Growing up, I loved my LEGO sets. In fact, I still do love LEGO. Any time I visit Target or Barnes & Noble I can get caught up in the LEGO section for a good, long while. If they weren’t so expensive today I would own so many sets, but I had to draw the line somewhere. A few years ago, I created “a”The LEGO Rule” where I may only have one “unbuilt” LEGO set in my possession at a time. Once I build that one, I can start looking for my next set of bricks.
In the gaming world, LEGO and TT Games have had the chance to work with some of the biggest properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) and retell these stories we all love adding some silliness. We’ve even seen some LEGO original properties become their own big games. Most of these games have followed that same TT Games format.
LEGO Bricktales: A Brand New Story
This past week, I had the chance to start playing the new LEGO Bricktales from ClockStone Studio and Thunderful Games. It’s a little different from previous LEGO games in an amazing way. First off, it’s the first game where you get to show off your skills as a “Master Builder.” You actually get to solve problems by building LEGO solutions, brick by brick.
LEGO Bricktales is a unique puzzle-adventure game, where you get to play as your very own, custom-designed mini figure. Your ultimate goal is to help your grandfather reinvent his old, rundown amusement park with the help of your robot test buddy. The levels are arranged throughout five different biomes as a collection of little LEGO dioramas.
In just a few hours, I’ve built many staircases, bridges, and even a small flying machine to help me explore this world. The building started off quite easy, but continues to become more complicated as you progress. Upon completion of a build you unlock Sandbox Mode, opening up a huge selection of bricks to improve on your build.
LEGO + TT: Those That Came Before
In previous LEGO/TT Games, the LEGO building process was overlooked. You would basically stand over a pile of loose bricks, and hold down one button to quickly turn that pile of junk into a useful object. It worked though, because those games were more about the story, exploration, and collecting. They were more about what happens to the LEGO set after you build it.
I remember playing LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my nephew and thinking, It’s kind of silly that we don’t actually get to build any LEGOs in these games. I guess in my old age, the fun part of a LEGO set today is building. Today, my LEGO sets are not played with, they are instead displayed, like a trophy.
Seeing The LEGO Group allow other game studios to create new experiences for gamers has me excited for future LEGO games. A few years ago, LEGO Builder’s Journey was released, which was more of a simple puzzle solving game from Light Brick Studio. I spent a few hours solving those LEGO puzzles on my iPhone on Apple Arcade.
LEGO Bricktales: Your Way
LEGO Bricktales brings together puzzle solving, exploration, and LEGO building all with fun, LEGO-style storytelling. I will say that after playing the game on console (PlayStation 5), I can see how the process of building may be a bit simpler with a mouse on PC. However, it still works great on console, especially once I finally memorized the main controls.
What’s great is that the puzzles don’t require one specific build to succeed. Instead there are a few tests in place, which allow players to build each object their own way, using the supplied LEGO bricks. Whether you want to build a sophisticated suspension bridge or a wonky staircase that’s ok, as long as it passes the robot test simulation.
In a short time I had the chance to meet some fun LEGO characters in LEGO Bricktales. The writing features the same type of humor as other LEGO entertainment. The writer(s) have included some clever puns into the dialogue.
Share the Wealth
Like I said before, I think it’s great to see new LEGO experiences coming from different developers. There was a time where a single studio/publisher would acquire the exclusive rights to make games for a big IP (intellectual property). This practice led to seeing one big game every few years — usually within the same genre.
Today, we have seen an increase in big properties (Marvel, Star Wars, League of Legends, even Mario) loaning out some of their most popular characters to different studios. This is a much better opportunity to give more fans something that they want. While I wasn’t a big fan of the recent Marvel’s Avengers (Crystal Dynamics), I did enjoy Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos-Montréal) and Marvel’s Spider-Man games (Insomniac).
Another positive outcome is having gamers try out new genres which they may have initially had no interest in. I have now tried out a few games I was unsure about just to play as my favorite characters. This is what happened with Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and what will likely happen when Marvel’s Midnight Suns comes out. I always found turn-based battle games to be too slow or confusing for me, until I finally gave Mario + Rabbids a try, and now I’m counting down the days until the sequel arrives on Nintendo Switch.
Why am I talking about Mario, Marvel, Star Wars, and all of these other games in my LEGO Bricktales post? I would love to see LEGO continue this trend of letting new studios try out new ideas with the LEGO franchise. Let’s see how creative they can be with LEGO building in games. I’m also excited to see what stories come out of TT Games.
I will continue my LEGO Bricktales journey, and seeing more of this world. Even though I do get a bit overwhelmed when I have a blank slate, some bricks, and zero instructions to create something, it is still a wonderful time.
LEGO Bricktales is out now on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox & PlayStation consoles.
The imagery used in this article is a mix of my in-game screenshots and photos provided by the publisher.
myVGBC.com was provided a review code for LEGO Bricktales by the publisher.