October 28, 2021

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Builder’s Journey on PC Is 2021’s Most Pleasant Surprise

Outside of its familiar looking bricks, Lego has cemented itself in popular culture thanks to a host of licensed games based on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, as well as its own movies. Lego: Builder’s Journey is none of that. Rather, it’s a calming experience that showcases PC gaming at its best.

Lego: Builder’s Journey has you solving puzzles in the form of Lego dioramas of increasing difficulty. There’s an extremely chilled out soundtrack and minimal storytelling that follows a son and father as they build Lego sets together. It’s backed up by stellar presentation. From each brick to its iconic minifigs, every single pixel is near perfect.

Sure, the game’s been available on Apple Arcade since December 2019 and there’s a Nintendo Switch version too, but the PC version leans heavily into cutting-edge features like ray tracing.

Granted, you can play through the entire game with a GPU that doesn’t support it, but you’ll be missing out. This is one game where ray tracing really adds to the immersion rather than just being one other thing to stick on the product page. Utilising ray tracing techniques like Global Illumination, each scene looks mesmerising and there’s a noticeable difference in taking and placing blocks with and without ray tracing.

It comes at a real cost though. On our Alienware Aurora R9 with an Intel Core i9 9900K processor, 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super, we were able to eke out around 30fps with every detail maxed out at 4K. Though keep in mind, that’s the point: this is one of those games that exists to show off how far ray tracing tech can go and what it can bring to the table.

The puzzles themselves are a treat. From building slides to help minifigs get from one point in a diorama to another to piecing together a dilapidated building, they’re spectacles in motion. They aren’t too tough to complete either and you’ll be able to finish this game in a couple of hours or so. While the game mainly controls with the left mouse button, it felt a bit clunky versus using a controller to move and set bricks.

Considering the Rs. 469 price tag on Steam, you really can’t go wrong with Lego: Builder’s Journey. In a sea of adrenaline-fuelled, action-laden fare, it’s a welcome meditative experience. Hopefully Nvidia makes its GPUs easier to buy but if you have the hardware to run it, it’s well worth checking out.


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