Now that Traveller's Tales has conquered a galaxy far, far away, it has its sights set on giving a Lego makeover to a more terrestrial franchise. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures lets you reenact the key scenes from the first three Indiana Jones movies with a blocky twist that only Lego can provide. The idea of children's building toys pasted atop action-packed adventures may seem strange--and seeing a Lego monkey is rather unnerving--but the enduring charm of the movies is the perfect foundation for some small-scale archaeology. The surprise is that, even without a nostalgia-powered handcuff fastening you to these stories, the whip-cracking action and humorous cutscenes should be enough to draw even the Indy ignorant into the experience.
The cutscenes look really good.
The Nintendo DS version is completely different from the other six versions of the game. Though puzzle-solving still plays a large part of the adventure, combat and platforming are emphasized more strongly here than in the console counterparts. Enemies can no longer be disposed of with one punch; you'll have to land three or four blows before they'll burst into Lego parts. Your repertoire is still limited to a handful of moves, but the more persistent enemies swing the focus squarely to the action side. Also tossed in are a few dual-screen vehicle missions. They aren't the most exciting diversions (they're glorified bolt-collecting minigames), but they do add a little variety when your miniature knuckles get sore from constantly beating on foes. The puzzles are integrated well within levels, and though they tend to be fairly easy, a few doozies have been mixed in to keep you on your toes.
Although you're given a few tools to help you on your quest, none play a larger part than Indy's whip. If you're ever stuck, there's a good chance that you'll be able to use it as a way to climb to a higher ledge, or to knock down statues to form a temporary bridge. During certain portions of the game, when it seems as if every solution has been attempted and failed, the whip serves as the heroic key to advancement. For example, did you know that by swinging your trusty weapon you can move a jeep stuck in the middle of a road? It's ridiculous that so many puzzles boil down to your rather adept leather friend, but the sheer variety of uses has to be admired.
The smooth integration of action and puzzles is the shining point of Lego Indy, but the game is also quite funny at times. The silent cutscenes take you through the journey in a much sillier manner than Steven Spielberg originally envisioned. The same cutscenes from the console versions are present here, albeit in slightly condensed form. For instance, a scene in which Belloq confronts Indy is chopped off before he can walk around like a stiff-legged robot, mocking C-3PO. However, the majority of the scenes remain intact. Outside of the cutscenes, the humorous aspects aren't as plentiful as they were in the console versions. The silly touches that previously littered levels have seemingly been lost in translation.