Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Written by Joe Martin

June 12, 2008 | 15:26

Tags: #casual #games-for-windows #indiana-jones #indy #spielberg

Companies: #lego #lucasarts

Don’t Call Me Junior!

In concluding our thoughts about Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, we have to say we’re a little bit torn. Our critical, sceptical, introspective and over-self-analytical minds are split and the hemispheres are arguing between themselves.

The right hemisphere, which is dominant for all the creative stuff like imagery and music (according to a full thirty seconds of Google Research), says that these faults don’t really matter when you get right down to it. Sure, the puzzles are a little frustrating and the vehicles are a mile or two on the wrong side of crap, but this is Lego Indiana Jones, dammit! Those things don't matter!

That hemisphere has a point. The game as a whole is fun, accessible and enjoyable. It’s great fun to play and it offers plenty of longevity, familiarity and hilarity.

The left brain however, which handles the dull stuff and technical details, dares to quibble though. It points out that it doesn’t take someone with both sides of their brain working to see how much better the game would be if some puzzles were spaced out a bit more and if the cars had been removed utterly, or at least trimmed down to areas where you could actually just enjoy driving them.

Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Conclusions

And that side of the brain has a point too – these may be technical failings and they may not ruin the game utterly, but they are quite clearly weak points of the game and they do damage the appeal of some levels. As does the lack of online co-op.

One thing our collective bit-tech hive mind is in agreement on though is that the PC is unfortunately not the ideal platform for this game and that the PC version, which is what we’ve been chipping away at, just isn’t as strong as a console equivalent. It really hurts us to say that too.

It comes down to a matter of input in the end. There are a lot of genres that the PC can do much better than a console – real-time strategy and first-person shooters being the best examples. One thing that the PC can’t do as well though is the 3D platformer genre – putting the two together just makes it patently obvious that Lego Indy is a game built primarily for the console.

Naturally though, the PC is a jack of all trades and a master of versatility. Likewise, the bit-tech editorial team is one that prides itself on the ability to find massively over-complicated solutions to simple problems. Thus it was then that we whipped out our screwdriver, hammer, tongs, plastic sheeting and a tube of KY jelly and were successfully able to plug in an Xbox 360 controller to the PC.

Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Conclusions

As a controller for Lego Indy, the Xbox 360 controller worked beautifully – though the idea of using a console controller made by a PC OS manufacturer to play a PC game that was obviously made for consoles did give us a bit of a headache. In fact, new-boy Harry was unable to withstand the philosophical conundrum and just exploded in his seat, leaving behind only a sticky blue smudge and a whiff of smoke.

Thus, Lego Indiana Jones gets extra points based on the merit of its metaphysical nature.


Lego Indy is very much a game in the same mould as Lego Star Wars – a fact which is simultaneously both exactly what we wanted and hugely disappointing. It’s big and it’s funny and it’s going last any player worth their salt a long, long time. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Conclusions

It’s Indy and it’s Lego – both are equal parts awesome, so the end result of the mix is pretty awesome too.

The problem is though that we’re talking in generalities there, because once you get down the specifics of the PC version the game is a bit of a letdown. The keyboard just isn’t hugely fun to play with and the game suffers from fairly basic design flaws that really hammer this home.

It’s a shame. The game could be exactly the type of game to pass the time this summer while the football is on and we geeks have to otherwise occupy ourselves. In fact, it is that game as far as console gamers are concerned, only on the PC does it fall down out of a generally lessened accessibility and ease of use.

Besides, trying to get two people to share a computer monitor – and a keyboard two unless you have a gamepad going spare - is never as much fun or as easy to do as it is with a console.
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