Of the numerous Lego videogames that have come and gone over the years, few are as revered as Lego Island. Released in 1997 for Windows PCs, it’s pretty much a collection of minigames strung together by a small open world and loads of entertaining interludes with a cast of goofball characters. The series has been dormant for decades, but a fan project aims to bring new life to a childhood classic.
“Project Island is a fan-made sequel based off the Lego Island series”, as the devs explain on their website. You’ll once again be playing as pizza delivery kid Pepper Roni, taking on the island’s tasks as you please, unlocking new gear and a load of customisation options as you go.
Project Island was first announced in 2017, for Lego Island’s 20th anniversary, and as you might expect for a passion project built in its developers’ spare time, progress has been fairly slow. For now, the team’s goal is to develop a demo called Port Pizza, set on a smaller island with more limited scope.
The team has been providing infrequent-but-consistent update videos showcasing their progress, the latest of which launched just a few weeks ago.
The term ‘fan game’ always brings to mind the phrase ‘cease and desist’, but Lego has been friendlier than most corporate entities toward projects like these. Lego has issued statements regarding other fan projects like Bionicle: Quest for Mata Nui and Darkflame Universe, saying “We see game development as an exciting opportunity to add new way to engage with the Lego brick.”
More recently, Lego has launched a Unity tool to help aspiring devs make games, and has even expressed interest in officially publishing the resulting creations.
Project Island lead Floris has even appeared on a recent episode of the official Bits N’ Bricks podcast to discuss the game’s development, and while that’s certainly not an endorsement from Lego, it does indicate that the company is pleased to see fans working in this space.
For now, the Project Island team is looking for additional team members to help bring the game to life. So if you’ve got the skills for building games (and like building games), give the project a look.