LEGO Pirates of the CaribbeanWith the Disney blockbuster juggernaut in full swing it’s unlikely that you’ve missed the arrival of the fourth movie in the Pirates franchise.

It’s also unlikely that – unless you lack ears, eyes or a semi-functioning cerebrum – you would’ve escaped the disappointing realisation that the third film was utterly AAAARGH-ful, and the oberhyped ‘back to basics’ On Stranger Tides, simply AAAARGH-verage.

But even within these two pants piratical adventure romps flickered the cheeky, witty and unashamedly fun flame of the original.

And shiver me timbers if LEGO haven’t gone and done it again, by managing to capture the essence of the big screen and then funnelling it down into its purest LEGO-y essence on the small screen.

Travellers Tales’ tenth movie adaptation recaptures the magic of the original movie, whilst handily condensing the other 7 hours of waffly budget splurging into a series of digestible mini-missions.

Fans of Tales’ Star Wars/Indiana Jones LEGO adventures will know the drill – with the official score and storylines all on deck, players are able to control any member of their on-screen party at will to make the most of their skill sets throughout a selection of quests from across the four Pirates movies.

Sure, there’s no superduper CGI recreations here – instead each character has been replaced with their own charmingly mute LEGO-cised replica who you get to put through a number of action-come-puzzle-come-platformer scenes. And with over 50 characters to play as, there’s enough to keep you entertained for a while.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
Recognise this lot?

Admittedly the AI support is more than a little wonky at times, although with such a relatively simple mechanic at work, there’s never any real nerve-shredding, controller-flinging moments for it to truly disrupt. And with Travellers Tales’ incorporation of some joyously inspired level design into proceedings, you’re never stuck on one mission or locale too long to become frustrated either.

The only real – and notably glaring – downside comes with the utter lack of online play. It’s such a pick-up-and-playable, drop in/drop outable mechanic that to completely omit any kind of online co-op is ¬†short-sighted and, dare we say it, lunacy.

Go into it expecting yet another short-burst, family-friendly platformer, wrapped up in one of the most iconic and stylised blockbusters of recent years, and you won’t be disappointed.

[Rating:3.5/5]

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is on General Release now, and available on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS, and PSP .