LEGO Bricktales

LEGO Bricktales

The real LEGO building simulator.

lego bricktales

There have been many LEGO games, having reviewed a fair few of them we know first hand that they’re charming, engaging and sometimes monstrously big.  What they all lack though is the actual building of LEGO models using the shiny studded pieces of plastic that we know and love… with the exception of LEGO Dimensions of course.  That excursion in to blending real and digital worlds aside, being able to freeform construct in a game is something that’s been a fantasy for a while, until Clockstone have pulled out the wonderful LEGO Bricktales.  The studio behind the Bridge Constructor series are an obvious choice to convert the tactility of real world building and make it feel faithful yet playful in the game space, and they really have delivered here.  However, it’s maybe the detailing in the dioramas that stands out above the actual build mechanics.

LEGO Bricktales follows the typical game ethos of all the others – make it simple and fun for all ages to enjoy – yet also makes it like no other LEGO game before.  Receiving a letter from your grandfather you, as the main character, head to an abandoned theme park to find out what he wants.  Eschewing the obvious horror tropes building up, you discover an interdimensional travelling companion, the ability to portal between locations, and that there’s a lot more going on in the world than you’d ever realised.  Fair play though, you take it all in your stride and head out on an adventure across several different lands, helping out various people on the way, and recovering abilities and artefacts to rebuild the fun fair.  Expect cheap gags, strange scenarios, random animals and to be building all manner of objects to complete your quest.

There’s a surprising amount that strikes you when the game starts up, mainly the pared back menus and that all the focus on screen is for the fantastic dioramas that have been created.  Your LEGO character moves around as you’d expect – a bit clunkily – and doesn’t actually seem up to much at the beginning.  However, as events progress they become capable of all sorts of exploratory feats, and will see you backtracking a fair bit to make use of them to find secrets and collectables in earlier levels.  The main draw though is the ability to build actual items that are placed in the model and are used to progress.  It starts off fairly simply with statues and bridges, but it doesn’t take long before more complex items are needed, and additional criteria are thrown in to add to the challenge.

Building is handled by standing on an icon at a specific point on the map and following the instructions on screen.  LEGO Bricktales likes to demonstrate its flexibility in several different ways, and there are different scenarios to tackle.  Early stages will see quite a lot of bridges being constructed (Clockstone not able to leave their legacy behind, eh?), or items being copied, though it doesn’t take long before physics comes into play and the structures have to withstand weight and movement.  It will also add specific criteria like objects to be used or a sequence to complete, and there are some great balancing puzzles to solve too.  Regardless of what’s needed though, the setup is always the same – there’ll be a selection of key LEGO pieces and you’re free to pick up, rotate and move so they fit together in whatever shape needed.  Tutorial sections are handled well and you’ll feel like a Masterbuilder until the training wheels come off.

With the first few puzzles feeling very guided you’d be forgiven for thinking it would be child’s play to get through the game.  Think again.  When it opens up there are some really challenging builds to tackle, and architectural puzzles to wrap your head around.  There are no hints available so heading in a wrong direction will mean having to delete and start again, though handily you’re able to save 3 different builds for each one.  Get it right early on and you can tweak to your hearts content with the remaining pieces, or just use them as decoration.  Those that like more freedom can revisit a build and use the suite of unlockable pieces to really go to town.  I can’t stress enough that this is like building with real LEGO in a digital arena.  The pieces are from the kits, the sizes and shapes are bob on, and it still manages to be satisfying when you’ve completed a model.  Building isn’t always the smoothest though with a pad and 3D camera combination proving to be a little obstructive at times.  I’d definitely recommend a mouse setup to make selections easier (which is supported on consoles).

Making LEGO Bricktales all about using the titular product as it was intended means the look and feel has to be spot on, and it is.  There’s no doubting what you’re manipulating, or that the character models are straight from the kits.  Whilst the graphics are doing the job, it’s kind of overlooking what is the most impressive part of the world, and that’s the levels themselves.  Everything looks to have been constructed from actual LEGO pieces, so there are no artistic backgrounds or digital backdrops.  You get the feel that you could snap pieces off and uncover sections hidden underneath with how tangible it all looks.  Audio is functional with no need to bring in voice acting, so it keeps everything on the ambient side, and the story is relayed via text conversation that really doesn’t take itself seriously.  It’s all genuine fun and aimed at reaching all ages, though the controls are definitely not suited for those still refining their motor skills.

LEGO Bricktales might not be the biggest game the license has ever produced, but it’s not short, and the time spent with it is more about how much effort you’re willing to make on building the models that will appear in the game and complete the dioramas.  It never fails to impress when your creation is embedded into the scene and becomes an integral part without standing out like a sore thumb.  Anyone who enjoys the toy should consider giving this a go because it’s about the best translation to gaming of the purpose of LEGO to date.  Your imagination is free to go wild, and arguably at a much cheaper cost than buying multiple real world kits.

A PS5 review copy of LEGO Bricktales was provided by Clockstone’s PR team, and the game is available now on PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Switch for around £30.

The Verdict


The Good: Beautifully created worlds | Building LEGO digitally | Charming throughout

The Bad: Slightly fiddly controls on a game pad

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Co-founder & Editor at Codec Moments

Gamer, F1 fanatic, one half of the Muddyfunkrs DJ duo (find us over on Hive Radio UK), MGS obsessed, tech geek.

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