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The Lego Crusade

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As any one of a billion internet dating profiles will try to convince you, personality goes a long way. And while that maxim might not be exactly true when it comes time to actually meet MsLonelyHeart1963@aol.com in the prodigious flesh, it is true in the case of Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures—a game that can optimistically be described as the combination of your favorite childhood movies and your favorite childhood toys, and can cynically be described as a pretty ingenious cash-in, seeing as how its street date was timed with the release of the fourth Indiana Jones flick.

Like developer Traveller's Tales' Lego Star Wars games, Lego Indiana Jones has a simple premise: You run, swing, jump, and punch your way through the three original Indiana Jones films, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Temple of Doom to Last Crusade. Along the way, there are a ton of puzzles—some clever and challenging, some frustratingly abstruse—as well as an endless stream of bad guys to sock and, throughout, a charming, lighthearted tone. Like the movies that inspired it, Lego Indiana Jones is ostensibly made for kids, though it's hard to picture any cold-hearted bastard who wouldn't get a kick out of it: Granted, the controls can get slippery, and some puzzles are way too tricky for any little kid (or, say, an otherwise intellectually competent 28-year-old). But the whole thing's so cheerful and fun that it's impossible not to have a blast playing it, from its simple beat-'em-up combat, to its puzzle-solving elements, to its genuinely funny slapstick renditions of classic Indiana Jones scenes reenacted with Legos.

Wii Sports might've introduced the idea of casual gaming to soccer moms everywhere, but it's games like Lego Indiana Jones that strike just the right balance between accessibility and depth—it's just welcoming enough to be relaxing, and just tricky enough to not get boring. Plus, Lego Short Round? Best sidekick ever.

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