LEGO® Builder’s Journey
Gameplay 7
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Lego Builder’s Journey features some of the most realistic-looking Lego blocks seen in games to date. However, it is a casual puzzle experience aimed at more mature audiences, so don’t expect the freedom to design and build your own wacky creations. Instead, the game features single-screen dioramas with limited selections of blocks to overcome simple challenges. It’s still a lot of fun and looks incredible, but it can be completed very quickly and lacks any type of replay value.

Gameplay: Not very taxing, but casual audiences will find it entertaining.

Graphics: With all the ray tracing elements enabled, the game looks incredible.

Sound: The soundtrack is soothing, and the sound effects are very realistic

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LEGO® Builder’s Journey

Developer: Light Brick Studio | Publisher: LEGO® Games | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Casual / Puzzle / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

There has been no shortage of Lego games over the years for both the young and the young at heart. However, with Builder’s Journey, Light Brick Studio has instead crafted a title that is aimed at more mature audiences. The game was originally an Apple Arcade exclusive but has now transitioned to PC with some additional levels in tow.

At its core, LEGO Builder’s Journey is a casual puzzle game that presents players with miniature dioramas featuring some type of obstacle to overcome or challenge to solve. Initially, players simply have to ensure that a character standing on one side of the level can safely make their way to the opposite side. However, later levels feature additional challenges involving machinery and other types of contraptions. Most of the puzzles are very straightforward, but a few require more out-of-the-box thinking. None of the puzzles will stump players for too long, though, which means that Builder’s Journey is a very short game even with the added levels.

Each level in Builder’s Journey features a character, whether it is a small child or their parent. The two start on their journey together but become separated along the way and have their own challenges to overcome. Instead of using the Minifigures that players are used to seeing in other Lego games, Builder’s Journey instead opts for more abstract characters. However, despite being cobbled together from just a few pieces of Lego and never uttering a word, it’s hard not to grow fond of these characters over the course of their adventure.

Typically the biggest complaint about games that get ported to PC from mobile phones is the lack of visual options, but Builder’s Journey definitely bucks this trend. It is simply one of the best-looking Lego games on the market and a real showcase for players with RTX capable graphics cards. With the option to enable ray tracing, DLSS, shadows, reflections, ambient occlusion, global illumination, volumetric light, motion blur, depth of field, and bloom, the game is a thing of beauty. Each little diorama looks real enough that you want to reach out and touch them and the use of light, as well as reflections, is superb. Even without all the ray tracing elements, which can be quite taxing on your system, Builder’s Journey is a great looking game.

The options are a little more limited in terms of audio, and players can only choose whether to switch sound effects and music on or off. You’ll definitely want to leave both on, though, as the game sounds as good as it looks. The soothing soundtrack is an excellent match for the laidback puzzles, and the sound effects are very realistic. However, the entire story plays out wordlessly, so there’s no speech in this game.

Builder’s Journey is a simple game to control, and all interactions are handled with a mouse. Players can left-click to pick up blocks, right-click to rotate them and then click and hold to snap them into place. Unfortunately, the latter is somewhat fiddly, and connecting blocks can be more of a chore than it needs to be at times. For example, it’s too easy to try and connect a block only to drop it instead and then grab the block you were trying to connect it to in the process. We eventually got used to this, but there’s no doubt that it can become annoying. The game’s mobile roots can also be felt in actions such as turning dials, which takes more effort than expected using a mouse. In addition, players have limited control over the camera, but there is rarely a reason to mess with it unless a block falls in an awkward spot.

Lego is synonymous with creativity and building things, but don’t expect too much from Builder’s Journey in this regard. Each level is a small, self-contained puzzle, and you only have access to a limited amount of supplied blocks. Players also don’t have direct control over the characters and must instead change their environments to solve puzzles. Nevertheless, there’s some flexibility when it comes to the solutions for some of the puzzles, and the game doesn’t care how messy your plans are as long as they work. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have much in the way of replay value, and even with the added levels, most players will be looking at the credits in no time.

We really enjoyed our time with Lego Builder’s Journey, but due to the game’s length, some people will see it more as a tech demo for ray tracing than a full game. Some type of creative mode or freedom to create your own dioramas using the wonderfully realistic Lego pieces would have been great. Unfortunately, once the game is over, there isn’t much reason to go back except to show off the beautiful visuals to your friends. Anyone who loves Lego and enjoys small, self-contained games will have fun with this title, but players who want to be challenged and expect lots of replay value from their games should probably look elsewhere.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 x64
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-3470 / AMD FX-8350 or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / Radeon R7 260X
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: PCs with lower than minimum specs can run the game on “Classic” mode via launch options.
  • OS: Windows 10 x64
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6950X / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 / AMD RX 6700 XT
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 5 GB available space

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