LEGO Bricktales is a beautifully crafted game that lets you build to your heart’s content. But those puzzles don’t come without a little frustration.
The latest LEGO based game to hit the PC and a variety of consoles is Bricktales, where the focus is less on charging around brick-built environments trying to save the world, and more on the simple pleasures of building.
You play the protagonist, an unnamed minifigure, who is challenged to help their grandfather save his somewhat dilapidated theme park. This, of course, involves travelling to a number of LEGO worlds in the company of a sentient robot, searching for happiness crystals. Along the way you’ll need to solve many problems, from building bridges to recreating statues of large monkeys, using virtual LEGO bricks.
And therein lies the (potential) problem. If you’ve got a box of bricks in front of you and you want to build a bridge, well you just grab some bricks and start building. If it’s a particularly thorny problem, then you might scratch your head a little first, and then it’s on with the construction. But it’s usually the problem solving that’s the… problem, not the construction.
In the virtual world, however, it’s not quite so easy. Trying to replicate the manipulation of bricks in a 3D environment on a 2D TV screen is a challenge that the developers have only partly overcome. Building the simplest object using a game controller is likely to have gamers hurling the joypad down (hopefully somewhere soft), as yet again the game drops a piece just where you didn’t want it.
As with any game, it takes a little getting used to, but for players coming to the game for the first time, hoping for a zen-like building experience, just realise that it might take a while before you’re moving bricks on screen with the same ease that you do on your build table.