Lego first announced its Minecraft competitor Lego Worlds last year, but has now finally confirmed the game's official release date and begun taking pre-orders. People have been able to play it for a while through Steam Early Access, and it combines the animation and gameplay of the Lego games that we love with the creativity that sandbox games (like Minecraft) offer. So, what details do we know about the upcoming Lego Worlds game? Read on and find out.

See also: Everything you need to know about LEGO Dimensions

Lego Worlds: Release date and supported platforms

Lego Worlds is coming out on 24 February 2017, and will arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC. If you don't want to wait that long there is a way to get your hands on the game right now though. 

Lego Worlds is currently available to download from Steam via Early Access for £11.99. The catch? The game, while available to play, is still in development so it’ll be missing certain features and will have its fair share of bugs – but hey, that’s the development process. It also gives players the chance to feed back to the developers to make the finished product even better than originally planned.

Lego Worlds: Price and pre-orders

Warner Bros. has announced the price of Lego Worlds, and we suspect it's going to make plenty of fans pretty happy. When the game launches in February it will sell for just £24.99, well below the typical launch price of a major game like this. 

You can also pre-order the game right now to guarantee yourself a copy. Amazon is offering pre-orders of both the PS4 and Xbox One editions of the game for £24.99.

However, you can get the game even cheaper if you want to play on PC, and you won't even have to wait to play it. The game is still available through Steam Early Access in its nearly final state, and you can buy it for just £11.99 right now - less than half the game's full price. It will even update to the full retail version when the game comes out at no additional cost, so it really makes no sense to wait until February if you want the Lego Worlds on PC.

Lego Worlds: Gameplay

So, what can you do in Lego Worlds? It’s reminiscent of Minecraft, with open world capabilities and crafting and exploring being the main focuses of the game. Crafting buildings and statues from digital Lego seems to be the next step along from playing with physical Lego – how time changes eh? Who else would’ve loved for their Lego creations to come to life? We know we would, and we’re excited to delve into this digital Lego world.

As with Minecraft, you’re able to explore all that your eye can see – and then some. There are hidden treasures hidden all over the map in environments that Lego claims “range from the fun to the fantastical”, and these can be found with friends as Lego Worlds allows users to share and play in friends’ worlds. With huge maps, Lego has decided to add interesting ways to get around that include helicopters, horses and even dragons. For those of you that are interested in going through a mountain instead of around it, that’s possible too thanks to the digger.

That variety will be another of Lego Worlds' key appeals above and beyond Minecraft. Lego claims that it ranges from "cowboys riding giraffes to vampires scaring Yetis," and that's barely scratching the surface of just how varied the gameplay and worlds can get. This will likely continue to be expanded on long into the game's life through downloadable content packs.

Read next: Best board games

As well as exploring, creation is a huge part of Lego Worlds. You can build anything you can imagine using the brick-by-brick editor, or you can opt for dragging and dropping pre-built Lego structures into your world. But what about terrain? There’s no quick way to tweak the terrain in Minecraft, but you’re supplied with terrain-editing tools in Lego Worlds to create any landscape that you could possibly imagine.

It offers something slightly different to what Minecraft offers, as some people dislike the blocky nature of the popular sandbox game. The great thing about Lego is that pretty much everyone has used Lego at some point in their lives, and it encourages creativity more than using 4x4 patterned squares.

Lego Worlds also includes multiplayer, both offline split-screen multiplayer and online multiplayer, so that you can share your creations, build together, and enjoy both competitive and cooperative multiplayer games.

See also: The best Lego sets of 2016

Lego Worlds: DLC

Lego Worlds isn't even out yet, but we already know about the game's first batch of downloadable content. Warner Bros. has announced the Lego Agents DLC pack, which will include "new characters, vehicles, weapons and more from the Agents range." We don't know when the Lego Agents DLC will be out, but we do know it's bad news for PC and Xbox One players: it will be a PS4 exclusive for the first 90 days.

Lego Worlds: Screenshots and videos

First of all, check out the game's latest trailer, which announces the official release date as well as giving a great overview of what Lego Worlds has to offer:

There's also a dedicated Lego Worlds multiplayer trailer, which does a good job of showing just how varied two different players' experiences with the game can be:

If that's not enough for you, here are some Lego Worlds screenshots: