๐Ÿงฑ LEGO Bricktales XSX Review 7.5/10 "Build Me Up, Buttercup" ๐Ÿงฑ #LEGOBrickTales #LEGO @Thunderfulgames

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I’ve played quite a few LEGO games over the years – mostly in local multiplayer – and they’ve always had a lot to offer in terms of accessible fun.

Admittedly, the sheer amount of movie franchise-based games did get a bit wearying, but LEGO City Undercover and the more open-world, sandbox games were highlights, and so – when offered LEGO Bricktales to review, I just assumed that there would be an inherent quality to whatever approach was taken here (as I’d not heard of the game beforehand) and yes, LEGO has (mostly) woven their magic again, and this time in a game that feels the most traditional ‘LEGO’ game yet.

"In LEGO® Bricktales, discover an innovative brick-by-brick building mechanic to design puzzle solutions from your own imagination. See your creations brought to life in a beautiful LEGO world where every problem has a constructive resolution.

Embark on an epic adventure across a world of beautiful LEGO diorama biomes crafted brick by brick as you search for inspiration to help your grandfather reinvigorate his rundown amusement park with your little robot buddy in tow. Your journey will take you to the deepest jungle, sun-drenched deserts, a bustling city corner, a towering medieval castle, and tropical Caribbean islands. Help the Minifigures of these worlds by solving puzzles and unlock new skills throughout the story to further explore these worlds and uncover the many secrets and mysteries they contain."

Cast as an enthusiastic young chap assisting his grandfather in rebuilding his amusement park, you must travel through different biomes via a magic portal in order to rebuild the park. Searching for alien technology, you’ll build practical constructions as well as purely aesthetic creations, alongside an unlockable sandbox mode to further refine your builds.

The visuals are smooth and sharp, with the style perfectly capturing that plastic shine, as you make your merry way around the world. Viewed from an isometric perspective, the way that LEGO Bricktales differentiates itself from preceding LEGO titles is in how this is more of a problem-solving puzzle game, as opposed to a more arcade-based title, wherein the majority of the building is done by holding down a button.

In LEGO Bricktales, you’ll walk the mostly linear paths through the biome that you are currently in until you reach an impasse of some sort, - possibly crumbling steps, ruined towers, or a collapsed bridge etc. at this point, the game will shift into a building mode, which gives you bricks, caps and struts to construct your way across whatever is halting your progress. It’s markedly different from other LEGO titles - and in a way, is the closest at capturing the heart at the appeal of the toy, there’s a definite satisfaction to gazing upon your creation, and watching as the test robot successfully traverses the obstacle, before the camera resets to the overworld, showing your inevitably higgledy-piggledy bridge in all its wonderfully wobbly glory (if you’re me, anyway). That said, there’s also a sense of relief, due to some niggles.

Isometric puzzlers, especially ones such as LEGO Bricktales - where accuracy is required in placing bricks correctly - means that frustration can arise when you are spinning the camera, unable to snap the brick into the required space due to control limitations.

This naturally gets exacerbated as the game progresses, and the combinations get trickier. There’s also an unshiftable dryness in how the game moves from the kooky and fun overworld to the main guts of the game in the building aspect.

I can imagine the changes of pace will feel too staccato for someone expecting a more casual approach. The music though, is extremely well-chosen in how the milky ambient calmness bleeds through the speakers, always welcoming, present and bubbly - but never imposing, tiresome, brash or tedious – a real highlight.

"Right, I’m off to build two bridges, both called Jeff."

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