Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on PC

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While his onscreen exploits are legendary, most of his video game adventures have been less than thrilling. Only a few of them stand out. The Last Crusade Graphic Adventure, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, and the Infernal Machine (to a lesser extent) are all at least fun to play. But there’s always been one game that captures the essence of the films and puts you in the fedora and sets you loose: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.


First released on the PC back in 1992, it’s based off an improved engine of the Last Crusade Graphic Adventure. It’s another “Graphic Adventure,” or as it’s more commonly know, a point-and-click adventure game. The genre’s been fading as of late, but updated classics like the Monkey Island series are bringing it back. Basically, you control everything with the mouse, using around ten commands (Look at, Walk to, Pick up, Push, Pull, Talk to, Use, Give to, Open, Close; they change depending on what environment you’re in) to interact. This gives Dr. Jones the chance to interact with pretty much everything in his quest to find Atlantis.


The story is a perfect fit for the films; Indiana Jones and Sophia Hapgood (the female lead) must race against the Nazi war machine to find Atlantis before they use it to rule the world. Naturally, this takes Jones around the world, from New York City to The Azores to Crete and farther. If you do any research into Atlantean legend, you’ll find that the writers and artists researched this game entirely. It’s well written, it’s often funny, and the full voice acting of certain versions really brings it to life (The CD version, the Wii Staff of Kings version, and the Steam version). Jones is voiced by Doug Lee, that sounds like Harrison Ford, but brings his own charm to the part. The music is surprisingly good for games of the time, sounding like a slightly downgraded John Williams score.


The graphics, while not quite 3D or cutting edge today, it’s about as good as sprites get (pixels instead of polygons). Jones is perfectly animated and fluid, along with all of the other characters. But the backgrounds are breathtaking. It’s no wonder the game took two years to make. Each backdrop is lushly drawn, pixel by pixel, to pull you into the world of Indiana Jones. It just adds to the charm of playing a game that utilized every ounce of its potential.


But the game’s true core is the gameplay. If you think that some current puzzlers take brains, then this takes cunning. You have to be able to charm, steal, escape, and fight your way across the globe and through the Nazi army. Eventually it becomes “find this, use there,” but how do you get the object if someone already has it? It’s constantly challenging you, putting you against the same odds Indiana Jones faces. And there’s never one lone path to the end. Come to think of it, there’s more than one ending, too. It splits into three distinct paths two-thirds of the way through, taking you to different locales and using different items. It gets pretty harrowing, getting closer to Atlantis and the Nazis, but I won’t ruin the ending(s).


To this day, I still throw in the CD and work through the adventure. I still haven’t beaten it the same way twice. It’s truly the quintessential Indiana Jones game. These days, the original game is pretty scarce, but you can find it easily online through Steam and as an add-on to the Wii version of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (most reviewers enjoyed Fate of Atlantis more than Staff of Kings).


If you can muster the brains, the brawn, and the luck of Indiana Jones, you won’t find a better adventure anywhere else.





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