LEGO Indiana Jones video game almost redeems Crystal Skull movie [Review]

We blog a lot of video game LEGO on The Brothers Brick, but I think this may be our first LEGO video game review — and the reason I haven’t blogged as much the last few days, heh heh!

After playing both the LEGO Star Wars games, I was really looking forward to LEGO Indiana Jones, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The same can’t be said for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I really enjoyed the first time through, but didn’t hold up the second time I saw it. Oh well. Fortunately, George Lucas didn’t write the video game. ;-)

The basic mechanics of LEGO Indiana Jones aren’t that different from LEGO Star Wars: In story mode, you play as one or more characters with specific skills, destroying things in the game environment to earn points (studs) and uncover piles of LEGO bricks, which you can build to progress the plot or find treasure.

However, instead of a lightsaber, you’re armed with Indy’s whip and fists of plastic. Indy can also pick up items, such as weapons and tools, to perform other actions — dig stuff up, fix things, turn clockwork, and so on. While you’re in story mode, you might not have all the necessary skills to find everything hidden throughout the level.

In free play mode, you’re assigned a random collection of characters that give you all of the tools and skills you need, and it’s your skill that determines whether you find all the treasure, including subcomponents of the level model.

I played the game on my Nintendo Wii, so I had the option of swinging my remote to flick Indy’s whip and shaking the remote and nunchuk to build things. Call me old-fashioned (I prefer “old school”), but I chose to use the buttons assigned to these actions instead, and was grateful for that choice.

My favorite thing about the recent LEGO video games from TT Games (formerly Traveller’s tales) is the developers’ humorous take on the Indiana Jones story. I won’t spoil the laugh-out-loud moments for you, but rest assured there are plenty in the game.

In terms of value, there are 18 main levels in the game, and it took me about 30-45 minutes to complete each level in story mode (being fairly thorough along the way; I only failed to get “True Adventurer” status on one). That works out to a fairly short game for someone like me who prefers 100-hour RPGs like Final Fantasy VII, but that’s not counting free play mode, which at least doubles the value. I’ve only started free play, but I’ve already unlocked all but two of the playable characters, and I’m starting to work my way through the extras.

Overall, I’m very pleased with LEGO Indiana Jones, and would recommend it not just to those of you who’ve played LEGO Star Wars. There’s a lot of value in the game, and more importantly, it’s really really fun to play!

LEGO Indiana Jones is available for the following platforms:

Apologies for the lack of visuals in this post. I don’t have a way to take screen shots on my Wii, and I figured a picture of me slumped on the couch in my sweats wasn’t something you’d want to see. ;-)

18 comments on “LEGO Indiana Jones video game almost redeems Crystal Skull movie [Review]

  1. mlambie

    I have the game on my Xbox 360 and was also highly impressed. They fixed a few annoying things from the Star Wars games, namely the second characters will fight alongside you now rather than just getting in the way.

    Considering the hype games like GTA IV and Halo 3 got vs. the entertainment they delivered, I think this game is a real sleeper. I think I’ve gone on record as saying that it’s my favourite video game in recent years (ever?) and I stick to that.

  2. ben

    i got this game the day before it came out in the uk and i must say it is one of my fave games !! its just so much fun !

  3. Keith Melton

    I actually enjoyed KOTCS more the second time. However yesterday I just read Frank Darabonts original script for the film and it was a far far superior screenplay.

  4. Ramone

    “Fortunately, George Lucas didn’t write the video game.”

    Uh, he didn’t write the movie either. Screenwriter David Koepp did. And frankly, I really enjoyed KOTCS too. The headline says more about your opinions of the movie–rather than why you enjoyed the game.

  5. Klint

    I encountered several bugs on the wii version, two that required me to start the level over and hope it wouldn’t happen again. Other than that it was a blast to play AND I got a free Lego Indiana Jones shirt when I bought it, I didn’t even pre-order!

    I can’t imagine playing it alone, luckily my girlfriend loves Indiana Jones and I love Legos. I definitely recommend playing it with a friend, a submissive friend who follows orders well.

  6. Morgan19

    Wooo, thanks for making this post Andrew. I didn’t realize they were making the game for the PS2– thought it was just the PS3 like the Star Wars complete collection version.


  7. Starwars4J

    KotCS was a blemish on the series name, and if the series takes the path I’ve heard it will, it will only get worse. But the game is just awesome. It has the magic of the SW games while keeping the magic of the IJ series as well.

  8. Andrew Post author

    @Ramone: Lucas is indeed credited as a writer on KOTCS. The headline is intended to be funny. I’m sorry you didn’t find it so.

    @Klint: Now that I think about it, I did too. At the end of “Trouble in the Sky,” I’d just activated the first flock of seagulls when I remembered I hadn’t done a scholar secret, so I left the screen. When I came back, the seagulls had reset themselves, but the counter hadn’t (I assume), so the level didn’t end even after setting off all three flocks. I had to start the level over, and then it worked fine.

  9. Rocko

    I don’t even play video games but I’d buy 100 copies of this before I watched Indy 4 again. It’s actually a worse addition to the Indiana Jones series than the prequels were to Star Wars. And that’s saying a lot.

  10. MasonTemplar

    Love the game, even with the handful of bugs. Really looking forward to the Batman game from TT, as it looks like a winner too. Nothing beats the clicking sound of stacking bricks!

    A tip for those just starting out (that I wish I had first time I played the Lego SW games) — buy the brick multiplier parcels before the other unlockables. (well, you’ll need to unlock an explosives guy and a “thugee” to make any secret parcels possible). Makes getting the millions of studs necessary to get all the secrets so much more bearable.

  11. Fred

    finished the game less than a week after it was released… still need to go back and clear all the levels with the correct characters. Not sure why but the levels seemed long and the game seemed short. Sounds like we’re in the same place as Andrew there. Fun all the same and worth the price of admission.

  12. Ramone

    Andrew, I never said I didn’t see the humor, I just said that your headline conveys more about your dislike of the movie, than what you liked about the game.

    Lucas did come up with the story, but he did not write it. In fact, it went through several re-writes (none of which were by him). He gave story points to Koepp who did the writing. You’ve confused the two, and there is a difference.

    Also, I’m done commenting for today. I didn’t intend for this to become a flame war. Hopefully tomorrow we can get back to talking about bricks. :)

  13. David

    If you use code 3nslt8 you get Wu Han! That came in an email. lol

    My mom saw the movie and HATED it, three waters, bombing, fights, just too over the top. She even thought Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard) was better!

  14. Eric D. Burdo

    I have the PC version of this. And I’m playing on a Laptop that doesn’t meet specs. It still plays quite well. My kids love it too.

    One of the nice things that they fixed from the SW games, is that you don’t have to be standing next to the other player to switch characters. You can switch from across the room now (necessary to beat many levels).

    Excellent game. It will be interesting to see how Batman turns out. Not sure if I’ll let my kids play it, but I might check it out.

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