The 3-1 Creator set #31053 – “Treehouse Adventures” is a really fun set that I think LEGO fans will really enjoy building, even outside the target age range of 7-12. There is a good mix of “standard” building, with just enough intro to advanced techniques to hold the interest of more experienced builders.

For my review, I focused on the main model, which is a treehouse that connects to another elevated platform via a bridge. It can also be hinged shut to form a single large platform.
The instructions were pretty easy to follow, as you’d expect for a set in the 7-12 range. The only difficulty that I encountered was that the colors in the instructions can be a little tricky to figure out at first. More than once, I found myself looking for a black element, when really I wanted a dark gray or dark brown one. After a few minutes though, you become accustomed to the color palette and are off and running!

The build is pretty straight-forward, and there are not a lot of unique pieces, as is typical for Creator sets, but the parts you get are all very useful and this is a great parts-pack, in addition to the treehouse as a nice stand-alone set. The standout parts for me were the plethora of 1x2 bricks with studs on the side, the 2x2 dark green tiles, and the 1x1 round “cookie” tiles, of which there are two. Yummy!

There is some basic SNOT technique used in this build, on the sides of both trees and on the front face of the “secondary” tree. I think that novice builders will be able to learn some useful relationships between vertical “stacked brick heights” and plate lengths from this build, discovering the proper distance needed between SNOT studs in order to allow a plate or brick to connect between the two.

There’s also some basic Technic elements to the set, as you need to build a lever that allows the bridge to go up and down, which allows you to convert between a bridge in one configuration into a ladder when the build is rotated about the hinge point. The mechanism is simple but fun, and serves as a good introduction to non-System parts. I think that if the bridge could be collapsed when the two halves of the build are arranged in the primary configuration, that it would be an additional way to enjoy the play feature (alas, it only collapses in the secondary configuration), but as-is I think that it still adds a lot to the set in terms of playability. 
Additionally, the set features a secret compartment in the trunk of one of the trees, and the face of the treehouse hinges open for access to the interior. The inside of the treehouse has a nicely designed chair, and a small table where the treasure map and cookies are kept (one can’t hunt for treasure without the proper provisions, after all).
Of course, I’d be remiss to not mention the other two models that instructions are provided for, this being a “3-in-1” Creator set. 

While I didn’t build the alternate models, they both look like terrific builds. One of them features an observatory tower, and the other has a secret compartment, similar to the one in the primary build. I think that between the three builds, the builder will easily find inspiration to strike off on their own to build a unique fort of their own design, and inspiring creativity and sparking the imagination is probably the best feature that any set can offer.

In conclusion, the “Treehouse Adventures” set is a standout among the Creator line, and I highly recommend adding it to your collection.