Who knew that combining little plastic blocks with blockbuster movie trilogies could prove so charming? LucasArts and Traveller's Tales captured lighting in a bottle with the Lego Star Wars series of games, with the lighthearted take on some of the most icon characters and stories in science fiction history capturing the hearts of fans both young and old alike. So charmed were both gamers and the gaming press that they almost - almost forgave Lucas for Jar Jar.
Now the two companies have teamed up again to give the classic Indiana Jones trilogy the tiny toy treatment in the hopes of recapturing the magic and wonder of the first two outings. Have they unearthed yet another treasure, or are they up to their waist in a pit full of snakes? Throw me the whip, and I'll throw you the review roundup.
The LEGO games have never been lookers, per se, but they've always had solid graphics and, most importantly, a great style accenting the notion of an evilly possessed LEGO play set. Original Adventures definitely continues the trend, delivering the same sort of clean and goofy looking graphics seen in the Star Wars games. Each character's simple animations deliver a ton of personality, and while the environments are a bit flat, they set the scene well.
Though the puzzle aspects alone are enough to make Lego Indy worthwhile, the humor makes it enjoyable even for people just watching the action. The silent cutscenes take you through the journey in a much sillier manner than Steven Spielberg originally envisioned. No, you won't see the Lost Ark melt some unfortunate Lego person's face, but you will see Indy's father fall asleep (because he's old!) and even the Harrison Ford look-alike donning a blonde wig to deceive a foolish guard.
Where the game unfortunately suffers is in what's been taken out. It's not entirely fair to compare Indy to the feast of content that was LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga since that was a compilation of sorts, but even compared to the single Star Wars editions this feels disappointingly light on the features that matter once the story mode has been exhausted.
Lego Indy doesn't vary much in scope and content from the previous titles that the pair (LucasArts and Traveller's Tales) have worked on, but it's still a fun game to play and a smart take on the game-from-a-movie process, which more times than not turns out to be lacking in the "game" portion. Most of all, it makes me wonder what they'll team up on next.
Perhaps they didn't capture all of the magic of the Lego Star Wars series, but a great deal of it made it into Lego Indy.