Whilst the LEGO series of games have brought plenty of fun escapades across a wide array of popular franchises, they’ve never fully embraced what LEGO is really all about: building. LEGO Bricktales looks to change that, with the puzzling-adventure putting the creative art of building at the forefront as players journey through a variety of charming locales whilst putting their building expertise to the test. It’s super fun, very creative, and sure to spark the imagination of players of all ages.
Check out some screenshots down below:
LEGO Bricktales sees players working with their grandfather to help revive a rundown amusement park, with the mayor threatening to shut it down for good if the work isn’t done pronto. Luckily, your grandfather just so happens to be a genius inventor who has put together a device that allows you to teleport between an array of fantastical locations. Your mission? To explore them all and gather the special happiness crystals required to progress through the adventure. It’s not the deepest of narratives you’ll see in a video game, but it adds a fun and quirky twist to all of the puzzling.
Each of the different environments you explore are packed with charming little details, whilst the fact that they’re built entirely out of LEGO bricks makes them feel especially impressive. LEGO offers plenty of potential for creativity, and believe me, LEGO Bricktales goes all out in this regard. With the likes of an exotic jungle, a perilous medieval period, and the pirate-filled Caribbean to explore, there’s plenty of marvellous sights to be seen on your journey. And hey, I’ll ALWAYS love a diorama-style world…
You’ll spend your time carefully exploring these locales, uncovering their secrets, and helping out their inhabitants in a variety of ways – doing so rewards you with happiness crystals, so it’s the most important aspect of the game. Of course, there are puzzles tied to every element of the game’s design, with some revolving around performing actions within the environment and others around building a specific object. Whilst the traditional puzzles of the game will feel familiar to anyone who has played a platforming-puzzler before, the building-based puzzles feel more unique and embrace the world of LEGO in an enjoyable and intuitive manner.
“There’s a cool difficulty curve in place that challenges players to build objects of a more intricate and larger scale as they progress, but it’s never overwhelming; in fact, they’re the best builds in the game, especially when you unlock the Sandbox mode that offers a wider range of bricks and colours to use.”
Building takes players to the build menu where they’re given a set space and a variety of LEGO pieces to work with. Whilst there are set prerequisites in place when building, players are given plenty of free rein to unleash their creativity. Sure, sometimes you might have to re-create a specific object whilst other times an objective might have an obvious design, but there are plenty of instances in the game where you’ve got the freedom to design an object how you please.
That doesn’t mean it’ll always be a success though, which is something I learnt on a regular basis when some of my creations weren’t structurally sound. It’s all part of the fun though, and finally nailing your design so that it fits the criteria (and actually works) is always rewarding in-game. It sparked plenty of memories of playing with LEGO in my younger years, with the nostalgic factor of LEGO Bricktales sure to bring smiles to the faces of players.
That being said, it should be noted that the controls and camera when building can be a little fiddly at times. The LEGO pieces snap in place when using them and they’re not always wholly accurate in their placement, which could lead to a few frustrating moments when you try to line things up perfectly. It’ll take a little bit of tinkering with to figure out fully, but even a few hours in, I still found myself caught out by the controls here and there. It’s not a game-breaking issue by any means (and some mistakes were of my own doing), but there will definitely be moments where the building mechanics will cause some annoyances.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Players also have a robot companion named Rusty join them on the adventure, which helps you get to some of those hard-to-reach areas thanks to the abilities it unlocks. See something that’s seemingly out of reach in an earlier level? You’ll have to wait until Rusty gets an upgrade to grab it. Whilst some of these abilities are tied to simply progressing through a level, they’re also used to find collectibles or earn currency to purchase cosmetic items, so completionists will definitely want to re-visit earlier levels if they want to find everything. It’s a neat little concept that helps ensure exploration throughout the game never feels too linear.
I just found myself fully invested in LEGO Bricktales, with the charming adventure offering the perfect balance of exploration and puzzle-solving. There’s a cool difficulty curve in place that challenges players to build objects of a more intricate and larger scale as they progress, but it’s never overwhelming; in fact, they’re the best builds in the game, especially when you unlock the Sandbox mode that offers a wider range of bricks and colours to use. I even found myself re-visiting old designs to make them more fanciful later in the game, with LEGO Bricktales offering a world that’s easy to invest in. It is made up of your own designs, after all, so why wouldn’t you want to give it your own personal twist? It’s really, really fun.
LEGO Bricktales Review
LEGO Bricktales is simply wonderful, with its mixture of exploration, puzzle-solving, and LEGO-based building making for an excellent experience. I loved being able to show off my creativity throughout its cleverly designed puzzles, whilst the vibrant LEGO worlds you explore are simply oozing with charm. It’s just a very feel-good game that’ll put a big smile on the faces of those who remember spending hours upon hours playing with LEGO in their younger years (or as adults – there’s a Batmobile I’ve had my eye on for a long time).
The controls can be a little iffy in places, but they don’t stop LEGO Bricktales from being the best puzzling-adventure that I’ve played for some time.
Developer: ClockStone Studio
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch