LifeisXbox’s LEGO Bricktales review | The story begins with you receiving a letter from your grandfather, asking for your help with a great discovery he just made. Once you get there an accident occurs, which is when you’ll start helping around. Once you help with the accident, you’ll have to start going to different “dimensions” through a portal to get happiness crystals that are used to fix your grandpa’s amusement park that’s on top of his lab. ClockStone Studio is the developer of the game, and Thunderful Publishing AB is its publisher.
Most Memorable Moment
The whole game was a pleasant experience, apart from some issues you’ll see in this review, but the entire building aspect made it unique, as you have to build everything brick-by-brick, leaving room for some challenging puzzles and your creativity on how to solve them.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Useful tutorial | Some games struggle with teaching the player how to play them, sometimes a tutorial isn’t even present, like in Strategic Mind: The Pacific, which Alexis did a short review of recently. Thankfully, LEGO Bricktales has a pretty straightforward tutorial that manages to teach everything you need to learn to play it. All the intricacies of the building gameplay, which you’ll be doing quite frequently, are taught, and some of the tutorials are even optional, in case you don’t want to do them.
- “Dimensions” | Not counting the starting one, there are 5 “dimensions” you will go to throughout the game. A jungle, a desert, a medieval, a modern city, and a Caribbean “dimension”. Each of them feels distinct from the others thanks to the usage of different bricks, soundtracks, characters with themed looks, etc.
- Ba ba ba ba build | The gameplay consists in walking around, using abilities, which I’ll get deeper into later, and building all sorts of things. You’ll be building bridges, all sorts of vehicles, amusement park attractions, machines, and statues among other things. Most builds take gravity into account, so that’s an extra challenge. When you’ve met all requirements for a build, you’ll have the option to activate the Sandbox Mode, which gives you unlimited bricks from different sizes, shapes, and colours to beautify it as much as you want. As I’ve already mentioned in the introduction, the reason you’ll be going through different “dimensions” is to get happiness crystals that are used to fix your grandpa’s amusement park. You’ll only get a happiness crystal when you finish helping everyone in a dimension. The name of this section is a reference to a song from The Housemartins called Build.
- Abilities | Each “dimension” you pass through will grant your robot companion a new skill that will allow you to enter previously inaccessible regions. You’ll be given a whip, similar to Indiana Jones’s, before the actual abilities, which is utilised to access higher or lower places. Then you’ll be able to utilise a ground stomp to smash some items like wooden boxes and vases. The “x-ray” ability follows, allowing you to materialise levers, mechanisms, and other objects. The “water pack” will then be used to boost the water level to reach other locations. The shock power comes next, which can be utilised to teleport between particular machines as well as to energise machinery. Last but not least, you’ll receive a kind of hoverboard, which is employed on particular purple paths to access new locations. All of these can be used to access currency and collectibles and advance the plot.
- How does it sound? | While it’s not one of the greatest I’ve heard in a game, LEGO Bricktale‘s soundtrack is a decent one. Every “dimension” has its soundtrack, it’s nothing too complex or incredibly varied, but it fits and serves its purpose well enough. I personally never felt like it became annoying or needed to be better. The sound effects are also pretty nice, with the right intensity for each case.
- Customization | Apart from the creativity you can employ in your builds, you can also apply it to your character through the wardrobe option in the pause menu at any time. You can change your face, hair/hat, torso, and legs. Initially, you already have a decent amount of customization options, but you can buy more at shops unique to each “dimension”. Every “dimension” has a different currency which can be found in chests in each of them, some of these chests requiring you to use abilities you’ll acquire in other dimensions to get them. The currencies are bananas, popsicles, chicken drumsticks, and doughnuts.
- Miscellaneous features | You won’t be needing to wait a long time to get to the game as its loading times are pretty low, even when playing it on an Xbox One. As long as it’s not mid-cutscene/dialogue, when you re-enter the game you’ll be exactly where you were when you left it. When you pause the game, you get an overview of the area you’re currently in, you can even move the camera around and zoom in and out, making this perfect for taking screenshots. As it’s the case with most, if not all, LEGO games, LEGO Bricktales has a good sense of humour, like when you need to rescue a cat for “Cleocatra” and she speaks about it all cute-like, as cat lovers do. Although there aren’t any popular characters present in the game, there are pop culture references from Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and others you’ll get to see in dialogues and items.
- One at a time | While this wasn’t a giant issue, you are limited to placing only one brick at a time whenever you’re building. I felt like an option to place a row/column of identical bricks would’ve made things a bit easier and less time-consuming.
- Sometimes difficult | While most of the game wasn’t too difficult to get through, there were a few puzzles that took me a long time to figure out. There was a riddle, which was the easiest of the bunch, but still took me a while to find the answer. And some physics-dependent puzzles that were quite finicky about brick placement and balancing.
What we Disliked
- Annoying, but not too serious issues | Sometimes getting a brick where you want it can be a challenge, I felt like this was the result of the building space being in 3D, which made some things get in the way and also made the game “think” I wanted to place something in the wrong place. There were 2 cases throughout the game where I had to use the stomping ability, but the icons indicating I had to do so were pretty small and somewhat difficult to see.
- Serious performance issues | The first issue I’ll bring up is bad but not as bad as the other one. Frame drops occurred when reducing or raising water levels, however, since this doesn’t happen frequently, it’s not a major problem. Unfortunately, during the game, I frequently crashed at certain locations. They all occurred while 4 out of 5 amusement park attractions were undergoing renovations; the first attraction was the only one that didn’t crash. The first one required me to crash four times for it to function, the second crashed just once, the third crashed five times, and the last one almost prevented me from completing the game because on 19 out of my 20 attempts crashed.
How long to beat the story | About 15 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 16+ hours
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Hi there, I’m Gabriel Colombo (Hence my reviewer name), I live in Brazil and I’ve been gaming since I was around 5 years old. Xbox became my main platform on the Xbox 360 era, before that I had played a bit on PC, Polystation (basically a skinned SNES), PlayStation 1 and 2. I really enjoy to experience immersive worlds, but I also enjoy playing silly games to have a laugh or just have fun.