Lego is a brand that has a loyal and headstrong following. No matter the theme or genre, it never disappoints. Consequently, every game is a hit and I always look forward to giving them a good go. However, when I saw Lego Bricktales advertised, I wasn’t so sure. Instead of the usual big-named themes, this goes a little off-tangent. As such, its original plot may underwhelm gamers.
Developed by ClockStone Studio and published by Thunderful Publishing AB, this is an amusing adventure title. What’s more, it blends an original story with classic block-building mechanics. Accordingly, it wonderfully crosses the divide between gaming and creative play. Thankfully, it also retains the hilarious one-liners and whimsical charm we’ve all come to expect. Subsequently, this slow burner is likely to grow on you the further you progress.
Lego Bricktales is a family affair.
Many of us would agree that family comes first. Therefore, the key elements of the plot will resonate with most people. You control the grandson of an eccentric inventor. This whacky genius has bitten off more than he can chew, and requires your help. However, this is easier said than done. Fortunately, an accident somehow opens up a rift in time and space, and the professor’s handy robot Rusty appears out of nowhere. This ultra-intelligent being has been upgraded by aliens and must now use his special powers to aid you on your adventure. In order to save the day, you must find happiness crystals from each of the 5 worlds. If you do this, you’ll rebuild the rundown fairground, and you’ll become a hero.
So, the story is a bit out there, but its zany ways are fun, nonetheless. During your journey, you’ll encounter an array of amusing characters, as well as unlocking new abilities. On top of this, you’ll search for secret chests, find an array of animals, and complete missions to progress the story. Furthermore, there are puzzles to complete, loads of building work to tackle, and items to buy in each of the shops. The adventure takes you across sweltering deserts, a medieval world, a bustling city, and more. In each environment, you must interact with the locals and assist them in any way you can.
Small zones, but plenty to do.
Each small zone was jam-packed with things to do. Moreover, like other Lego titles, there are skills and abilities that are progress-based. As such, there is plenty of back and forth if you wish to find every collectable. However, the core element of the gameplay focuses on the building mechanics. You are asked to repair bridges, make steps, construct vehicles, and much more. Alongside this, you are given creative freedom with a sandbox mode. Accordingly, this should be an incredible and moreish experience. However, it can be extremely frustrating.
Because of the lacklustre and tough-to-manage controls, Lego Bricktales is infuriating. What’s more, the solution to each puzzle isn’t always obvious. Therefore, there is a lot of trial and error, and many mistakes because of the terrible controls. Disappointingly, this is compounded further by the camera angles. Yes, you are free to adjust it how you wish, but this rarely made a difference. Instead, you desperately tweak your viewpoint only to be left gritting your teeth with frustration.
The Lego games are normally extremely user-friendly. Moreover, they are designed with younger gamers in mind. However, Lego Bricktales goes against this normal approach. Consequently, this was too hard for my children to play, and I found much of the action to be tough to handle. Understandably, this led to disappointment. This was especially true, as I expected it to be a fun and straightforward game. Instead, you’ll sigh whenever you see a building task.
What was great, however, were the interactions with the NPCs. In normal Lego style, you’ll be left chuckling because of the immature humour. Yet, sadly, this isn’t enough and much of the action feels a bit of a drag. This was unfortunate, as there is plenty of potential, but most of it feels poorly executed and underworked.
Lego Bricktales is fun and colourful to look at.
Like many of its predecessors, Lego Bricktales has a fun art style. With vivid colours, interesting backdrops, and whacky NPCs, it is great to look at. However, I found the lack of a free-flowing camera to be an irritant. Annoyingly, the fixed camera made adventuring tough, and this prevented you from fully exploring your surroundings. Matters were made worse by the appalling building viewpoint. Though you could freely move the camera and zoom in and out, it never really worked. As such, building elaborate structures and elegant architecture was the last thing on my mind.
Lego Bricktales successfully delivered a high-energy and enjoyable soundtrack. Each zone has a unique vibe that is supported by a range of tunes. Alongside this, the sound effects will make you smile and chuckle. If I were to improve the audio, I’d add soundbites to bring the characters to life. Other than this, the developers have done an amazing job.
Oh, those darn controls.
As you enjoy the adventure elements, the controls are spot on. Sadly, though, this can’t be said during the fiddly building moments. The clinical nature of each task demands accuracy. Yet, this is hard to achieve because of how each brick is carried. Subsequently, creating any complex structure is a no, no, and that is so annoying.
In theory, Lego Bricktales has plenty of longevity and replay value. Yet, instead, you’ll easily tire of what you experience. With so much back and forth and poor building mechanics, it quickly becomes tiresome.
Lego Bricktales should have been amazing.
I really wanted Lego Bricktales to be exceptional. However, its poor execution and woeful controls undermine its potential. Yes, there are some hilarious moments, but there aren’t enough to paper over the cracks. Accordingly, I can’t recommend that you buy it. But you can find more information here! Can you overcome the poor controls and complete your adventure? Find the happiness crystals and save the day.