I'm just back from leaping, rolling, tumbling, building, battling, and bullwhipping my way through the first level of Traveller's Tales' just-released LEGO Indiana Jones demo.

The demo lets you play through the opening scene from the first movie, the sequence where Indy goes spelunking in a booby-trapped cave for a gold idol, goofs, then has to outrun a tunnel-sized boulder in what's arguably the most iconic scene of the series.

For better or worse (I say for better) LEGO Indy looks like it'll owe pretty much everything to LEGO Star Wars, and aside from the milieus, jokes, and a few of the special abilities, you'd swear you were playing the latter with whips and swords instead of lightsabers and grappling hooks.

The first level gives you time to get reacquainted with the basics by roaming around outside the cave at leisure, swinging on vines, beating on plants and idols for LEGO bits, digging up chests, probing for sequestered collectibles, and of course building random stuff like bridges and boats.

The humour's just as goofy, and while it's obviously skewed toward younger players, it's smart enough to elicit a chuckle or two from even this elder cynic, in particular a segment near the end where Belloq motions for the idol and Indy pulls something completely unexpected out of his bag.

Of course the demo exhibits a few of the problems that plagued the Star Wars games as well, namely places where the edges of areas aren't clearly delineated, making it easy to slip off into (literal) piecemeal oblivion.

The fixed camera angles that sometimes sit punishingly low (skull-platform-dart sequence anyone?) don't help, although in the end they're probably the smarter compromise over a freely controllable camera, since the idea's to move fast and not preen over positioning.

NEXT PAGE: what no Nazis?

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