LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is easily the best LEGO game to have been released thus far, and quite possibly the top Marvel title as well. Don’t let the kid-friendly bright bricks fool you; LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has been crafted with care by serious Marvel fans to give long-time aficionados and kids alike quite a bit to get excited about.

Developer TT Games has been burdened with the glorious purpose of remaining as faithful as possible to the iconic characters that kids (of all ages) have come to play with. Spidey swings, Hulk smashes, and Logan lashes out against baddies with all-too-familiar motions that will inevitably cause uncontrollable smiling as if you were six years old and playing on the floor of your parents’ living room again. As with previous licensed puzzle platformers under the LEGO banner, it’s the minute character nuances that make LEGO Marvel Super Heroes such an endearing experience.

After Doctor Doom blasts the Silver Surfer out of the sky, his cosmic board shatters into bricks which scatter all over the world. Doom, Loki, Magneto, Venom, and a slew of other baddies are on the hunt for the cosmic bricks to build “Doctor Doom’s Doom Ray of Doom” (presumably while singing The Doom Song). To combat an inevitable evil that will be wrought upon the planet, Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. calls upon the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and other heroes to play their part. Not including present and future DLC, players will be able to unlock and control an astonishing 155 characters.

Though there is a linear storyline to follow, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes really shines while exploring its sandbox hub modeled after the island of Manhattan. Players can fly from the top of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-carrier to any point on the map from Stark Tower to Central Park, and the city itself is buzzing with activity and plenty of quests to complete. Certain buildings and their levels within can only be unlocked after performing various tasks in-game for gold bricks, adding even more replay value.

Creative players with a bit of time on their hands also have the ability to design their very own mini-figs to play with in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. There are multiple rooms aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-carrier, in one of which they can customize the look and powers of a hero (or villain) to roam the streets of New York or any of the game’s levels. If your favorite hero is not among those that have been included in the game, this is an easy way to make that hero dream team happen.

Despite all those factors, the game is not without its flaws. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has a huge roster of playable characters, but many of them are simple re-skinnings of other mini-figs (henchmen are henchmen, no matter who they blindly follow). Another glaring but understandable drawback is the lack of online multiplayer. Though that level of connectivity is commonplace in many if not most videogames nowadays, keeping LEGO Marvel Super Heroes offline is a great way to protecting children from the dangers of the internet. Sure they can still be on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones the entire time they’re playing while chatting online through their consoles, but at least parents can be sure this game itself is a relatively wholesome adventure kids can enjoy safely.

If you’re a fan of any members of Marvel’s impressive roster, this is one of the few opportunities you’ll have to interact with all of them in one intertwining universe without road blocks set in by legal contracts. Sure games like Marvel Heroes and the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series has given gamers the chance to make their favorite hero dream teams in the past, but none have been as easily accessible and outright fun as this.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is out now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, DS, 3DS, PS Vita, and Wii U, and will be launched on November 15th for the PlayStation 4 and November 22nd for Xbox One.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Launch Trailer