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Lego launches Minecraft rival Lego Worlds on Steam Early Access

Blockbuster available today, £11.99.

Surprise! Lego has launched its own sandbox-style Minecraft rival, named Lego Worlds.

One major point of difference is the ability to carve out and manipulate large chunks of landscape at once.

It's available now to download via Steam Early Access, priced £11.99.

Lego Worlds is being developed by the standard Lego video game developer TT Games, and is currently only single-player experience.

But that is all set to change as development continues. Online multiplayer will be added in the coming months, alongside Minecraft-sounding features such as "procedurally-generated underground cave networks", biomes, AI creatures, online and underwater gameplay. Sounds familiar.

Elements from the main Lego games will also be included, such as Red Brick cheats and customisable characters.

Features in the game as it stands today include procedurally-generated worlds, "discoveries and unlocks", ridable creatures and vehicles plus a day/night cycle.

The main differences from Minecraft appear to be a focus on creativity rather than survival, and the ability to change vast chunks of the terrain at will.

"Lego Worlds will be a fully open-world, creativity-driven game so we want to ensure that we provide it with the utmost care and attention as we expand on our ideas," the game's Steam page states.

"So much of this game will be about building and sharing and by sharing our plans with the community, we hope to incorporate their feedback and build an experience together that fans of LEGO and this genre of video games can enjoy."

"The current plan for LEGO Worlds is to be in Early Access through 2015 at which point we hope to have our full list of features in place. We'll evaluate a release candidate in early 2016, but we won't consider the game complete and ready for release until we believe our community feels we have delivered a great game."

"We'll be actively monitoring the Community Hub here on Steam and look forward to feedback and suggestions for the game," Lego's statement concluded. "We'll also be offering people a chance to experience the development of a Lego title for the first time, and several members of the team will be providing some interesting dev diaries over the coming months."

This isn't the first we've heard of the game - an advert for it appeared last week in an actual Lego set, although publisher Warner Bros. declined to comment on it at the time.

And just this morning, a developer from Lego's previous creativity-fuelled - Lego Universe - explained how the company had been struggling with the concept for some time but had been held back by needing a *ahem* "dong detection" software.

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