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Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (GB)

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Manufacturer: THQ / Type: Action

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      06.07.2010 00:05
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      Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine for GBC

      Primarily a puzzler, with puzzles tending to the simple. Pushing a block onto a marked tile to switch something on, and then pushing said block in place to progress with the platforming somehow passes for a puzzle. But there were a few whereby it seemed as if there were no clues and that the only way to solve them was by trial-and-error. Then, there was one puzzle where it would have been helpful had I been shown what was happening as I stepped on alternating tiles, whereas another which requires pitch recognition is given away by visual indication for those not so musically inclined. Speaking of music, it's use is minimal - Raiders March would be played for intro and credits - yet oddly the only option in this game is to turn if off.

      Combat plays somewhat of a second fiddle to the puzzles and platforming, and is no great snakes. Or shakes, rather. Although he uses it to swing across cracks, Indy's bullwhip can feel underused as a weapon since it is best to pick off enemies with his gun at range.

      As colourful as the graphics can be, routes are not consistently marked, and as such, can see to players becoming stuck for progress. The view is poor - it's difficult to differentiate how high the height of the floors are, and this can make the platforming tricky. Where there is a landing in place, falling from a great height leads to a loss in health, but whilst the puzzles can hinder progress, far too frequently the challenge of a stage hinges on successfully bypassing the bottomless pits. Fall and it's Game Over - start the stage from scratch. Considering that these stages are not small for size, and thus will not take a short time to complete, why not just see to a sizeable health drop? Yet it's simple to stay stocked with maximum health (and antidote) packs.

      Cycling through the inventory can be a pain. But as there's not much of a need to switch to something so suddenly it's not such a problem. Also, that you must go into the Status Screen to use this tool - which is needed numerous times - for the last level is careless. Some of the level design is dodgy. On this level there is a platform that comes into play later on which is not the red herring players might believe it to be, but because of it's position, players might have killed themselves reaching for it. Though there is considerable backtracking, level design reaches a low for the Tian Shan River stage - the only pressure in this stage is the water current in which the raft can go along with or against, since there's no dying and no time limit.

      Progress is resumed with an eight-character password, and an extra becomes available on collecting all the treasure. However, had I been a fan of the franchise and not have had the chance to play the N64 version of this title (which was not released outside of America) I would have been sorely disappointed with this outing on the Game Boy Color. Perhaps there is a reason as to why the credits after completion are tricky to make out - those responsible for this game should be given a good whipping (not in a playful kinky kinda way). Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is of a decent length, but with dodgy level designs dragged down by poor puzzles and painful platforming, it's a terrible title, and definitely not one to be treasured.

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