Do you remember how you kept your LEGO blocks? For me, I stored all of them in a big box, unsorted and in complete chaos. Every playtime I would tip this box out and cause an almighty mess. I wouldn’t think about the pain of clearing it away until it was time to do so, at which point I would sigh and whine as I scooped up my inventions with two hands and dropped them back into the container to be forever forgotten as they drowned in a sea of plastic.
LEGO Brickheadz reminds me of that box. I open it up and virtual bricks tumble out of it. I can build what I want and cause as much mess as I please, only at the end there’s no tidy up time. On one hand, it’s like my childhood dream come true, though it ultimately can’t replace the real thing. At least not yet.
Released on Daydream last week for free, Brickheadz is very different to the LEGO games you’re used to seeing on games consoles. Rather than a themed adventure, this fully embraces the spirit of building toys to play with. The main experience is set in a vibrant bedroom in front of a space that toys — themselves based on the LEGO Brickheadz line of bulkier characters — come alive in. From a menu, you pick figures and objects and drag them down into the world with the Daydream controller.
In the main game, you’ll need to unlock more creations by solving simple puzzles that usually involve taking a certain character, giving them a certain item and a certain mood (which you can change by placing them on a portal), and putting them next to a certain object. The fun comes from experimentation; what happens when you give a lion a sword and set him loose on a scene? What if I introduce this magician to this woman looking lonely over here? There’s a playful invention here that adds a bit of Toy Story to the block building.
Where Brickheadz is best enjoyed, though, is with that building. At any point you can point to a frame to head into a creation mode, either following instructions to make your own figures, or tossing out the rule book and constructing whatever you please. You choose from sets of blocks that rain down from above and then use the Daydream controller to pick up individual pieces and place them on a mat. It’s a pretty small space, so what you can build is inevitably pretty limited itself, but there’s still plenty of room for playing around.
Daydream’s controller does an adequate job of simulating playing with LEGO blocks, though it’s a little too restricted. I often found myself longing for two position-tracked controls so that I could really stick these blocks together myself. Without them, sticking pieces together is more finicky. Still, it’s functional, and I could make things with relatively few mistakes. The sheer joy of playing with building blocks is still enough to make this the better half of the game.
Any good LEGO creation is built on a solid foundation. You usually have to start from within and build out, and you’re not sure how you’re going to get to your ultimate goal. I feel the same about LEGO Brickheadz in its current state. I want it to be the foundation for things to come, working toward a high-end game where I can easily build models much bigger and more ambitious than anything I could have put together from my box.
LEGO Brickheadz can be downloaded for free on Google Play.