The famous brand of blocks and dolls with a yellow face receives a new title that stands out from the usual in the most digital facet of the franchise. ClockStone Studio builds on what was learned in the Bridge Constructor saga to offer an experience closer to the puzzle and architecture without losing an iota of the humor of the famous LEGO figurines.
In a LEGO world
When talking about video games inspired by the famous brick and building franchise, it’s almost impossible not to think about the style of the Lego movie and all the characters that have starred in the multiple releases of Traveller’s Tales, currently Tt Fusion. From Batman to the Avengers through Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow or even the Powerpuff Girls, the transition from LEGO to video games has come from the hand of a lot of destruction, collectibles and a bunch of figurines with movie licenses. An almost fixed catalog in which we could find an exception such as LEGO Worlds or a twist like the one we saw in LEGO Dimensions that invited us to mix games and toys in the purest Hidden Side style.
It is precisely for this reason that LEGO Bricktales has surprised me with its proposal that moves away from an official LEGO catalog that, far from mobile territory, seems doomed to jack, knight and king. ClockStone’s formula is a pleasant surprise that, without detracting from the Tt Fusion games, seems determined to offer the most faithful experience possible to the brand. On the one hand, with a brick-by-brick building experience that is 100% LEGO, just like building with its blocks in real life. On the other, with a way of telling stories that seeks humor, absurdity and fun at all times through some figures that seem impossible for them to be so expressive.
The new LEGO game proposes us to put ourselves in the shoes of the grandson -or granddaughter- of a crazy scientist who lives far from society in an abandoned amusement park. After a series of circumstances and situations that are more absurd, we will have to travel through different teleportation portals to visit different worlds and times to get the best fuel of all time: the strength of smiles. With this excuse, as valid as any other, we will have to complete different tasks and campaigns through these worlds, solving various types of puzzles to make people happy, get smiles, use them to rebuild the amusement park and ensure that Grandpa does not see living on the street because of the council.
The story doesn’t seem like much, but LEGO Bricktales moves away from the traditional formula of the firm with limited scenarios in the form of very realistic small sets that connect with other small sets to result in each of their worlds. Everything is faithfully made and represented with LEGO bricks, from light to fire, smoke and clouds, moving away from the mixture of brick and rendering that we had already become accustomed to seeing linked to the franchise. To the design decision of these worlds divided into small sets that it is impossible not to remember the classics of the 80s with isometric perspective, there is a limited extension, far from that of the increasingly gigantic open worlds usual in the saga, creating a perfect playground for the gaming experience that LEGO Bricktales wants to offer the player.
An experience that begins as just another adventure in a different landscape format, but soon reveals its true personality. building your world like the board of a board game in which it is not possible to jump or hit until we find different objects and power-ups that allow us to unlock these movements. The limitation to mobility forces us to follow the story and face all kinds of puzzles while we see our character and his robot ally grow with tools and abilities as different as Indiana Jones’s whip, Excalibur, the possibility of seeing hidden objects or a portable water cannon. Each new find becomes a new mechanic for the exploration aspect of the game while adding another degree of difficulty to the puzzles that we will find in its small but very well designed dungeons and temples.
A multi-faceted game
LEGO Bricktales offers a gaming experience that divides its offer into multiple facets. Roughly Two main moments can be distinguished in the game: exploration and construction, each with its own mechanics, approach and rules. However, within each main moment the game is further broken down into several smaller offerings that make every little step in LEGO Bricktales very satisfying.
In this way, while we explore the different worlds of LEGO Bricktales we will be able to move more or less freely through its sets while completing tasks, helping people or building different things. The path offers traces of puzzles, elements with which we cannot yet interact until we find the object or the right skill and various collectibles in the form of animals and insects that we can deliver to certain characters. Obtaining some of these collectibles will be somewhat more complicated than simply finding them, having to take advantage of some constructions beyond the data that we are given as objectives to reach inaccessible places or rack our brains in search of a way to get there.
Some areas are authentic labyrinths, some with classic lever puzzles, while others, the main areas of each world, will allow us to talk to the villagers in each area, make friends and shop with bananas, popsicles, chicken thighs or whatever legal tender currency is used in the world you are in. A friendly ghost will be in charge of selling the different clothes to customize our character and the bricks and motifs of each world that we can use to build our own creations.
construction above all
As I mentioned in the intro, the person in charge of this new adventure in the LEGO world is none other than ClockStone Studio, a small company that may be familiar to you because of its Bridge Constructor saga. With six games with different themes, including some as emblematic as The Walking Dead and Portals, Bridge Constructor is an ambitious construction proposal that is based on the laws of real physics to propose authentic architectural challenges to its users. A philosophy that we can see repeated in LEGO Bricktales and that beyond the jokes and laughs that we are going to have with its characters, its funny appearance and its lighter moments, hides some really complex brick-by-brick building challenges. Puzzles in which we will have to take into account the resources, the needs of the project and extra elements such as resistance, balance and durability to ensure that the bridge resists the weight of our vehicle, the seesaw supports the giant owl or the stairs take them to the upper platform without falling in the process.
When entering the construction mode, the screen changes to the classic signature blueprint mode, although this time ClockStone advocates that we be master builders with a large number of challenges in which, without instructions, we will have to devise the best way to meet the objectives. From building bridges or stairs to imitating a monkey statue with some modifications to open a secret door of a jungle temple, create a beautiful Egyptian mosaic or build a coal cart. LEGO Bricktales plays with the history and the needs of our character to introduce his puzzles in an organic and fun way, creating a whole made up of parts that is, in the end, the best tribute that can be paid to LEGO.
A hard offer to refuse
The version tested on Xbox Series X works great, but I have no doubt that it works just as well on other platforms, even on Nintendo Switch, since it is a title that demands more from the player than from the gaming platform. Faithful representation of the bricks, fun sounds, total absence of dubbing and some very catchy melodies are the summary of the most technical facet of a game that places all the eggs, or the bricks if you prefer, in offering an honest proposal that suits to what fans of the most constructive facet of the LEGO franchise expected to see in a video game. That yes, the construction engine can become exasperating with a control that sometimes does not work as smoothly as it should, which is a major flaw in a game of these characteristics.
In short, LEGO Bricktales is a very different title from what the franchise has accustomed us to. It is not a game for two players or a title intended for young children, but a complex and ambitious work in which to spend hours putting yourself to the test by completing the puzzles and then taking advantage of its free mode to build to our liking all the elements that we want to see in its worlds and in our amusement park. The story and the characters continue to give it a fun and humorous touch with hilarious dialogues in Spanish that do not hesitate to take advantage of the sources to better send the message, which ends up rounding off a game that is essential for lovers of the franchise, since whether young or old.