The LEGO Group’s Build Together experience is now available in a beta version, but how does it compare to the more traditional method of using a manual for model-making?
Now available on compatible iOS and Android devices, the LEGO Group’s Build Together experience is aimed at encouraging social play and interaction between friends and family. The idea is actually very simple, and the process of co-operative building couldn’t be more straightforward.
Firstly, you’ll need to gather some willing help to build a set, with a minimum of at least two people required. The upper limit for team building is currently set at five, but the LEGO Group has stated it wants to push that up to 10 in future updates. All participants will need a compatible iOS or Android device with the latest version of the LEGO Building Instructions app installed.
Each user then needs to select the ‘Build Together’ option using their device’s camera to scan the QR code on one of the supported set’s manuals. Once successfully scanned, each user is then allocated their own colour do identify themselves, with the first person to scan the QR code receiving a nifty gold crown icon.
Only six existing sets are currently being supported in the initial beta version of the LEGO Build Together experience, so you’ll need one of these in order to try it out for yourself:
Once everyone’s ready, the Build Together app then guides each user through the process of constructing their own mini builds. Sometimes these are just a few LEGO pieces to put together, while some are slightly more involved. When another user requires one of your completed builds, your device will send you a message to pass it on, so that person can then combine it with their LEGO masterpiece.
This process slowly continues until each part of the set has been finished or until you run out of time. It’s possible to retrace your steps if you make a mistake, something that actually comes in handy for both younger and more experienced builders alike.
We tested the Build Together experience using 10270 Bookshop and so far three of us have put in around five hours of building time. We’re only part of the way there but have really enjoyed collaborating on a larger LEGO build as a family. The set-up instructions are clear and easy to follow, although there was sometimes a little confusion as to exactly which bags should be opened next.
The only real issue we had is that we now have lots of LEGO pieces spread out all over the place, but the Build Together experience has yet to allow us to fully complete the contents of even one polybag from the set. We have plenty of smaller items built but have only just started combining them into something that vaguely resembles 10270 Bookshop.
That’s really the only minor grumble though and we’ll certainly be sticking with the Build Together experience until the set is fully completed. While many older and more traditional LEGO fans will undoubtedly moan at the use of this technology to build a set, when compared to having your nose stuck in a paper manual, we thoroughly enjoyed the social family sessions.
A few minor app freezes and crashes couldn’t take away from what is a great way to spend time with friends and family. All that the LEGO Group needs to do now is increase the number of sets that are compatible with the Build Together experience and there will be many long hours of social co-operative construction to come.
The Build Together experience is available now on compatible devices as part of the LEGO Building Instructions app.