Indiana Jones And The Infernal Machine
Review By: Gringo

Q. What do you call a 1930's adventurer having an orgasm?
A. Indiana Moans

That's a bad delivery of a bad joke. Indiana Jones & The Infernal Machine is a good delivery (just like a miracle birth!) of a, um, good game.

There was only going to be so far that it could distance itself from Tomb Raider but it has managed relatively successfully. Although Indy looks like he's made up of Lego bricks, the overall animation is quite fluid and the background drawings and cut-scenes are mostly first-rate. However, having to control someone who reminds me more of a Muppet (yes, I know there was no Indiana Jones Muppet. Shut up! Now!) than Harrison Ford is a bit of a loss, as is the tendency for Indy to, say, walk through walls and get stuck in all manner of graphical glitches.

I'm going to burn in the minds of many (no) when I express my distaste for the Tomb Raider series. Not because the main character's a woman (even if my instincts prefer not to pretend to be female...unless it's playing that Barbie Fashion Designer game, because the dresses are just so darned pretty) but because I found the controls somewhat annoying, Lara was too quick on her feet and too uncontrollable. Silly minx.

Thankfully Indiana Jones, he of stubble and fedora fame, has come to rescue me and - more probably - the third person perspective action/adventure genre.

Not that it needed rescuing. The Raider series means that there's a large market for such games, but it's the quality that this game rescues to some extent. The background story for Infernal Machine has as much detail and has had as much thought put into it as all of Ms. Croft's outings stuck together with glue.

As you progress through the levels, the story develops like a good ole' Indy movie. LucasArts have thankfully ignored the lazy route of style over content, packing this adventure tighter than a midget's house, with interesting plot, locations and characters. It's a good game - not great, but at least it's not a Sierra product.

Indy's adventuring ability has been pared down since his venture off to decide the Fate Of Atlantis. Dialogue is a lot more restricted, and the puzzles - while tricky - are more of the 'this goes there' variety than the 'use this with this to talk to this person'. But it's billed as an Action/Adventure game, and that's what it is, albeit with a 60/40 split on the action and adventure. What does that mean? REWARDS FOR ALL, MR. QUESTION PANTS! REWARDS FOR ALL!


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