The last Indiana Jones film was criticised for many things, not least its awkward implementation of sci-fi elements. There are certain things you expect to see in an Indiana Jones adventure, and little grey aliens is not among them.
Similarly, there’s a certain formula expected of your average Indiana Jones game. They’re usually action adventure affairs in which you take control of Indy, cracking whips and jaws in equal measure.
On first impressions, Indiana Jones and the Lost Puzzles appears to have “done a Crystal Skull” with its unorthodox puzzler approach. However tenuous its link to the Indy franchise, though, it’s a decent game in its own right.
Universomo obviously got its inspiration for the game from the section near the end of The Last Crusade in which Indy has to step on the ancient floor tiles in the correct order (something he initially fails to do).
In Lost Puzzles, the name of God has been replaced by more game-friendly coloured tiles. The idea is to create combinations of single colours by making Indy hop or swing from one to the other using the D-pad. You can only move in the four main directions, with diagonals out of the question, but you can move any number of spaces.
So it becomes a question of planning the most effective route across the board, stringing together the longest combination possible.
In Adventure mode you’re presented with a number of variations on this core mechanic. One round may require you to avoid a certain colour, while another replaces used tiles with perilous spikes. These variations add a welcome dose of variety to what is a very simple premise, as does the game board you have to fill in along the way.
Here, a successful level completion adds a coloured gem to a small grid, Connect 4 style. Once you’ve filled the grid in, your score is totted up, with added points awarded for combinations of coloured gems. This match-three element adds a nice dose of strategy to proceedings.
All these extra elements are necessary, too, as Indiana Jones and the Lost Puzzles doesn’t possess a great deal of depth below its attractive surface. Fortunately, there’s just enough variety to make it a worthwhile and refreshing alternative to the usual mobile puzzler fare.