I recently started using Chrome as the browser on my computer. It is not that different to other browsers – you can view web pages, bookmark stuff, the usual. But it also has extensions and these are kind of fun. Extensions are kind of like apps for your phone. They add extra functionality or make things easier for users. The one that my kids and I are loving is Build for Chrome. It lets you build virtual Lego online!
Mr Happy gave it a pretty thorough test run the other afternoon so I thought I’d share.
When you arrive at the website, buildwithchrome.com you have a choice of joining the Build Academy, Exploring All Builds or starting to build your creation. I suggested he start with the build academy which steps you through how to manipulate the blocks and build with them. It is all done with your mouse and various on-screen buttons, and the academy gives a great introduction that he was able to work though by himself.
He learnt how to pick up blocks and build with them – basic clicking and dragging. He also learnt how to delete blocks and tricks for viewing your constructions from different heights and angles. Each level has to be completed to go to the next level but there are cute Lego figures that encourage and make suggestions along the way. He was excited to see some characters from the upcoming Lego movie too.
Each level is a little harder and the project to construct a little trickier in some way, as you would expect to build skills. If you get in a mess you can start again and once you’ve done a level you can share on Google+ if you’re connected.
Over in the Explore section you can see things that other people have built and shared via their Google+ accounts. I was a little concerned to see full names and street addresses attached to these but I have to assume you could hide your personal details if you chose to. I didn’t connect Mr Happy to my G+ account to test it out but I will one day and give you an update.
In the meantime, enjoy building Lego without all the little bits on the floor to stand on after the kids go to bed!
Note: You can go the the Build with Chrome website in another browser. I tested in on my Safari browser and it showed me the first couple of screens. But when I tried to actually building something, it came up with a message saying that I needed Chrome. Chrome is a free download from Google – click here for the download page.