LEGO Bricktales is a kiddy Kerbal Space Program

An intriguing new LEGO game was revealed during the Future Games Show's Spring Showcase, and one that arguably leans more into what actual, physical LEGO is than its most successful videogames. LEGO Bricktales is being developed by Clockstone Studio, creators of the Bridge Constructor series, and the first thing that comes to mind with this is, oddly enough, an underrated Xbox 360 exclusive.

I never thought I'd see the day but—Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts 'n Bolts was a semi-visionary game from Rare that probably didn't get the reception it deserved. It was a platformer but the core hook was an intuitive 3D building program in which you created vehicles, which you then tootled around the worlds in. I've also just described a big part of LEGO Bricktales.

This does look aimed at the slightly younger kids, a kiddy Kerbal Space Program almost, but the structure is a tonne of puzzles that give the player a challenge to overcome by building things. The game promises you can "build your own solutions" and, while that's probably going a bit too far, the construction element looks both user-friendly and highly flexible.

The puzzles are set in five different LEGO-themed biomes, and are not just about building a chopper to fly up higher. The game's press release says you'll also be tasked with "purely aesthetic creations, such as market stands and music boxes, up to functional physics-based puzzles like building cranes and gyrocopters."

A diorama in LEGO Bricktales.

(Image credit: LEGO)

Your good deeds will unlock more skills and building options, and as you explore different construction spots you'll acquire the different bricks that come with them.

"Everyone loves LEGO Bricks, and we are no exception, so we couldn’t be happier to get the chance to work on a LEGO videogame," said Tri Do Dinh of Clockstone. "We hope you enjoy this first look at LEGO Bricktales and will have a great time diving into the game’s story, sandbox mode, unlockable abilities and much more!"

It's always sat oddly with me that LEGO found enormous success in videogames with a series that essentially automated the process and focused on the aesthetic, while its more ambitious attempts to virtually replicate the experience of clacking together bricks on a carpet have failed to land. LEGO Bricktales leans much more into that physical side of the toy, and has clearly taken significant inspiration from games that have thought about building in a clever manner: so fingers crossed.

The game will be out at some point this year, and here's the website.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."