Lego Bricktales is the closest experience you’ll get to the spirit of Lego without physically playing with it, experiencing a VR simulation, going to Legoland, or involuntarily embedding a 4×4 piece into your Hobbit feet after the kids had a playdate.
The Lego franchise of Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and LOTR were ace, and some of the only games, along with PixelJunk Monsters, that my wife would actively play and enjoy. This game from ClockStone and Thunderful isn’t for her. It’s not solely for die-hard Lego fans either, but if you’re the type of person who throws away the manual and does their own thing, you’ll love this.
I wasn’t entirely sure want to expect with Lego Bricktales. Perhaps an open world similar to Lego Worlds (only good), though not a game that requires so much problem-solving. There’s a clue with the developers responsible for the game: they made Bridge Constructor. This is a Lego version of that; only there’s a little bit of a story in here too, plus collectables and customisation.
Lego Bricktales Review
It’s not far off from a generic simulator. You have to help your grandpa… <yawn>. Fortunately, he’s very much alive, and you aren’t inheriting his business but salvaging it. He’s a genius scientist, and while he gets you running around after him through portals (assisted by A.I. Rusty) completing numerous objectives to improve his side business – an amusement park (still with me?), he’s far nicer to his grandkid than Rick Sanchez.
With Rusty, you’ll explore some biomes, complete physics-based tasks, or Master Builder activities using Lego blocks. Duh. These sections should be straightforward, but if you’re an overthinker like me, you can spend a heap of time building a simple bridge that constantly fails. It needn’t be perfect and symmetrical, but through a simulation, you can strength-test your build and ensure they meet the requirements. The physics-based puzzles really play into the developer’s experience with Bridge Constructor.
Lego Bricktales looks excellent on the PS5, but I did have reservations about how the DualSense would play out. It’s pretty intuitive with the usual camera controls mapped to the analogue sticks, shoulder buttons for zoom and more. You may manipulate the camera more than you like because placing the blocks can be troublesome. Fortunately, there’s an undo button, and nothing is permanent. Another bonus in the builder modes is the layer-like function where you can press up and down on the d-pad to raise a piece up and down, even some precision techniques for block positioning.
As you might surmise, the story isn’t that great, and I did find myself cringing a couple of times with the dialogue. It’s not bad, but at times it was in the way. That’s the nature of the beast, as this is perfect family-friendly entertainment where such a diverse group can play together (as a one-player). Though it will appeal to younger players, and the difficulty is mostly fair, some physics-based puzzles might be a bit too much, so it’s worth handing them the controls for the contained exploration bits. Alternatively, they can have a go in the wardrobe.
No, don’t throw them in there, but get them customising the character through the vast selection of Minifigure clothing, faces and accessories. There’s a decent selection from the start, but you can unlock more options through progression, and the dedicated currency of the biome you’re in – i.e., bananas in the Jungle biome will secure you a sweet aviator garb. Customistion’s always a winner, and here’s it’s a nice bonus, but nothing detailed. It’s Lego, after all.
Overall, Lego Bricktales was a pleasant surprise. I did expect something a bit more creative and perhaps a breeze in terms of gameplay. It’s certainly not a tough game, but it’s easy to overcomplicate your designs and make them hard unnecessarily. At least you can go back and personalise a build once you’ve completed the objective. Consider it another customisation option, though this one is for the structures you create.
Different to the Lego movie-based games and Lego Worlds, and while I love the former, Lego Bricktales is an excellent addition for creative types who want to be tested, but in a chill environment. No, you haven’t signed up as a test subject, but you do have the opportunity to get yourself some Lego without fear of treading on any.