The year is 1947 and World War II has recently ended. Dr. Henry Jones, also known as Indiana Jones, has decided to resume his digging career in the southwestern United States. Unbeknownst to him, over in Europe the Soviet Union has placed Communist agents everywhere to search for a weapon that could shift the balance of power in their favor.
A Russian scholar by the name of Gennadi Volodnikov is most interested in the Tower of Babel. It is there that he believes a machine exists that is capable of travelling through space and time. Legend has it that this machine, inspired by the god Marduk, was completed. However, when completed the Babylonians became alarmed and sent four of Marduk's disciples, along with parts of the machine, to the far corners of the globe.
Players assume the role of Indiana Jones who, after learning of the Soviet's plans, knows he must now race against the Soviets in order to recover the parts and keep the "Infernal Machine" from being repaired. Indy will not be alone though, as he will find help in the form of CIA agent Sophia Hapgood (who is making a return appearance from the PC game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis) and her boss, military intelligence officer Simon Turner.
As Indiana Jones, players can perform a variety of actions: walk, run, jump, roll, pull, push, climb, hang, shimmy across ledges, swim, punch, and use a large number of weapons. Weapons include: bare fists, a whip, .45-calibur revolver, 9mm automatic pistol, machine pistol, combat rifle, machete, submachine gun, pump action shotgun, bazooka, satchel charges, and hand grenades. Also, at key moments in the game players will be given the opportunity to drive a jeep, ride a raft, and ride a mine car.
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is viewed from a third-person perspective throughout the 16 levels and one bonus level. While playing through the levels players will be awarded I.Q. points. Points, that vary based on the difficulty setting, are gained by completing levels and finding particular objects. The highest possible score is 1,000 I.Q. points.