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PS4 / PS5 Game Review

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LEGO Bricktales


Format: PS4 / PS5
Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
Developer: ClockStone Software
RRP: £24.99
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 12 October 2022

Your grandfather, a genius inventor, has called you for help. His beloved amusement park is about to close as the mayor is threatening to shut everything down and seize the land if the necessary repairs aren’t made to bring it up to code. With the help of your powerful little robot buddy, you can restore it using a mysterious device based on alien technology. As a source of power, the device needs happiness crystals, which you can harvest by making people happy and solving their problems. With the aid of a portal, travel to different locations all around the world to help people and collect their happiness crystals. Strap in for the ultimate building adventure and save your grandfather’s amusement park...

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At the heart of LEGO Bricktales is a wonderfully interactive experience

On paper, LEGO Bricktales is the game LEGO fans have been waiting for. Sure, the WB LEGO games are beautifully polished, humorous affairs... but you never get the opportunity to interact with the bricks as you would in the real world. Over the years there have been a few mobile apps that let you design your own creations in LEGO, but most are pretty basic and rather dull.

Unfortunately, while at the heart of LEGO Bricktales there lies a wonderfully interactive experience, poor gaming mechanics make it a frustrating mess. I so wanted to love this game... and with a few tweaks it would be up there with my favourite game of all time. Sadly it feels like it's been rushed to market a little too quickly.

The first oddity is how linear the game is. You're handheld the entire time and there's pretty much no point in really exploring your environments as you'll find your goals immediately without any real effort. Having said that, there are collectibles that can be discovered by stumbling upon hidden areas.

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The graphics are bold and colourful, as you'd expect from a LEGO game

However the biggest problem, which sadly affects the beating heart of the game, is the mechanics for building your LEGO structures. It's fiddly, unintuative and just bloody frustrating. You can see where you want to place your piece, but moving to its exact position is near impossible. You have to keep moving the camera and then when you want to move the piece a fraction it shoots off miles away. This, I suppose is the limitation of using a control rather than a mouse. And, as there are options to change "mouse settings" It's unquestionably the time to invest in one. It does get easier the more you get used to it... but it's still constantly frustrating.

While most of the constructions are simple enough, at times the instructions aren't overly clear. I got stuck, for far too long, on a level where I had to construct a market stall. That in itself was easy enough... However to pass the level there were two challenges to be met: "Place the board with the jars in front of the merchant" - a task a toddler would understand. There's a single piece with jars already on it. Simply place it in front of the merchant. However, the second challenge was unfathomable: "Place the tip high above the merchant". What does that even mean?

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The mechanics for building your LEGO structures is a bit of a mess

There was a helpful green dotted line situated just above (not "high above") the merchant and I tried numerous things to pass the challenge. None of them worked and I was getting increasingly frustrated. What wasn't clear is that the piece, which I assumed was a decorative hookah pipe, was in fact the "tip" the clue describes. So it was simply a case of building your stall and placing that on top.

This would have been fine if the game was a little more open world. I could have headed off elsewhere while I gave this puzzle more thought. But no. The game insists you complete one challenge before opening up the next.

These puzzles generally take the form of tasking you with building bridges, or vehicles of some description. It's up to you how you construct them. Take time and fine tune them, make them aesthetically pleasing, or knock out a rough piece that's just about functional but isn't going to win any awards.

These major issues aside, I did fall in love with the game. It's fun to be able to finally build LEGO constructions in a game. And once you complete the items you can keep going back and refining them. You can also unlock freeplay, which gives you unlimited bricks as well as new bricks not in the original design.

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You must complete one challenge before opening up the next

The graphics are as bold and colourful as you'd expect from a LEGO game and the story is fun. You must travel to various worlds, perform certain tasks and then head hope to continue rebuilding your grandfather's amusement park.

I'm still hopeful the developers will address these issues in future patches. We had the review code a week before release and in that time there were several additional updates, so it looks as though they're still working on elements of it.

It's so close to becoming a must have game, sadly the launch day bugs take a lot to swallow... and if the developers don't address these issues I don't know if I can honestly recommend this game.


Darren Rea

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