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LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures on Game and Player

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Zach Hines  //  June 12, 2008

It's a great summertime title.


ne wonders if any media prefixed with "LEGO" would result in said media becoming rather adorable. Would The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, or Apollo 13 be rendered thusly cute from a union with the colored bricks of our youth? Or would albums such as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon become a plaything to those who have recess at school if so infused with the architect's tool that is LEGO? I doubt it, but it is rather amusing to sit and ponder the horrible offspring that could be if LEGO was to be mixed into the pot, so to speak.

The classic franchise, plus LEGOs.
Is the magic behind a media's pairing with LEGO as result of that media being expressed in the form of an ongoing series? If so, then I believe LEGO Lord of the Rings or Die Hard is sure to follow. And honestly, how awesome would a LEGO Die Hard be? It'd rule you and would be the very basis for your existence, that's how awesome it'd be. But I digress. We are here to review the recent release of LEGO Indiana Jones across multiple platforms. Coming hot off the launch of the new movie to carry Indy's name, as well as the commercial success of LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones doesn't disappoint.

If you've already played LEGO Star Wars, then you know what to expect from this game already. The game is a recreation of the Indiana Jones trilogy; an Indiana Jones trilogy if Jackson Pollock covered it in LEGO bricks as opposed to paint. The game follows the same visual style as its predecessor with all the LEGO humor we've come to expect. Characters do not talk, and instead communicate with a series of grunts and exclamations akin to your average teenager's, though you are much more likely to understand the former as opposed to the latter. It's, as I said before, adorable. So much would be lost if the characters actually spoke.

A picture and a grunt are
worth at least 1,250 words.
When dispatched, LEGO characters burst into little LEGO bits that you hungrily snatch up to be later used as currency. A rather macabre system if you think about it. And yet you feel compelled to snatch every single last bit as though your very life depended on it. The game is as bright and colorful as your favorite Saturday morning cartoon. You might think yourself too hardcore or grown-up to play a LEGO game. Well, trust me: you're not. The visual joy is 90% of the game itself. Cutscenes routinely got chuckles and laughter from me, so much so in fact that I found myself visiting the video room in Barnett College to view my favorites again. That's right: the setting for this adventure is where the game's namesake makes a living when he's not off saving the world with whip in hand. As with LEGO Star Wars' Mos Eisley cantina, unlocked characters and students will wander the halls of Barnett College as you explore the campus.

Gameplay is a mix of the old and the new. You might simply call this game a cousin to its predecessor. Stormtroopers are now German infantry. Mini-kits are now artifacts, and containers are now parcels. And more importantly, your lightsaber is replaced with a whip, and the force is gone. This is where some issues begin to present themselves. Due to the design of LEGO Star Wars, you were essentially a god made out of bricks. Your force powers made it so that very rarely would you die out of happenstance. However, since you are now sans Force, prepare to die much more frequently. You cannot simply push your enemies to the side or deflect blaster bolts with your lightsaber — you are forced to close the gap.

This doesn't always go so well for you. Most of your enemies have guns, or grenades, or even the occasional rocket launcher. You, on the other hand, most likely only have your whip. I can't count how many times I died, shot by an off-screen enemy; or because a grenade came out of nowhere. This isn't a major issue, though, because aside from a loss of bits, character death isn't a real setback. And you are able to pilfer weapons off dearly departed LEGO bad guys.

Melee combat has been expanded upon with some rather amusing results. I challenge you to find another game where someone explodes from a noogie. You'll visit all the major locales of the movies as you build elements of your surroundings, and complete simple puzzles. As in the previous title, different types of characters are required to explore certain parts of each level, so the game's replay value increases with each new character you unlock. New character types include demolitionists, scholars, thuggees, and more. The only issue I found with gameplay is that platforming is less forgiving this time around. Negotiating distance and depth is harder, thanks to an additional level of verticality. All in all, LEGO Indiana Jones' difficulty is greater than its predecessor's, but not so much that the game isn't as addictive.

Hello? Lucasarts, are
you listening? Hello?
Iconic music coupled with the sound of connecting plastic pretty much sums this one up. The crack of Indy's whip, the familiar scores, and transplanted sounds from LEGO Star Wars all comes together to help you relive everything you loved about the Indiana Jones films. As stated previously, there is no dialogue. But the sounds that are in place of spoken dialogue more than make up for it, and add to its overall charm. It's interesting how much goes into the sound design for a game where nothing being said. So often voiceover actors sound as though they're phoning in their lines, and yet when a game is forced to rely on clever placement of sounds in place of the spoken word, you find that may not even notice the absence of dialogue.

LEGO Indiana Jones makes for a worthwhile purchase. With a keen sense of nostalgia, drop-in co-op, and a lot of replay value, LEGO Indiana Jones is a great summertime title. If you're a fan of the movies, a fan of LEGOs, or just a fan of a good time, you won't be disappointed. Don't let the moniker fool you, and let's be honest; you loved LEGOs as a kid. This game is fun. If you're on the fence because of its branding, give it a shot. You'll be glad you did.

Pick up LEGO Star Wars if you already haven't. And face it, you're still thinking about LEGO Die Hard.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures



Traveller's Tales



NA Release

June 3, 2008


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Fun, nostalgic presentation
  • Great replay value


  • Platforming issues
  • Slightly unbalanced combat

G&P Rating

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