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RELEASE DATE (NA): June 1992 GENRE: Adventure
// review by Lydia

The fate of Atlantis is in your hands, er, well, mouse.

Indiana Jones—need I say more? Unfortunately, this has to be a full review, so I kind of have to say a bit more than that. But, hey, it's one of my favorite movie characters! He's suave, he's smart, and he's very snarky. What more could one want in a man? Dr. Jones has once again fumbled his way headfirst into another adventure. What sinister plot waits to steal away his discoveries? What lavish beauty waits to steal his heart? What street bum waits to steal his wallet? Find out in the next few paragraphs!

When I said that Dr. Indiana Jones stumbled into an adventure, I meant crashing through the floor three separate times. The only break Indy seems to get in the charming introduction is a few broken ribs and maybe a fractured tailbone. Luckily, his signature hat remains untouched. That's a sigh of relief. The world would absolutely end if that hat was not affixed to Indiana's head! That may seem like a slight exaggeration, but anyone who knows Indiana Jones knows that where he goes, the hat and whip go, too. They don't go too far to begin with. Marcus gives Indiana Jones the formidable task of locating a small statue somewhere in Barnett College's vast (and very dusty) archaeology collection that is proudly displayed in the attic. After finding every single trapdoor the college installed, Indiana finally manages to find the precious artifact—lovingly hidden in a locker in the basement. He returns to Marcus and some other fancy-looking, totally-not-evil man with the small statue and pretty much tosses it at the strange man. He insists that the statue is not authentic whatsoever (and based on where he found it, I'd readily believe it was made of plastic), but Mr. "uhhhh...Smith" shows his true colors as a Nazi and crashes through the window with statue in hand...and glass in face. Indiana, of course, knew the man was a fraud and that the statue was not. I'm not sure how he could tell its authenticity after handling it for about two minutes, but he's the fictional archaeologist while I am not. From the coat left behind by Mr. Nazi, Indy manages to find out that the bad guys are after Sophia, the pretty girl he used to work with who turned into an Atlantis-obsessed psychic. So off he goes to New York to rope her into his Nazi-beating, artifact-collecting, fun-filled adventure full of danger and excitement and snakes...why does it always have to be snakes?

As an adventure game, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is actually a good game in many ways. The story doesn't drag on like these games sometimes do. The pacing is good, and there weren't any parts where it felt like the developers were stuffing wet cotton balls into a gymnasium. And the best part? A branching story line! There are several different ways that you can play through this game. I only played one way (the Fists Path—because that's the fun way to do it, am I right?), and it's entirely possible that someday I will go back and play the game again to see all the various endings. I'd love to say that I was able to get through the game using my own sharp wit, but unfortunately my wit is as sharp as a damp towel. It's easy to get confused or miss something along the way; sometimes, the objects were so obscure that it took several passes of the mouse for the game to even register that there was an interactive object there. Other times, I would use an object and just leave it there because I figured that was all I could use it for. Guess what? I had to backtrack through a good portion of the game in order to retrieve that one object that I need to carry on. I'd move forward in the story and...oops! Gotta go back and get that tiny object to open this door! Great...just great. I had to make circles several times in order to pick up things that I'd forgotten. How was I supposed to know I needed to bring that wheel with me? Ohhhh and I need it there, too. That's okay. I was hoping this game would take me two days to beat. It doesn't help that Indiana Jones walks a little slowly sometimes. For the most part, he has a nice pace, but he takes his sweet time when there's a long distance to walk.

Where's the "whip" command?

The puzzles were another aspect that will eat up most of your time. Several times, there is a puzzle using three circular stones that the player needs to arrange in a certain order according to a book. The hints in the book are randomized, which makes it difficult to just Google the answer if you're caught in a jam. Randomized content is all well and good, don't get me wrong. However, when the "hints" that are given are quite vague, it makes the game even more frustrating than it ought to be. In fact, the entire game begins with this stone puzzle—it doesn't really matter what you put for it, the game moves you along regardless of what you enter. Outside of the circular stone thing, the game does a pretty good job pointing you along the way without holding your hand. If you interact incorrectly for certain things enough times, Indy might chime in with a small hint. There are very few times where object interactions didn't quite make sense, forcing me to seek help from the all-knowing internet. Who knew that you could climb a coal chute by sticking used gum on your shoes? I'll have to try that someday.

As you may have guessed by the title "Indiana Jones", the main enemies are Nazi scientists and soldiers who are trying to uncover the great and mysterious secret of Atlantis' power. Did someone say "aliens"? It wasn't me! Those silly Nazis said aliens did it long before that one History Channel guy did. The ridiculousness of it resulted in me having no remorse for beating Nazi soldiers to the ground with a giant boulder Indiana Jones-style. The classic theme dramatically plays as you punch Nazis in the face, push giant rock slabs on top of them, and bonk their heads with stalactites. Speaking of music, I loved the music! It may not be the best quality, but it's fun to listen to as you explore the lava-filled Atlantean wastes. The only complaint I have for the music is that sometimes the music scores overlapped...and never in a good way. I had to turn the sound off in order to get through certain areas. The scores alone sounded great, but several of them playing together was enough to grate my ears and brain. It was disappointing actually. C'est la vie.

I warn you—the game did crash on me once. I never figured out why, but luckily it didn't happen again. Otherwise, I enjoyed the game for the most part. It was very frustrating, however, having to backtrack so much and rely on outside sources for solutions. The art was impressive, the story was interesting, and who can forget the humor that comes with Indiana Jones and his stubborn female partner? All in all, it's a decent adventure game that will capture your interest, but maybe not your heart. To summarize the game, in the words of the ever tactful Indiana Jones: "It's a matter of life...and Nazis."

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