Lego games are known for being quick to jump into with lots of replayability and a wide range of characters. Lego Builder’s Journey does none of this – offering an emotional journey of puzzle solving and tight visuals to contrast the typical Lego game style. The game is simple – each level presents itself as a diorama, and we must place Lego bricks in the correct place in the right order. Sometimes this means building something cool; in one level we are in the basement of a house and must disassemble furniture and electronics to create a little robot friend. More often though, players are tasked with constructing bridges or walkways for characters to move forwards.
Controlling the game can become frustrating, especially with any of the levels that required precise timing. To move and place blocks, we tap the object, then drag it, then hold a decently long press over the spot we want it to go. I feel like this system needs refinement. If the hold was slightly less long, and dropped bricks would pick up quicker and smoother, the game would vastly improve.
Another complaint I have, while admittedly mild, is I wish the main menu system worked better. As of writing, the level select screen is painfully devoid of information. We see a picture of each level and can scroll through all the completed ones, but there is no way to know anything about the level. Something as simple as a number to match each level would make things so less frustrating when trying to compare levels and the game’s overall length.
Lego Builder’s Journey does an admirable job flipping the Lego franchise on its head to give us a minimalist but satisfying puzzle game. While I doubt that I would ever play through this again after finishing it, I did enjoy the music enough that I could see myself playing the soundtrack some time. I am certainly recommending this one, especially with the hope that the touch controls will be improved sometime soon.
Lego Builder’s Journey is available on Apple Arcade for iOS.
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