Take augmented reality to new levels with LEGO Hidden Side

Lego HIdden Side Boxes with Hidden Side App Graveyard shown on iPad

Are you ready to travel to the Hidden Side? We were having a chat the other day at work about what we thought the “hot toy” would be this year. You know the one, everyone scrambles to buy them and parents are hunting the last week before Christmas for one? There hasnt been much chatter this year so far, but I have a bit of an idea of what’s going to be the coolest toy. Kids are looking for toys that combine types of play and parents want toys that aren’t forgotten about once they’re opened – right?

Enter the town of Newbury, a seemingly quiet town that hides a long-forgotten realm that is filled with ghosts and more! The Hidden Side heroes – Jack Davids and his new friend Parker, alongside with their new friend the brilliant scientist J.B. embark on an adventure to catch and rid Newbury of the spooky new residents!

Child holding LEGO box on fireplace hearth

Taking creative play to a new level is the brand new LEGO Hidden Side sets! If you’re anything like me, fad toys can be a bit of a headache. Kids want them for 30 seconds on Christmas morning, they’re built and played with and then subsequently left under the tree to be put away and never touched again, right? That’s our challenge.  When we were originally introduced to the Hidden Set sets, it was during a visit to Playland. LEGO had set up the life-size Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 full of all of the Hidden Side locations for families to try. The second I walked past the black curtain, I knew kiddo was hooked.

LEGO Hidden side J.B.s Ghost Lab and Graveyard Mystery boxes on bricks

There are 8 sets in total in the Hidden Side world with varying price points. The smaller sets seem to go on sale often which is a nice way to start the collection but be mindful, you won’t be able to play through the entire game without each set. Players can choose to play as Ghost (Haunt Newbury as a ghost!) or Hunter (Capture ghosts and save Newbury!). The main difference being that you can play through all the levels as the ghost without needing the sets, to play each level on the Hunter side, you need to have scanned in the corresponding Hidden Side set.

Childs hands putting together Lego pieces

LEGO provided us with the Graveyard Mystery and J.B.’s Ghost Lab for our review. J.B.’s Ghost Lab is the smaller of the two sets with only 174 pieces, it was reletively easy to put together in about 30 minutes with an incredible amount of detail for being such a small set. You can play with either the front, or the back of the lab so it served a couple playing areas from a very affordable set. Graveyard Mystery was the larger of the sets at 335 pieces, and a considerable more amount of detail.  This set includes doors that open, coffins that open and close, and a large tree that moves both it’s arms and lifts it’s eyebrows. This set took us a lot longer, about 1.5 hours altogether with the tree being the most challenging of the design to put together.

LEGO Hidden Side J.B.s Ghost Lab set up in front of box

Once your sets are built it’s time to save Newbury! When you first download the app it will run through a bit of backstory (very minimal), will remind you to play in a well-lit area and not on a patterned or reflective surface and then will give you the option to play as either Hunter, or Ghost. To touch on above, to play in Hunter mode you do have to scan in those specific sets to open the VR world. Once you’re scanned in, the app will change how you see the set itself, as well as what is in the background. It really does immerse you into the world of Hidden Side!

LEGO Hidden Side App examples

If you choose to play as a Ghost, you will be asked to create a “team” of 3 ghosts. A red, yellow and blue ghost to use to work your way through the level. As each ghost colour sees gloom differently they’ll help you to find and unlock things through the level by switching between them. In ghost play, you have 6 minutes to fully complete the level and are rewarded with gloom that you can trade-in for power-ups on the main page.

If you choose to play as the Hunter, you’ll be whisked off to a world hidden inside the newly built displays and be prepared to be in awe! With 3 adults, and 3 kids in the house when we built this, everyone was gathering around for a turn. As the Hunter, you work your way through collecting gloom with the ultimate goal of getting a ghost boss to pop out to capture. The “battery” at the top of the page as you play is actually your health meter, so keep an eye on that! As you’re shooting, your gun can also overheat so if you’re like my kid, you’ll want to upgrade that first.

LEGO Hidden Side App showing battery life and game play

There will be a few different ways to interact with the sets are you’re playing on the Hunter side. The colour wheel will play an important role in helping to find gloom spots. It is black/grey, blue, red and yellow and players will be prompted to turn it to a certain colour during gameplay. You can also be asked to open and close tombs, turn around sets, open and close doors or scan in specific characters.

LEGO hidden side app being played by child

The adults didn’t get to test out the sets much when we built them, the kids dove in and took over and were hooked right away. Since first receiving the sets, we’ve also picked up El Fuego’s Stunt Truck for under the tree at the request of a tiny LEGO loving person for Christmas, and they are circled in every toy catalogue that lands in her little hands.

A few things to note about the sets. Though intricate, they are also quite delicate. We noticed right away that moving the Graveyard Mystery set around meant we had to fix it as well. This can cause a problem down the road as you need the app to recognize the outline of each set and not having the full outline may prevent you from being able to scan in.

Take note that each set also comes with a Colour Wheel that will play an important part in the gameplay, if you can’t move your colour wheel, you’ve put something together wrong. Each set also comes with a Gloombie, or a possessed person, don’t forget to scan them to see what they unlock!

Lastly, LEGO Hidden Side sets work with most newer devices, if you aren’t sure if your device will be able to run the app make sure to visit the LEGO Device Guide for device capability before purchasing.

LEGO hidden side app being played with set shown on carpet

We hope you’ll enjoy exploring this new world as much as we did! You can purchase LEGO Hidden Side sets on Lego.ca, most major retailers including Amazon, Walmart, ToysRUs and your local toy shops.

LEGO Hidden Side Pinterest

{Thank you to LEGO for providing these sets for our review! As always, our opinions are our own. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links and I earn from qualifying purchases.}

Tara Jensen
Tara is a parenting influencer based on the West Coast. With her full time career in health care, she focuses on green living, healthy family choices and encouraging families to live a fabulously frugal lifestyle. She lives on coffee, cuddles and post-its, generally in that order. When she isn’t working, she can be found outdoors exploring beautiful British Columbia with her family.