#224 Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Posted: 5th April 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

415th played so far

Fate_of_Atlantis_artworkGenre: Adventure
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1992
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts

It has become clear, by now, that we enjoy Lucasarts’ adventures, from the gratuitously violent Sam and Max Hit the Road to the wonderful stories of Loom.

Having played many of their adventures myself, for some reason the Indiana Jones series never really appeared on my radar. I’m not really sure why – considering it’s their own property, the game should be good, and it’s as liked as any other game of theirs.

Our Thoughts

That was an incredibly interesting game. It takes a number of cues from other Lucasarts games of its era – aside from the graphics, there’s puzzle design and the odd sense of humour. There’s death in the game – not the cruel deaths of other games where you need to learn the puzzles, but death in this game is to represent the danger of the Indiana Jones franchise, the danger that comes with raiding tombs and facing plenty of enemies. Nothing unfair (or so it seems) although still tough in places.

All of that would just make it one of the pack, however, possibly one of the less funny Lucasarts games. The genius choice (for me at least) happens about a third of the game in. You get a choice of three paths – wits, fist or team. The game advices you on one based on your actions so far – showing how a lot of early puzzles don’t actually have loads of red herrings, instead having several solutions to, say, how to enter the backstage area of a theatre.

Added to that, the game keeps track of what you have done through sessions, with you scoring Indy points. To maximize them, you need to play through all paths, as well as exploring a number of other alternative solutions.

Replayability? I had to put in a save game at the choice so I could go back.

It’s not just about playtime though. The different options all flow naturally, and I noticed no obvious breaks where the different path were obvious – sure, there were clearly options missing that I thought were later puzzles, but it always made sense, it’s a complete story.

The story itself is incredibly engaging – following a lot of Indiana Jones beats, but focusing on the fate of Atlantis (no spoilers here) that the movies hadn’t covered before. The beats are pretty familiar, but they are put together in a fun way that work well. The amazing story, as much as the puzzles, are what drove us to keep going.

Perhaps my skipping it was unjustified – while the game only seems as long as Loom, which we found a bit short too, the different directions the plot can take multiple directions that adds a lot more variety to the game. I’ll need to revisit this at some point.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed playing this game – far more than I was expecting – and it’s a game I want to get back to (due to other circumstances, it ended up on the ‘play later’ pile).  The story makes sense, the characterization is good and the options to solve the scenario is amazing, something sorely missing from most adventure games with only the Quest for Glory series offering similar freedom that I know of in its adventure elements. Engaging for that reason alone.