If you haven't heard about LEGO Worlds, don't worry - you will. It's only a matter of time before it's all your kid talks about.
Yesterday, LEGO officially announced and released a beta version of a brand new Minecraft-esque game, called LEGO Worlds. It's an open digital universe made entirely of LEGO bricks. Players can create anything one brick at a time, or use tools to create vast landscapes that also include characters and creatures.
(I guess the years of multi-billion dollar Minecraft being described as "virtual LEGOS" began to wear on them. Or as LEGO's marketing director admitted "Minecraft is digital Lego. We only wish we had invented it.")
Its features are still limited, and there are definitely bugs, but that's what the early bird gets, right?
Lego Worlds is built by TT Games, the company which also creates LEGO's super successful console games.
Of course, LEGO Worlds isn't a substitute for bringing home a box of colorful plastic bricks from the toy store, but at least you can't step on them.
One thing LEGO Worlds has vs Minecraft is the ability to build real life play sets within the game. Think of it as getting a digital download when you buy a physical album.
Currently there's a limited selection of physical sets that kids can bring into the game, but the selection promises to fill out over time. Perhaps every set of future LEGOs will also have an in-game digital equivalent.
The current version of the game does not yet have multi-player support, allow for sharing your creations with friends, or give players the ability to drop in on someone else's creation. Given Lego's dedication to keeping play safe for kids, those features will likely be a huge undertaking.
I'd rather get my eyeballs shaved than sit through an hour of Minecraft. But I'm sort of excited about LEGO Worlds because, full disclosure: In the past, I've fired up the Wii to engage in some Lego Pirates of the Caribbean after my son had gone to bed.