Lego Indiana Jones

By Micah Kolding

That's right, in the tradition of the Lego Star Wars franchise comes the brick-by-brick retelling of everyone's favorite chapters of the Indiana Jones saga. They also throw in the chapter that comes between those two, but you don't have to play that one.

Anyone familiar with this game's Star Wars predecessor should more or less know what to expect here. There are a few different mechanics, a few new abilities, and characters who might once have been able to "use the Force" to construct piles of Legos now have to simply hunker down and throw their project together, but it's still pretty much the same game. You can play through the original trilogy, completing simplistic missions while collecting "studs", treasure pieces, mailboxes, and the occasional Star Wars cameo, then it's back to the university to spend your studs on new characters and special bonuses, and maybe unlock one of the secret levels.

It's hard to call this product so much a "game" as a "toy". First of all, the gameplay is incredibly easy. When you die, your character reappears almost immediately having lost nothing but a few studs. Every puzzle throws up a red flag as to how to solve it; you know that Indy has to use his whip if you see a wooden platform, you know you need a woman to perform a high jump if you see a glowing cluster of flowers, etc. An entire run through of this game is as mentally stimulating as eating a particularly complex piece of toast. And in case that wasn't enough, the various side accomplishments that the game offers are made far too accessible. For example, if you collect all the treasure pieces from one level, you're one step closer to accessing a secret level.  If it's too hard to find any of the treasure pieces, you can buy a certain bonus that points out exactly where every piece is as you proceed through the level. If you're still too lazy to actually collect every piece, you can simply buy the remaining pieces for one thousand studs each (this is very, very cheap). All in all, it's a game well suited for younger players who just like something to interact with.

And in case you think that the Indiana Jones movies are an inappropriate subject for the pre-teen's playtime, it is worth noting the borderline nauseating degree to which these stories are watered down. The cute sense of humor that these games portray so well assures that you will not see anyone's heart get ripped out, you will not see anyone's face melt, and you will not see anyone killed horribly at the doorstep of the Grail. You wouldn't even know that there are Nazis in the films as the game forgoes any appearance of swastikas or Hitler, even going so far as to refer to Nazi soldiers as "enemy soldiers" when they become selectable characters. If you find this saccharine display less objectionable than the actual trilogy, maybe this is the game for you after all. 

For most of us, however, this game is going to miss the mark. It lacks the kind of substance necessary to truly satisfy the more devoted enthusiast of either Indiana Jones or videogames in general.  So rent for your kid, skip for yourself, and always, always keep those games spinning.


Our Score: 6 out of 10

About the author:

Micah Kolding is a teacher, writer, and cartoonist from Davis, California. His sharp and satiric edge has appeared in the likes of The California Aggie and The Sacramento Book Review, as well as on stage.

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