Indiana Jones games have always been a mixed bag really. For every Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis graphic adventure masterpiece there is a trite Fate of Atlantis action game, even though, admittedly, the franchise's average is well above ...uhm... average. Anyway, what's more interesting are the many quirky, old and not particularly well known Indy games. Here are 10 of them.
10. Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom (Commodore 64, Mindscape)
The first Indy game that got itself an original plot and also a game with absolutely no intention of helping the gamer understand what's going on. After all and according to the blurb on the box: "Nobody told Indiana Jones the rules. And no one will tell you". As for the game itself, well, it wasn't something particularly special, but was impressively short. Read more @ MobyGames.
9. Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures (PC, Lucasarts)
One of the first casual games (along with sister game Yoda Stories) that showcased how boring overly simplified gameplay can be. Minesweeper is fun, Indy's Desktop stuff is not. Don't believe me? Try the demo.
8. The Instruments of Chaos (MegaDrive/Genesis, Lucasarts)
It's a platformer pitting young Indiana against the Germans during World War I. Boring like the Arsenal of yore and definitely nothing to do with Black Adder. Also, quite obscure, as the rotten tomatoes webpage is the best you can do.
7. Indiana Jones and the Revenge of the Ancients (PC, Angelsoft/Mindscape)
Not only is Revenge of the Ancients a text-adventure, it's a very innovative one too. RotA is -thankfully- the only example of its genre I've ever come across, that won't hesitate to kill you if you take a moment to think things over. Action text adventuring at its best, and both MobyGames and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe would agree.
6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600, Atari)
Obviously the first Indy game ever and also a pretty decent Atari 2600 RPG. An evidently confused and pretty young Spielberg infamously commented "it's like a movie". Well, it's not, but it's a fun primitive little game. Then again, better see for yourselves, as AtariAge has everything you might need.
5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Arcade, Atari)
The one and only Indiana Jones Arcade, the first Atari System I arcade to have speech capabilities and one of the few coin-ops to allow players to choose one of three difficulty settings. Also a very enjoyable and varied gaming experience that manages to happily combine arcade-adventure action, shooting, platforming and driving. More shocking details available at Wikipedia and KLoV.
4. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (NES, Lucasarts/Jaleco)
Like The Instruments of Chaos, only on the NES. Rightfully unsung, mediocre in every respect and partly ripping off Castlevania. Read a review. Play it here.
3. Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures (SNES, Lucasarts/Factor 5)
A truly brilliant, technically perfect and impressively huge game that manages to satisfyingly implement every major set piece from the whole Indiana Jones movie trilogy. An absolute SNES must-have. Apparently there's a Mobygames entry too. Who'd have thought?
2. Indiana Jone's and the Infernal Machine (GameBoy Color, Lucasars/THQ)
The game's Gamespot review is appropriately spot on. Heh. Sorry. If you can't be bothered to click on stuff, know it's a decent -if slightly fascist (well, ridiculously anti-communist I mean)- top down arcade/adventure game that has nothing to do with its 3D siblings on other formats. Ah, yes, Game Boy Color games were indeed rare.
1. Indiana Jones Interactive Storybook (Macintosh, ?)
The elusive one. Indiana Jones Interactive Storybook is supposed to have been released back in 1994 for the Apple Macinstosh and must have been some sort of illustrated interactive book. Still, extensive google searching, asking around those rare dedicated Mac game retailers and looking in every possible (wrong) place, has revealed nothing. This game is as elusive as a very elusive thing. It's as if they never actually released it...
Related @ Gnome's Lair: the illustrated history of the FPS, Will Wright's first game, Ratmaze, gaming history and retro features archive
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