LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review: “Woo-hoo!”

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A circle that closes with bricks: discover in our review how Bricktales summarizes the whole essence of playing with LEGO

LIVE A LIVE was just the first review away for myself, which was followed by one with a bit more bitterness in the mouth: after the fiasco of Brawls, we are here to talk in decidedly different tones of lego bricktales. And if the writer’s biography speaks so well of the animated series DuckTales, you too will understand that this game must have done something good to deserve a similar quote in the title at the top. We are happy to reassure you. If to see the courageous experiment of the German ClockStone Software (published by Thunderful Publishing) peeping into Nintendo Direct gave you a good impression, your trust is well placed.

Every videogame experience dedicated to Danish bricks mainly reflects one of the aspects to which the lucrative brand is associated. On the one hand we have the pure fanservice of licenses, which as LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga shows us never really seem to get old. On the other hand we find LEGO Worlds, dedicated to a more general picture of those who love to build a little what happens. But if you want something more cerebral and love the architectural expertise seen in the brilliant LEGO Masters talent show, you already know where to open your wallet.

One excuse leads to another

Don’t expect one history pretentious (or more simply ambitious) from LEGO Bricktales: despite the name, it is not the narrative vein that we will praise during the review phase. If the philosophy of The LEGO Movie (which we highly recommend recovering, if you’ve never seen it) has taught us anything, it’s that clearing your mind is the best way to unleash your creativity. And there is nothing more abstract than the first scene of the game. A letter arrives in our hole, in a void with no backgrounds or anything else. Our avatar, nameless and customizable for the sole purpose of changing its appearance, receives an invitation from the “Grandfather”.

The scientist, taken as he is by his experiments, needs our help, and we soon discover that our usefulness goes far beyond the humble initial request. After saving the little robot Rusty (a flattering Wheatley imitation from Portal 2, in our opinion), we are reminded that our grandfather’s park is about to close its doors. In fact, the funds allocated by the municipality cannot cover the experiments on interdimensional portals (suspiciously similar to that of LEGO Dimensions) to the bitter end, especially with the degradation to which the place has been reduced. It will be up to us to succeed … by exploring the various, wonderful ones dioramas in which we will find one puzzle after another waiting for us.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

“There are no instructions, you have to generate them in your mind” – LEGO Bricktales review

If you are expecting adventure, let’s clear one thing straight away: LEGO Bricktales is, above all else, a puzzle game. The gameplay loop, if you want a general idea right away, is the idea behind Lemmings (or, for the younger ones, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Mini Mario and similar sequels). We plan a path to cross, and then simulate the solidity of the structure. He is not a platformer, so don’t expect to bypass it by putting platforms in the air. Running and jumping are not options. The exploration of the overworld, divided into many small dioramas, depends on the structures that we will repair, reinforce or create from scratch.

So the gameplay is based on the alternation between phases in which to explore the game world and others in which to build. The initial tutorial in the grandfather’s laboratory puts us in front of a command scheme that is not always simple and intuitive, but functional. Credit to merit: replicating the interlocking and positioning of real bricks on screen has never been easy, from LEGO Racers to LEGO Worlds. However, once the first bridges are created, the challenge of the game immediately emerges. Each puzzle has multiple possible solutions, precisely because the physics plays a vital role. Suddenly, reviewing the LEGO Masters episode with the mythical “bridge test” will prove useful.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

Witch Commands Pain – LEGO Bricktales Review

Let’s clarify one thing immediately: in terms of commands, you may have two experiences that are not only different, but even diametrically opposed. With LEGO Brawls we talked about a markedly mobile soul behind the various inputs, and although the same argument applies (more or less) here too, it can be understood in a very positive sense. Our scrutiny of the game started in fixed mode, which didn’t give us any problems during the exploratory phases. The headaches, however, arose as soon as we had to build something. Most of the annoyances that the game can generate is all here.

The control scheme is subject tooccasional inaccuracy, but we have already made this clear in the previous section. However, the complexity of the puzzles at our disposal increases exponentially every time the brick on duty decides to place itself one line ahead or behind (or above, or below) depending on the layer between us and the specific positioning to which we aimed. Having seen the tutorials, we wanted to test the touch screen controls on the fly in portable mode just before finishing writing the review. We should have done it right away: they are almost two different gamespractically.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

Single screenshot taken in portable version.

The Interlocking of the Elements – LEGO Bricktales Review

After the first puzzles, whether simple (the construction of a staircase) or difficult (the construction of a support for a platform), an unexpected depth also emerged for theexploration of the overworld. The park acts as the main hub for access to the various worlds, in which the various mosse available to us will gradually expand. In a new scenario we can both expect to find a new skill for Rustysuch as a crash to the ground to destroy various obstacles, both to get an object for exploration. The latter, unlike upgrades for Rusty, is usually context sensitive and as such can only be used in some cases.

In pure LEGO tradition, worlds also present the possibility of revisit them to aim for the 100% scope. The longevity of this title benefits enormously, whether it’s secret chests in which to get some local currency or shops to spend it in. It is in fact in this way that you can unlock the various aesthetic elements with which to customize your nameless avatar. It wouldn’t even be a LEGO game if there wasn’t a free mode, and this time it’s not just about managing the attraction of the park that follows each corresponding world.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

“Long live the freedom, (long live) the freedom” – LEGO Bricktales review

Speaking of completeness, the game really starts hitting the gas as soon as you talk about the free mode in itself. In fact, it soon becomes possible to modify one’s own structures in two ways. If you want to perfect what you have done previously, nothing prevents you from recreate the bridge or ladder (or means of transport, as the case may be) using the same limited tools you have been busy with previously. If not, however, free mode is what you are looking for. In this case, the palette switches to an infinite selection of those same components that were limited in number until recently.

In addition to this, you can also have other bricks, this time more “classic” … more or less. Beyond the usual 1 × 2, 2 × 2 and the like, you will find that in shops managed by Boo (not to be confused with the Super Mario ghost of the same name) in addition to buying clothes to change your appearance you can also unlock other colors for generic bricks to be used in free mode. Not only that: by obtaining no less than 100 units for the local currency of each world you can also aspire toentire sample of elements that you have used in all the other puzzles of a given world. Terraforming the world at your fingertips or expanding the use of the same theme: the choice of infrastructures is yours alone.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

“I am a Master Builder” – LEGO Bricktales Review

The technical analysis of the game, starting fromgraphic appearance, can only be summed up with three words: “less is more”. The minimalist adage, translated as “less is more”, fits perfectly here. The dioramas, abstract in their suspension in the void, are at the same time made entirely with LEGO bricks, maintaining the stop-motion-like movements also seen in the aforementioned The LEGO Movie. The result is predictably efficientalthough the framerate on Nintendo Switch it turned out to be more sobbing than we would have liked. A shame, given how much ambition is otherwise rewarded twice out of three.

Of sonorous, on the other hand, you can’t really complain. Although the hardest puzzles have subjected us to the repetition of the passages enough to make us realize it, Maximilian Stroka has succeeded in the enterprise of preventing one of them from becoming bored. The resulting accompaniment fills each scenario with flawless atmosphere – the second world, for example, boasts the most hypnotic desert theme we’ve ever heard. This sound goes well with a gaming experience that can only frustrate the most rushed gamers. You have to sip this little pearl like a good wine, and let yourself be carried away by the calm rhythm of the puzzles.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

Final considerations

Defining LEGO Bricktales as the ultimate gaming experience for brick lovers is impossible: it really depends on what kind of fan you are. If you love the LEGO brand for the gameplay associated with the video game transpositions of other IPs, this is not the game for you. If, on the other hand, in LEGO Worlds you have found the perfect compromise between action and free construction, similarly it will not be this title to usurp the throne. If, however, bricks, and we mean physical ones, you love the seraphic calm that only the assembly faithful to the instructions he can give you, perhaps we have found your happy island. Indeed, for sure.

Per thirty euros, a puzzle game may not exactly be an essential purchase for everyone, especially since even by the standards of its genre it may not meet the needs of the entire niche. What the game promises to do, framerate and controls (minimally) difficult allowing, it does great. Maybe it’s the mixed message of the various puzzles to be misleading: we have more ways to solve a puzzle, but (initially) limiting ourselves to the bricks that the game itself provides. But if you have handled enough instruction booklets to reassemble the blocks of each set to get the classic alternate constructions, not only will you already have the answer. Probably, you are already downloading the game itself.

LEGO Bricktales (Nintendo Switch) Review:

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