LEGO Indiana Jones feels like a comfy old t-shirt. The LEGO Star Wars games before it were wonderful, and LEGO Indy lives up to their standard. The Force is gone, but in its place there are shovels, archaeological texts, and wrenches. The diversification of abilities seems like it ought to make things more complicated, but what it really does is make each character feel useful. Instead of running around as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ghost upon unlocking him you’ll still be switching between characters on your last Free Play session.
LEGO Indiana Jones covers Indy’s three classic adventures – Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and Last Crusade. Like the LSW games before it, cutscenes are used to poke fun at the original films and inject a little humor into the mix. All of your favorite characters and locales are preserved and ready to be destroyed in the quest for studs, and like LEGO Star Wars II, levels are fairly long.
LEGO Indy is great fun for the same reasons that LEGO Star Wars was fun. It is simple to pick up and play, it’s not overly complicated or punishing so cooperative play with a youngster is both possible and fun, and it’s fun to play through a classic movie franchise that has been LEGO-fied. Traveller’s tales have stepped the collectibles up a little bit, however. Artifacts (analogous to LSW’s, minikits) are better hidden throughout the various levels – you’ll get use out of the artifact detector. Also changed is the cheat system. It’s not enough anymore to find a red brick and buy a new cheat. Now you’ll need to find a parcel, carry it around for a while (sometimes through the majority of a level), find the postbox, and drop the parcel in it. The added challenge is great for older gamers, as the LSW games lacked challenge.
One sticking point, however, is the combat. LEGO Star Wars had a lot of combat, but every character worth using carried either a blaster or a lightsaber. LEGO Indy, despite having a holster, only has a gun when he takes one from an enemy. To pick up downed bad guys weapons is actually the only way to get a non-melee weapon throughout the story. This makes the game feel a bit more like the movies, but it also proves frustrating because most enemies have guns. It’s a good thing LEGO Indiana Jones has unlimited lives because you’ll be dying a lot until you buy the enemy soldier and run back through a level in Free Play.
LEGO Indiana Jones – The Original Adventures is loads of fun and encourages level replay making it a solid purchase. There’s plenty to do, and it’s presented in small enough chunks to never seem overwhelming. If you like Indiana Jones and enjoyed the LEGO Star Wars games then picking up LEGO Indy is a no-brainer.