LEGO Builder’s Journey released on console for Xbox the 25th of November this year and is a short puzzle adventure that can be enjoyed by all ages. The game was developed by Light Brick Studio and is their first title to release on Xbox, which released on mobile prior to consoles. Also published by LEGO Games, but lacking the familiarity that we hold to common LEGO games. This game is not like the others and the level design is more laid back and simplistic in comparison with a focus on story telling as you progress.
The gameplay of LEGO Builder’s Journey is quaint yet brief, playing as two Lego figures with no gender or facial features unlike that of normal figures. I read it as a father and son journey, but surely others could see a daughter and mother adventure if they desired. The simplistic goal of getting the child to meet back up with the parent proves to be easy at first, but new mechanics are introduced often as the story progresses to keep players on their toes. We move limited LEGOs around to build a pathway for the characters to rejoin before loading into a new level. We are given more pieces when using the previous ones correctly to make the beginning a bit faster paced. Later in game, the player is tasked with solving mechanical puzzles and can sometimes leave you scratching your head trying to figure out where the piece is supposed to fit properly. The controls are point and click, so we can place and pick up new LEGOs with A and the toggle sticks. We can shift perspective to the sides to better see around the small dioramic levels. Overall, the puzzles are rather simple in design and meant to be picked up by most ages. The story delivery is heartwarming, but the control scheme is the only agitating bit of this journey. Moving between Legos will highlight them and late game can be annoying to maneuver between small numerous pieces as you manage to duplicate LEGOs.
Visually this game is extremely impressive. The general design of the game provides a focus on each diorama that is every level and they look realistic. It looks as if we have a fully designed LEGO set and can add new pieces to form a pathway. The levels even have water or lava that show movement by dropping off of the side of the square levels or raising and lowering in height. The background of each level is filled with blank colors blended to match each area of the game in design. The focus is on the builds, which are easy to look at, and are brought to life with interesting environmental movements. There were a few levels that taught the usage of light sources, even a power brick acting like a lantern. These dark levels were a curve ball, but didn’t take long to make my way to the other side with limited timed visibility. This mobile port looks stunning on consoles and PC with the amazing level design and color usage.
The audio for LEGO Builder’s Journey is tailored for the areas the player is currently in. Each area had supporting music that wasn’t the main focus, but there to support the atmosphere. Such as the underground area that sounded eerie and off beat, this matched the plot at the time and the game does well with the use of audio to deliver the story of the journey with absolutely no narration. As quiet as the game is, the music is the only sound to keep you company apart from the clicking and dropping of Lego pieces and beeping of our chaotic friend we built. There are also environmental sounds like water, lava, and wind, so it’s not completely silent at times.
This brief puzzle adventure is roughly 3 hours in length when using no guides for the puzzles. The 35 levels will start to take longer and longer as you progress, but some short levels are thrown into the mix. The exploring of a new world and finding friends in even lonely places makes this title a wonderful experience with minor frustration towards controls on console. The game is rather short, but excels with design. Hopefully we will see more from this studio that shows a clear passion for LEGO. I didn’t experience any bugs and the gameplay was evolving the more you ventured deeper into the game.
I would recommend this title to LEGO fans that love building, but hate the mess. This game is a brief story of a bond between two characters and coping with everyday life as a Lego. I enjoyed the silent story the player witnesses as the levels roll on and was impressed mostly by the vivid color usage in the visuals and level design. If you’re not into puzzle games or an avid Lego fan, then you might find it hard to find value in this short game and will quickly lose interest. Once the credits roll, the game resets right back to the beginning again with no other mode or extra content apart from the main 35 levels. I felt it was a tad short for the asking price, but the game is impressive for what it is and is an official LEGO product. If trying to get a young child to play this, they will most likely lose interest in comparison to the standard LEGO game due to the lack of familiar characters, voice acting, and the subtlety of the story delivery. This game was made for the fans of the hobby and puzzlers alike.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on the Xbox One release played on Series S|X. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. The reviewer purchased the title.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.