I can't say enough good things about TT Games' Lego series, which have brought everything from Batman to Harry Potter to "Star Wars" to life in glorious brick form.
And last year's Lego Lord of the Rings was among the best yet, an epic and thoroughly entertaining game version of the entire three-movie series. Of course, you needed a PC or game console to play it.
Not anymore: Lego Lord of the Rings is now available for iOS.
The $4.99 app brings more or less the same great console experience to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. The "less" part has to do with the controls: You can use either a virtual set of onscreen D-pad/button controls or learn a system of taps, drags, and long-presses. On my iPad 3, I found the latter both confusing and awkward; the virtual controls are much more precise and familiar.
Other than that, LLotR for iOS plays just like the the Xbox version, which I enjoyed immensely with my kids. It features animated (and often hilarious) cut-scenes from the movies, lots of challenging puzzles, and, in an usual (but very welcome) twist for the Lego game series, actual dialogue from the movies.
What's more, it appears to be compatible with all iPhones, iPods, and iPads running iOS 6 or later, though it does require a hefty chunk of storage (around 1.4GB). Plus, you'll need 3GB free to install it over Wi-Fi, though only 1.5GB if you first download it to your PC and then sync it.
The game does offer in-app purchases, but they're mostly character packs (priced anywhere from $1-$3) and totally optional. For a mere $5, you get the whole Lego Lord of the Rings experience. And it's a great one.
It's really a shame TT Games doesn't offer these titles for Android. If someone wants to kick off a petition (Grand-Theft-Auto-V-for-PC-style) requesting Android versions, I'll sign!