As an adult, LEGO usually means a busy Sunday afternoon spent with a thick manual, tons of small plastic bags and free use of the brick separator tool, so you accidentally skipped ten steps and now the thing is attached to the other thing and you tried to push it but your nails are too short and maybe you should take a break to look at something that is not a tiny plastic for a while.
As a kid, though, LEGO is more like that “I have a big tub of pieces and I’m going to put them together to make a SPACE ROBOT PRINCESS with a JETPACK.”. Many of the LEGO games lately were about the old ones – master builders, together officials recreated in polygons on the screen, quickly rebuilding something to make something else – but The journey of LEGO Builder it is very much the latter.
At its core, LEGO Builder’s Journey is a puzzle game, told through simple vignettes with a single purpose, that is usually “reached to the other side”. Several obstacles – rivers, broken bridges, abysses and so on – have to be overcome to travel forward, and later, these obstacles become a little more abstract as you try to calm your computer and work with a strange but lovable dog / mailbox hybrid. .
It plays the game as a child, but not minifig; you’re just a bunch of bricks stacked together to make a shape similar to a child. Go on adventures with your parent, who is also a pile of bricks, and build … mostly absurdities. It’s not about precision, and it’s not about following instructions; it is imagination. You can transform a pile of shapes into a bridge or a sand castle, and you can make a scrupulous walkway that winds along a swamp. LEGO is a means to an end, and that end is fun.
The Journey of LEGO Builder was originally an Apple Arcade game, and like many other Apple Arcade games – including its clear inspiration, Monument Valley – it’s loaded with history, despite its deceptively simple presentation. In Switch, it was almost doubled in length, with extra levels in addition to what the original version had that lengthens the story a bit more. You see, kids can have fun with LEGO whatever they like, but parents have to work hard pay off for that LEGO, and your relative is uncovered in the middle of the construction to do an extremely annoying factory job (which is also LEGO).
This annoyance is here to make a point about creative freedom and childlike wonder versus adult monotony and the loss of fantasy and fun, which it does quite wisely without a single line of dialogue. Sound design and animation come together to create compelling dioramas of repetitive and deafening work for parents, and magic and wonder for the child. But the problem is that repetitive and opaque fabric is … well … repetitive and opaque. Due to the lack of dialogue, it is also difficult at later levels to understand what on earth they are supposed to do.
The first puzzle levels are remarkably simple to understand, because they usually involve your character needing to advance one step at a time, but subsequent puzzles are pretty dull, especially in the new levels. It can also feel a bit like padding at times, as both characters have it from July missing the other one, having to do a few more puzzles to meet him again.
Plus, it’s sometimes a little fiddly to lay the bricks because of the limitations of the game. Simplicity is key in these little vignettes, but simplicity can sometimes obscure things a little too much, especially if you’re using controllers. Touchscreen controls are much more accessible, but we found that we didn’t really … want to play the game on the touchscreen, you know? It’s not really how this reviewer tends to interact with the Switch. Your mileage may vary depending on that, of course.
We’ve never been stuck for too long, and the new levels certainly have an interesting gameplay concept that elevates puzzles beyond “getting to the other side,” but every now and then you feel like the game exceeds its limits. welcome. The extra content is a nice thing, but the game has a very natural ending – its original ending – that is clean so that extra levels can follow.
Still, the game is pretty good (too significantly less beautiful than the PC RTX version, which has beautiful dynamic lighting and raytracing), and his new and interesting insight into what it means to play (with LEGO, of course) is something we’d love to see more of, alongside his heavy-duty adventure games in franchises. We can imagine it to be a fantastic experience to play with a child who is just beginning to learn to experiment, because the Builder’s Journey is all about trial and error rewarding.
The game will take you one or two evenings to play all the way to the (second) end, making it a bitesize game that is an experiment, a proof of concept, a tentative first step in a new and exciting direction for Games. LEGO. It takes a couple of wrong steps in prioritizing its aesthetics over its accessibility as a puzzle game, sure – but the fact remains that this is something we’d love to see more of.
Throughout LEGO Builder’s journey, we found that the goal of the game was to make you feel like a kid – whether you are one or not. Getting back in touch with the pre-manual version that follows of yourself is a delight, and that the story is about a parent and a child who connects with the child’s play is just as clever. Despite occasional misfires and what may feel like padding, this is a LEGO game that plays with the fundamental philosophy of creativity much more than the average LEGO brand title, and hopefully this will be an indication of new games to come. .