Movie tie-in games are normally pretty lacklustre to say the least, Movie spin off games are normally even worse. With this in mind, have I stumbled upon a lost treasure of a good game?
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, point-n-click adventure games were all the rave and LucasArts were at the forefront. The company were nearly all exclusive to adventure games, with the likes of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion as the company’s flagship titles. However, flash-forward to 2015 and we see the point n click adventure genre has drastically changed. Both in terms of popularity and gameplay.
The main gameplay within Indiana Jones consist of pointing around on the screen using your mouse and clicking on objects to interact with, so that you may collect items to help solve the puzzling objectives and advance the story. There’s a vast amount of ways to interact with objects and characters. Most of which require a clever and creative way of thinking.
Although this can lead to some very frustrating moments. A prime example of this is being stuck in a room with no way out, after having tried everything I could think of – only to notice a small statue on a shelf that I only saw after I mistakenly moved my mouse cursor over it. This is and always has been a slight issue with point-n-click adventure games in that a lot of puzzles can just be down to trial and error or having to use pixel perfect mouse movement accuracy, to be able to interact with an object.
For its time of release, Indiana Jones has quite a few revolutionary elements. The game makes sure that no playthrough is the same. Certain puzzles are randomized and most of the game has different ways to solve an objective with the use of the “Team”, “Wit” and “Fight” gameplay mechanics. “Team” has you partner up with the secondary character; Sophia Hapgood, to solve the objectives. “Wit” pits the player against them on their own, whilst “Fight” allows you to do it the old fashioned Indiana Jones way; using your fists.
The game’s controls are dated and aren’t exactly user friendly. The tutorial hardly acts as much of a tutorial to the player but more of an introduction to the game’s story. This left a bad taste in my mouth and Indy with a bruised face as I failed my first fist fight due to not fully understanding the control scheme. Luckily the game’s instruction manual was a helpful addition (something of a myth in 2015).
The game’s presentation does a good job of putting the player in the shoes of Indiana Jones. There’s a lot of polish to be found here. From the strong narrative to the surprisingly good voice acting. The music fits well enough, along with a good use of sound effects. Whilst outdated, the pixel art graphics still hold up and have a distinctly retro charm to them.
Showing the world map and the travel route of all the destinations you have visited along the way is a great touch, which really adds to the immersion.The Story and narrative were definitely the game’s strongest point as I found myself engaging with the characters and could almost feel Indy’s frustration when dealing some of the in-game dialogue between him and Sophia. Which, in turn, only added to my annoyance when I got stuck on an objective as I was eager to see what happened next.
Overall the point-n-click adventure genre has always been a bit like Marmite. Whilst I enjoyed my time playing through Indiana Jones, the slow and sometimes frustrating gameplay often put me off from fully getting the most out of the title. Hopefully a modernized HD remaster will come around to fix the issues that point-n-click adventure games have.
By Liam Thomas
Multiple Playthroughs with alternative endings
Trial and error objectives
Can be quite too tough
Reviewed on PC