We are a group of gaming fans that have been playing and loving LEGO games since the early days of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. We love the LEGO series, and we believe the franchise desperately needs a fresh direction.
In a world where video games are becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives, it’s exciting to see a new and refreshing take on the gaming industry. In 2015, the LEGO franchise welcomed its first new video game in six years, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Although the game was well received, LEGO fans were quick to criticize the lack of an original storyline and other small details which made it feel more like a video game than a licensed LEGO movie.
LEGO is one of the biggest brands in the video game industry and has released many great and fun games in the past. However, these games had one thing in common: they were almost all officially licensed games and they included settings from different franchises. Light Brick Studios has decided to change that with LEGO Builder’s Journey, their latest project that is an original LEGO game using regular LEGO bricks to create the world and characters. Here’s our review of LEGO Builder’s Journey, in which we leisurely experience a father and son’s journey through the wonderful world of LEGO.
LEGO Builder’s Journey tells the story of a father-son duo who travel through a world of LEGO bricks. Unlike previous games, LEGO Builder’s Journey is an exciting puzzle game for players of all ages. With simple gameplay and fairly complex puzzles, LEGO Builder’s Journey lets you relax to a soothing soundtrack as you experience the gripping story of a father and son. There are no licensed LEGO pieces here, and that makes this game special because all the ideas that went into the game are completely original.
The gameplay of LEGO Builder’s Journey is quite simple. The levels of the game are not very big, but each level is beautifully detailed. Your main goal is to reach the end of each level, and to do that you have to make paths. To do this, you need to make bridges and connect different areas by strategically placing stones on the level. In each level you have a limited number of rocks at your disposal, and you have to get around these rocks to reach the end of the level. To help your son move forward, you must rely on the two yellow stones. The wire will only move on the yellow slotted bricks, and you have to place them closer together to move the wire to the exit.
Unlike most LEGO games we’ve seen, LEGO Builder’s Journey also has its own design for the characters. We don’t have traditional LEGO figures, but you play the journey of a father and son who are made of regular LEGO bricks and don’t even have arms or legs like traditional LEGO minifigures. The developer previously explained that this is because the real stars of LEGO Builder’s Journey are the bricks, and the father and son are made of bricks. Additional NPCs or other characters you meet in the game are also treated the same way.
LEGO Builder’s Journey may look like a simple puzzle game, and yes, it is when you play it, but when it comes to the game design and visuals, nothing is simple. Although everything is made of bricks, the world seems alive, as mud bubbles up from the bricks in the mud and swamp areas, and waterfalls break and spill water everywhere. As you progress, you will travel through the world presented by these small island levels where the creativity of the level designer can be seen in the small details. The PC version looks exactly like the LEGO world you would create in the real world, albeit with some cool animations here and there.
With the improved performance on the PC, Light Brick Studio was also able to add ray tracing to the PC version, which improved the game’s lighting and made it look fantastic. The reflections on the rocks in the various levels really stand out compared to the Apple Arcade or Nintendo Switch version of the game. This is not my first experience with LEGO Builder’s Journey, as I have played the game before on the Apple Arcade, but the PC definitely brings out the best aspects of the game, especially in terms of graphics. If you like the visual aspect, the PC should be your platform to play this adventure.
The main idea behind LEGO Builder’s Journey is a relaxing title to enjoy at the end of a hectic day, and LEGO Builder’s Journey does just that. It’s a quiet puzzle game with a soothing soundtrack that you can even watch while someone else plays. The quiet ticking sound when removing and stacking the bricks is extremely pleasant to hear and really makes you feel like you’re playing with LEGO in real life, except for the painful stomping. The puzzles are not very difficult to solve, although they do get more complicated as the game progresses.
Overall, LEGO Builder’s Journey is a solid game from a technical standpoint as well. I haven’t encountered a single bug or glitch during the game, but I did manage to get out of a level, but that was on my conscience, not the game’s. The only thing that really bothered me while playing on PC was the camera controls. While the mouse is usually the best way to control the camera, it felt very strange here, and in some puzzles I couldn’t align the tiles properly. It looks like the stone is in the right place, but when you drop it, it falls. I wish they would change the camera and controls a bit in future updates, as it can be annoying for some new players.
Another potential of LEGO Builder’s Journey that is currently overlooked is the lack of mods and custom levels in the game. PCs, and Steam in particular, are known for their excellent community-created content, and taking Steam Workshop support out of the game would be a missed opportunity to greatly extend the life of the game. At this point you can play the game again after you finish it, but then the game is over. But the addition of custom levels to the game will increase your desire to try new levels and even make your own that the whole world can try.
Although the PC version supports ray tracing, the developers have made sure that you don’t need the most advanced computer to enjoy the game. You have three game modes, including DX12 mode, which is the best way to experience the game, but you can also run and play the game in DX11 compatibility mode for older builds. If your computer is not very powerful or a bit outdated, there is also a classic mode for low profile PCs, so you can at least enjoy the game on your low profile PC or laptop. This makes LEGO Builder’s Journey a great choice if you want to relax and lie in bed after a long day.
For a while now we’ve seen few original LEGO games, and mostly licensed LEGO franchises released as video games. LEGO Builder’s Journey shows that even original ideas from the LEGO universe can be great when executed properly. The PC version is the definitive version of the game, allowing players to experience it with the highest possible visual fidelity. While I’m not a fan of the camera work and the game’s controls could be improved, overall I enjoyed the setting and story of LEGO Builder’s Journey. So you see, not everything has to be licensed to be good, especially when it comes from LEGO, and I hope we see more original LEGO games soon. For now, I can only recommend that you check out LEGO Builder’s Journey for a great story.