A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Usual video game puzzle fare is here like navigating mazes or pulling levers with sequence-based solutions. You can also revisit levels to find hidden collectibles. But what sets Lego Bricktales apart is dozens upon dozens of building-based brainteasers. You're given a moderate pile of bricks to choose from that never have to be used in totality. Only the slightest of hints and guides will be provided beyond the tutorial. There's generous leeway with how you choose to build your way to success, but since your creations will be tested for structural integrity (and sometimes distribution of weight), you'll constantly be pushing your imagination by engaging with basic principles of physics and architecture.
The story is sprinkled with small teachable moments about stereotyping, safety tips, and personal responsibility. A theme threaded throughout the experience -- in both the writing and game design -- is an encouragement to stay curious and be imaginative not only with what you make, but also how you can help others with your creativity.
Positive Role Models
Your robot companion offers hints, motivation, and sparks of wisdom, as well as a spattering of side characters that are often cordial, if silly. There are some negative role models who lie or act selfishly, meant as examples of now not to treat people.
Players can switch out masculine and feminine faces and clothing, mixing or matching them as they please. The game adheres to the traditional minifigure skin tone (yellow), so there's no differentiation of ethnicity as most modern Lego minifigures distinguish. There's an equal amount of male and female characters present.
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Ease of Play
Lego Bricktales tries to not overcomplicate its mechanics; you can move around and rotate pieces, but you can't flip them in any way from their upright positions. There are helpful features such as undoing or redoing your building process, and there are colored outlines to show when pieces are properly placed or not. The tutorials even have you practice using all the mechanics, but placing bricks is a consistent but mildly inconvenient struggle. You'll wrestle with the camera and need to jiggle pieces around until they slot in your desired spots. On some occasions, the game inadequately prompts you with clear objectives for quests.
Violence & Scariness
Characters' skeletons are made visible sometimes with magical abilities, but there's nothing graphic about this. Lego Bricktales has no violence or scariness otherwise.
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There's a cheeky reference to the acronym "GTFO" in a character's line, but it's incredibly subtle. Only players in their teens and up will likely catch it.
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Products & Purchases
Lego Bricktales has a more generalized premise with classic Lego themes, which the company has made sets with. So, the game pulls inspiration and parts from real products, but no actual sets you can buy are in the game. There are no advertisements or monetization of any kind.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lego Bricktales is a downloadable puzzle game for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox One S|X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The player walks around beautifully built dioramas in the style of classic Lego themes like Castle, Jungle, and City to build dozens of objects, ranging from bridges to statues to cars. There's leeway with how you build bricks, but intuition for physics and architecture is essential to making your creations stand under scrutiny. All this got started by your grandfather's antics with a portal, and now -- with the help of your robotic companion's special abilities -- you must find "happiness crystals" spread across time and space by helping people with their own crises. This game is witty and wholesome, so with the exception of minifigure skeletons, there's no questionable content.
Is It Any Good?
You'd think there'd be a bona fide brick-building video game after all this time, but this is The Lego Group's first try with the concept. In Lego Bricktales, you play as a customizable minifigure and explore dioramas built entirely of Lego pieces. These timeless settings include a medieval kingdom of wizards and knights, a city of towers and cars, and more spread across time and the world. Some rewards are only obtainable by building structures in new ways beyond the main solutions, or revisiting old areas with previously inaccessible spots with new abilities. This adds to replayability, but it would've been nice if it led to more content like secret puzzles, instead of just collectibles. The same limits on scope extend to the Sandbox feature, which isn't accurate because you're confined to revisit and remix previously completed puzzles.
A lack of guidance can also confuse players with some puzzles and story objectives, not to mention several truly challenging builds that will stretch your creative muscles and patience. Even if there's unnecessary padding with fetch quests here and there as well, LEGO Bricktales includes dozens of wonderfully designed building puzzles and brainteasers that test your environmental awareness and ordering skills. You're given a moderately sized pile of bricks to build contraptions and structures tested for integrity, and even weight distribution without instructions. While daunting at times, this is a brilliant design that incentivizes real ingenuity by having players engage with basic physics and architecture. The controls aren't perfect -- placing bricks on complicated creations can slow things down by needing to adjust your camera and jiggle around parts until they go where you want them. While lacking content hand having clunky controls, Lego Bricktales is a wholesome, gorgeous title that sparks imagination in ways no Lego game before it has accomplished.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.