Growing up with three younger brothers meant that my family had a large LEGO collection but for many years this assortment of tiny, colored bricks lay scattered in the “boys’ room” and covered nearly every inch of the floor. It was a nightmare trying to navigate through those dangerous little bricks that would have us yelping in pain any time we stepped on one.
I’ll admit that as my brothers matured, becoming better at building LEGO constructions and actually organizing their bricks rather than leaving them on the floor, I was impressed with many of the creations they displayed. This also calmed the neat freak in me. I’m not opposed to LEGO by any means, I’m just not a fan of the mess, which is why I was interested in trying out the new LEGO® Bricktales.
This beautiful puzzle adventure is developed by the same team that created the Bridge Constructorseries, taking you on a journey across five LEGO-themed biomes to help your grandfather rebuild a rundown amusement park with the help of a hovering robot named Rusty. Think Rick and Morty (or for all your old-school folks, Back to the Future) meets LEGO as you travel via portals, meet and/or rescue other characters, discover collectibles, and use your imagination to build simple, creative, erratic, or attractive creations in this LEGO world.
When it comes to building LEGO creations, I’m all about following instructions and not taking liberties in my builds, so LEGO® Bricktales was a bit intimidating for me when I realized I couldn’t rely on my handy dandy user manual. But for LEGO fans of any age who have experience creating things from their imagination, this is a game that allows you to let that imagination run free without worrying about a mess.
The story within LEGO® Bricktales is simple, but in order to progress you need to complete each challenge, whether it’s building a bridge or a working vehicle. Each build serves a purpose and the bricks needed to build each object are laid out and organized neatly so that it’s easy to decide which brick will be the most effective. There were times when I found myself only needing half the bricks provided and other times I found myself almost getting stumped trying to figure out the best method for creating something sturdy and functional. Thankfully, there’s a simulator to test each build to ensure that everything is in working order…although it’s fun to fool around and watch the test robot in the simulator fall to the floor when the build isn’t ready. What can I say, I’m a child at heart.
While the building aspect is pretty straightforward and includes an interactive tutorial as you learn about how to move and adjust bricks, the controls feel a little clunky at times and it drove me nuts. This game is mostly relaxing except for the times when the controls don’t cooperate and you’re left struggling to join two bricks together while also adjusting the camera to get a better angle for more complex builds. If the developers can work out these kinks, this game will be stellar.
I appreciate that LEGO® Bricktales is a sort of choose-your-own-adventure game when it comes to building since there isn’t one right path for constructions. Some of my constructions were ugly, asymmetrical messes but they got the job done and were sturdy enough to transport my character.
Whether you build sophisticated designs, aesthetic creations, or simply go for functionality, there is something for everyone in LEGO® Bricktales. Overall, it’s relaxing mixed with a bit of ASMR and the quality of the graphics is excellent, almost making me feel like I am looking at real LEGO bricks and not computer-generated ones. LEGO® Bricktales is available on Steam, right on time for your holiday shopping! I know I still have some Christmas gifts to buy so I might be adding Steam gift cards to the list this year.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Plot / Writing - 8/10
Designs / Visuals - 10/10
Realistic, sandbox-style LEGO builder
Challenging puzzles mixed with a fun adventure story
Build controls need improvement so they are more functional
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