After a Star Wars (the Skywalker Saga) that is altogether ultra-generous, but stingy with novelties, the little Danish bricks are back in a new form: no more 3D platformer and pop-culture licenses, no more forever partner TT Games, which had been developing LEGO games for over fifteen years, LEGO Brick Tales is rebooting the brand and going back to basics: building stuff.
If it brings a breath of fresh air that has been lacking in the brand’s games for some time, does the indie Thunderful Games have the shoulders to support one.
Another brick in the wall
One of the things that made LEGO games so successful is their writing. Quirky, parodic, the scenarios and dialogues of the LEGO version adventures of Indiana Jones, Batman or Harry Potter did not take themselves seriously at all, often going so far as to mock the very works they adapted. A recognized quality of writing, but a somewhat paradoxical gameplay. Indeed, if you find LEGO in the “construction games” department, the main mechanic of the brand’s video games was often destruction!
Thunderful Games, by recovering the license, therefore decides to reverse the trend by delivering a less written game, but where we find the original LEGO experience: construction and creativity.
The scenario of LEGO Brick Tales is therefore completely pretext, and rather far-fetched, but after all, it also sticks well to the LEGO spirit. Because the toy makes universes that are sometimes very distant compatible, and allows anyone who wishes to tell a story of Ninja (NinjaGo) who has come to save customers from a shopping center (LEGO Friends) held hostage by the Empire (LEGO Star Wars )!
So many bricks (…)
We will therefore, via a kind of interdimensional portal, visit different dioramas, where it will be a question of repairing parts of the decor. The game then approaches a “LEGOcore” puzzle game: a mission to be carried out via a LEGO construction, with the only limits being our imagination and the number of bricks available.
Many bridges and other footbridges will be made, the game sometimes taking on the appearance of Bridge Constructor. But these are not the only missions that will be on the program: vehicles, balancing pendulum, and even a logic puzzle are all challenges that will present themselves to us throughout the five thematic universes that make up the game.
LEGOcore experience, we wrote, because we find ourselves exactly in the situation of a LEGO-loving
child who decides to make a space shuttle with the few bricks that are his . And having a model in mind is one thing, but realizing it and making it “hold” is something else… bricks of a certain type, we will then have to think about how to get around the problem… Finally, once we have a viable structure, it’s up to us to give it a certain style, which the game will also allow us!
(B) with Hochet
However, the primary target of the game remains rather young, and rare are the puzzles that will have represented a real challenge . If we don’t get everything right the first time, by trial and error a little bit, or even by observing the way the puzzles are presented to us (type of pieces or position of the anchors), we quickly understand what the game expects of us.
Nevertheless, even finding the game vaguely too easy, it remains a real pleasure to see that the construction that we made in the puzzle phase is then faithfully integrated into the diorama and in the narrative and exploration phases that we found between two puzzles.
Exploration phases that then take on the look of the LEGO games we know, minus the writing skills. The dialogues, although having fun with certain references on occasion, are much less fine than those of the LEGO games made by TT Games, and the staging more narrow.
Everything is just a pretext for the puzzles, the real heart of the game, and it feels a little. And since we are listing the defects, we must say a word about the handling of the bricks, not always very precise. The difficulty of certain puzzles sometimes rested more on the fact of succeeding in placing the bricks in the right place than on the means of carrying out the required construction… Perhaps also because we played with the controller, and a mouse-keyboard could be show more precision and efficiency.
Fortunately, anyway, these problems remain minor, and the realization of the game – an independent production, let’s not forget, despite the immense aura of the LEGO brand – has nothing to be ashamed of . And almost “Everything is awesome”, as we sang in The LEGO Movie.
We had read after a few previews that LEGO Brick Tales was perhaps the best LEGO game to date. We will not comment on the question, its ambitions not being comparable with the “big” LEGO games that are LEGO Batman 3 or LEGO Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga. What is certain, however, is that it is the closest game to a LEGO IRL experience. The difficulties, the limits and the “realism” of the constructions that are asked of us remind us of the same challenges represented by our attempts to give substance to our ideas in LEGO!
Rather oriented young audiences, the game will also seduce the older ones for the dozen hours necessary to complete the adventure. And we can, why not, dream of DLCs including more challenging levels?