I had this thought about how little replay value exists in the LEGO series (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, et cetera) because once you’ve solved the puzzles and seen the videos, you’ve seen all the game has to offer. There are little secrets here and there, Easter eggs and such, but once you’ve completed the game, you’re done. There’s nothing to go back for.

I think the reason for this is mainly that all the puzzles in the LEGO series are fundamentally the same puzzle, repeated over and over and over again. It’s an endless series of locked doors with an integrated combat engine. Every puzzle is another locked door. Find the key, unlock the door. Use the Force. Ride the barrel. Blow up the wall. Some “keys” have secondary functions … usually as weapons.

The latest entry in the series, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean made it clear to me. I already had some problems with the series, but the repetition in character powers is painfully obvious. The undead crew of the Flying Dutchman have the ability to move through seaweed, which is a palette-swapped version of the tiny characters’ ability to move through crawlspaces. Are both of them necessary?

Then you have the blacksmith’s power to change red-hot bricks into useable bricks. You have the shovel’s ability to dig up buried blocks. You have the strongman’s ability to pull open, burst, or lift “heavy” blocks. Apart from their cosmetic differences, are all of these abilities really necessary? The strongman makes the demolitions-characters seem superfluous. And why is there yet another “endgame” character power?

It’s all so tedious. You know what I would like to see, and this would honestly take a bit more thought from Traveler’s Tales, but couldn’t there be a significant portion of the game that the player could pass using skill instead of the same “key-lock” sequences? What if you could use the Dutchman’s crew to skip a section of the ship that you normally have to jump and climb through? WHY DOESN’T BOMB BREAK GLASS.

It would be nice if occasionally, you could do the lily pad-jump puzzle to cross a pond, without ever truly needing to build the bridge. Yeah, the bridge is convenient, but there should be shortcuts and instances where switching between and using every single character isn’t strictly necessary. Some choice in how the puzzles can be solved, which varies from level to level would be nice. Just sayin’.