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LEGO Bricktales Review


As someone who finds actual LEGO quite fiddly to build with, LEGO Bricktales certainly has potential to be a viable solution to others like me that prefer not to get hands-on, but wish to unleash their creativity.

Forget your Marvel Super Heroes, DC Super-Villains, and the rest of the other big IPs, for it’s time for the LEGO series to go back to basics. Much like the recent LEGO Builder’s Journey, brick-building is front and centre in LEGO Bricktales – albeit on a larger scale. Does it have the necessary foundations to deliver a quality construction-based puzzler, or is LEGO Bricktales a few bricks short of being a solid offering?

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Naturally, LEGO Bricktales strips back a lot of the blockbuster action many expect from a LEGO game, but there’s still a story in place here to guide you on the forthcoming puzzling adventure. Basically, you’ll play as a character whose grandpa is a bit of an eccentric inventor and owner of a run-down amusement park. One day he summons you to lend a hand with returning the place to its former, which eventually leads to teaming up alongside a robot companion named Rusty. In order to transform the park, you must use a special device to travel to different locations to harvest happiness crystals.

So, the main narrative isn’t overly enthralling to be honest and that’s mostly down to the purely text-based dialogue. It’s tough to become attached to the main characters, however there are at least a fair few supporting characters that still manage to inject the classically silly LEGO humour into proceedings. The storytelling being average isn’t a major problem though, because it’s always going to play second fiddle to the building.

There are five biomes to visit: Jungle, Desert, City, Medieval and Caribbean. Each one has you roaming around solving problems for the local inhabitants as well as others in distress. Satisfying everybody’s needs within a particular location is the aim and in return for your services, a happiness crystal is awarded. The skills required to complete these objectives involve building and a sprinkle of creativity.

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Upon facing a problem, you’ll be able to switch into build mode, which is a blank canvas of sorts with a selection of different LEGO pieces at your disposal. Picking up pieces and placing them in the designated area is very easy to grasp, while shifting the individual pieces vertically is performed efficiently thanks to a button that lets you manoeuvre precisely. Moving horizontally however, now that’s the complete opposite; a finicky activity capable of causing major frustration. It’s something that could have been easily avoidable too, simply by the inclusion of a similar precision modifier to the aforementioned one.

Nevertheless, the puzzles are fantastically varied and creative enough to see any anger dissipate in no time. If someone is stranded up high, it’s left to you to work with a limited amount of bricks and create safe passage. Once you’re relatively happy with the design, you can simulate whether the build is fit for purpose, or a health and safety hazard, before finalising the plan. You won’t just be constructing the likes of bridges and staircases either, as contraptions soon become a little more complicated.

Imagine having the responsibility to design a zipline that’s safe to use, or a gyrocopter fit for flight, and well, it’s a reality here. Factoring in the balance of such contraptions is super important, otherwise a failed attempt is a given. It also incorporates complex parts, curved pieces and various connectors to add an extra level of difficulty. Some of the most enjoyable builds, especially when the creative juices are low, are the simplest ones involving copying a structure already erected. There’s even a clever puzzle in the desert where you have to set out items on a stall in a particular order according to the clues given.

Actually seeing your builds displayed seamlessly inside these colourful and well-designed themed biomes provides a special feeling that’s hard to replicate. Even though the majority of them are atrocious bodge jobs, I can still point at the screen and be proud to declare that they are my creations. And if you’re a perfectionist, the sandbox option is available for each build immediately after succeeding. Thus it allows the possibility to make improvements using a bigger selection of bricks, in various colours.

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Outside of the building aspect, there are a number of side tasks to perform, which includes finding treasure chests and collecting animals. Hunting for treasure chests is a must if you wish to garner currencies to spend on customisation. In order to gather everything from each biome however, you must overcome obstacles that require the possession of special abilities. These are bestowed upon you through general progression, enabling you to smash items, use Rusty for a point-to-point traversal, and more. Engaging in the collectible style activities and mopping up each area is part of the fun for sure.

Ultimately, LEGO Bricktales is a puzzling delight that enables your imagination to thrive as you solve a myriad of interesting problems. The variety of builds required is excellent and it’s rather fulfilling to see your constructions as you’re wandering through the themed areas. It feels as though the difficulty is balanced well enough to suit LEGO addicts as well as newcomers. For all its innovation though, there are some sticking points in the controls department and that is slightly off-putting. The story is neither here nor there either.

I don’t want to build it up too much, but LEGO Bricktales is an ideal buy for creative folk and puzzle fanatics alike. 

LEGO Bricktales is on the Xbox Store

James Birks
James Birks
Been gaming casually since the SNES as a youngster but found my true passion for games on the Playstation 1 (the forbidden word ooo). My addiction grew to its pinnacle with the purchase of an Xbox 360 & Xbox Live Service. A recovering GS hunter that will still play literally any game.
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