Back in 1999, the world was a simpler place: LEGO was blocky, Minifigures mostly smiled, and a go-kart could be built using fewer than 10 elements. The epitome of LEGO Car racing existed in the form of LEGO Racers: players would challenge the ruling champion, Rocket Racer, for the title of Greatest LEGO Racer. The game spawned a sequel, and Rocket Racer lives on today in the setting of the LEGO City Stuntz sets.
In the meantime, Mario Kart has become the family race game of choice, while LEGO car racing has been somewhat restricted to a DLC package for Forza Horizon 4.
Now, there might be a new contender: LEGO® 2K Drive:
Drawing on Speed Champions heritage and more, the game will be available from May 19 on: XBOX ONE; X|S; LEGO Switch, Playstation 4&5 and PC. The game is now available for pre-order.
Announced today, LEGO®Brick Tales is a new puzzle-based, digital adventure from Thunderful Studios called. We are missing a few details (including platform, price and release dates- I’ll update this post when they become available). This game takes the player through a variety of challenges, typically involving brick based construction, in a beautifully rendered world.
LEGO® Builder’s Journey, the game from Light Brick Studios was updated a couple of weeks ago. It delivers new content to a broader audience – extending from Apple Arcade to Nintendo Switch and PC (on Steam and Epic Games Store). Having completed the game in its first iteration, I sat down to replay it. The game follows the adventures of a father and son, initially hiking together, and playing. Then they get interrupted while the father goes to work.
I decided to extend this metaphor, by engaging the services of Harry, our household games consultant (ok… its my son!), to provide a review. I’m a dab hand on the iPhone, but as far as understanding PC gaming, I’m at a loss.
We subsequently attended a round table discussion with representatives the Light Brick Studios, LEGO Games and other Recognised LEGO Fan Media – Racing Brick, Cafe Corner, Bricksfanz, Blocks Magazine and ADFL.it.
A year or two ago, Apple Arcade opened – a subscription model for a games service in the Apple Ecosystem. One of the launch titles, Builder’s Journey, saw a number of AFOLs sign up for the service, and I suspect a few of us failed to cancel our subscription after completing the game.
The game is a puzzle based game, involving the journey of a stylised father and son, exploring a world of LEGO Bricks. The game’s beautiful aesthetics is capped off by the relaxing soundtrack, which also features heavily in the LEGO Games Podcast ‘Bits N Bricks.’ In fact, there is an episode of the podcast dedicated to builder’s journey, which you can find here (episode 6 to be exact…).
This week, the game has been released for PC via Steam, and the Spic Game Store, as well as the Nintendo Game store. These versions, as well as the new version on Apple Arcade, represent an expanded version of the original game.
I’ve set the Household Gamer (ie the game player of our household) the task of working through the new, Steam Based version, and putting together a review for the Rambling Brick – I look forward to hear he has to say about it. I really enjoyed the game on Apple Arcade, when it first came out, and am setting out on revisiting the game with the latest version.
According to the publisher’s website, the game
The LEGO® Group is taking players on an epic, inspirational experience in LEGO® Builder’s Journey, available now on Nintendo Switch and PC. The game follows a father and son on a heartwarming journey through a stunning brick-built universe, filled with geometric puzzles that will surprise and delight players
“When creating LEGO Builder’s Journey, we were inspired by the new movement of games that focus on the overall experience for gamers,” said Karsten Lund, creative director and head of studio, Light Brick Studio. “We chose to focus on the emotional and evocative aspects of storytelling to spark players’ imaginations, and to encourage them to reflect on the importance of play and creativity in all of our lives.”
In addition to the playful themes sewn seamlessly throughout the narrative, the Light Brick team has designed a world featuring graphical upgrades to further immerse players in the game, including ray-traced ambient occlusion, global illumination, reflections, shadows, and other effects that make bricks feel more tactile and movement more fluid.
LEGO Builder’s Journey is available now for $USD19.99 on Steam, the Epic Games Store and the Nintendo eShop. This translates to $29.99 AUD.
Have you played Builder’s Journey? Have you been frustrated by the limited platforms that it has been available on? Did you fall foul of the ‘Signup for the free trial and forget to unsubscribe’ business model that Apple use?
Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,
Have you been enjoying Bricks N’ Bits, the podcast detailing the 25 year history of LEGO® Games? The second series launched properly last week, with a discussion of LEGO Brawls. Along with Extra Pieces co-producer (and editor of Jay’s Brick Blog), Jay Ong, I was fortunate to attend the Recognised LEGO® Fan Media Days last week.
This virtual gathering provided an opportunity to participate with other Fan Media in several briefings about projects that the LEGO Group has underway. We were treated to a presentation by the LEGO® Games team. They took us on some deep dives into the world of podcast production, as they brought us some of the stories behind researching and producing Bricks N’ Bits. The second season is now underway and the latest episode has just been released. It brings us some of the stories behind LEGO Marvel Superheroes – a game first released in 2013.
Over the last few decades, LEGO Bricks have been competing with electronic platforms for the attention of the youth of the world. It was inevitable that they would start to get involved in games of their own – either developed inhouse or through external studios. This year, the company are celebrating 25 years since their first foray into such games. Today, we see the announcement of a Bits n Bricks, a ten part podcast charting their history.
With episodes dedicated to specific instances in LEGO Gaming History, the program was produced by documentary maker Ethan Vincent, who had already documented the making of LEGOs first Massive Multiplayer Online Game, LEGO Universe from 2008 – 2011, and games journalist, Brian Crecente, co-founder of Polygon.
In a year where too many collaborations is barely enough, LEGO are launching another- this time with games development platform Unity: Over the last few years, Unity has become one of the premiere game development platforms, providing the backbone of many of the games omn the market today. This year, LEGO Games celebrates 25 years, and has collaborated with the makers of Unity to see a Unity LEGO Microgame – essentially a beginners game development environment – become available.
At the Fan Media days in Billund this year, I had the chance to see a presentation from the LEGO Games/ Gamesloft team about LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed, an upcoming mobile game due for release in a month or two. Gathering figures and sets from the past 41 years, it looks set to reinvigorate interest in sets from past. You can read our announcement of the game here.
Today, Gamesloft have opened the platform for pre registration today: you can sign up to pre-register, and have access to great gifts when the game is officially released in the next month or two (I’m awaiting announcement of the release date too). you can sign up for pre-registration here. Read more for further details, and a new gameplay video.
Have you heard about LEGO Tower? The mobile game, due for release in July, from LEGO Games, and Nimblebit, the developers of Tiny Tower? This weekend, visitors to the LEGO House have the opportunity to build their own floors for a LEGO Tower, and contribute to a world record attempt for the World’s Largest Diorama made from LEGO® Bricks.
The event runs during Saturday and Sunday, having started on Friday, 21st June. The final measurement will occur on Sunday Afternoon (CEST).
Today, Gamesloft Studios, in conjunction with LEGO Games, have unveiled their latest offering, coming later in the year, the nostalgia filled LEGACY Heroes Unboxed. The Rambling Brick had a chance to get a sneak preview with the developers from GameLoft Studios.