Once you get into it and play for a few hours it does get entertaining, however. This is still a very long game and younger gamers (especially those who haven't played the Wii U game, or any similar open-world titles) will easily spend many hours playing through it and hoovering up mountains of studs. The mechanics retain an Undercover vibe and TT Fusion has done a decent job of making the game feel like you're playing a handheld version of that title, rather than a completely different type of game with Chase McCain slapped onto it.
That said, you never shake the feeling that you're playing a poorer version of Undercover. There's too much combat (which was fun on the Wii U, but is repetitive and dull here) and you feel more like you're being shunted around different locations on the map rather than being allowed to explore the open world of LEGO City (there are far fewer secrets hidden away to be found).
Fair play to TT Fusion for cramming almost all of LEGO City's open world onto the 3DS, but so many compromises have been made that we wonder if it was worth it and whether a series of more linear missions similar to the other LEGO games would have been a better fit for Chase McCain's handheld adventure. A shame.