weary of Battle Royale, but I would highly recommend letting them give this one a go. It’s LEGO after all, and LEGO is made for everyone.

If you need more info directly from LEGO, you can visit the LEGO Fortnite parent’s guide here.

The LEGO Group and Epic Games sent The Brothers Brick some items for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.


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