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A History of Classic Indiana Jones Games - 1982 to 1999


It's only natural that cinema's greatest adventurer, Indiana Jones, would inspire some of the most successful classic video games of all time...unfortunately he wasn't in them - Pitfall and Tomb Raider. Regardless Dr. Jones has been featured in many terrific classic games, ranging from simple graphic adventures and all-text games, to fully detailed puzzle adventures with high end 3D graphics. Spanning from 1982 to 1999 this is...

Indiana Jones and the Classic Video Game Crusade


Raiders of the Lost Floppies


Indiana Jones and the Consoles of Doom

1982 - Raiders of the Lost Ark

Packaging © Atari, Indiana Jones © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved.
  • Atari 2600
Released a year after the film, Raiders for the Atari 2600 was far ahead of its time. As Indy you travel to Egypt in search of the Lost Ark of the Covenant, taking you across 10 location screens, complete with an inventory system. The game was a hit, yet a bit frustrating to play. It only features a single player mode, it must be played using two joystick controllers. The right joystick controls Indy's movement, with its fire button activating inventory items and firing weapons. The left joystick selects items in the inventory, with the fire button used to drop objects no longer needed. Designed by Howard Scott Warshaw, who previously designed the classic Yars' Revenge, and the infamous E.T. game.

1984 - Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom

Not based on a movie, the second game to star Dr. Jones was an all-original puzzle adventure, complete with traps and monsters guarding treasures. Indy must learn the secrets of a lost civilization and collect it's artifacts before his nemesis, Ivan Reiss, gets his evil hands on them. Indy has limited sprite animation as he traverses across six different screens.

1985 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

  • Coin-Op Arcade
Third time's a charm with Indiana's first arcade game and his best title up to that time. An all out action title with superior graphics and sound, smooth controls and the same non-stop action as the films. Following the same story as the movie, Indy must survive the temple's secrets, beat enemies, ride on the mine carts and use his whip for both combat and swinging across caverns.

1987 - Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients

  • Apple II, PC
Before computer technology had the capabilities of delivering graphically rich fantasy adventure titles such as Myst, games with deeply immersive narratives were all text-based, a style of gameplay made popular by the Zork series. With no graphics whatsoever, these games offered a fully immersive experience though nothing more than written descriptions as the player interacted by typing their next move or response via the keyboard. In his only text adventure, Indy sets out to stop a Nazi plot to find the deadly and ancient Mazatec Power Key.

1987 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

  • Amstrad CPC (Europe), Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX (Europe), PC, ZX Spectrum (Europe)
Home computer port of the Temple of Doom arcade game. Too powerful for the console systems of the time, yet not as high end as its arcade counterpart, the home version of Doom stands as an engaging adventure that closely follows the arcade game narrative and takes full advantage of the home computers of the late 80s.

1988 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

  • Nintendo Entertainment System
The NES version of Temple of Doom released four years after the original arcade game. Although similar in storyline, scenarios and goals, the gameplay and graphics are completely unique, but not for the better. The low end graphics and frustrating gameplay doomed this temple to a life of frustrated gamers and the discount bin. In addition to the official release, an unauthorized version featuring the same software but different packaging was released by Tengen, until Nintendo filed a lawsuit against them.

1989 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure

  • Amiga, FM Towns (Japan - 1990), Macintosh, PC, Atari ST
In 1989 LucasArts released two different versions of The Last Crusade for home computer systems. The more popular of the two, The Graphic Adventure, features the LucasArts created SCUMM programming language which they originated for Maniac Mansion. The game follows Indy trying to find the Holy Grail before the Nazis do. Although graphically rich, the game focuses mainly on exploration and puzzle solving across numerous locations.

1989 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game

  • Amiga, Amstrad CPC (Europe), Atari ST, Commodore 64, PC, Sega Master System (1990 – Europe), MSX, ZX Spectrum (Europe)
The second version of The Last Crusade released by LucasArts, catering to arcade style fans. Although the Graphic Adventure version was more popular with computer gamers, the Action Game was released for more systems. In the late 80s home computers were in a fierce competition with console systems, so a more action-based arcade style games were in demand. Featuring the same storyline as the film, the Action Game has Indy battling his way through four side-scrolling, platform style adventures, with extremely high quality graphics for the time.

1991 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  • Nintendo Entertainment System
The NES version of the Last Crusade is a completely original game, published by the Taito Corporation, it features both action and puzzle solving. Indy sets out to seek the Holy Grail, but ends up needing to rescue his father from the baddies. Two years later a completely different version of The Last Crusade was released for the NES by Ubisoft.

1992 - Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Graphic Adventure

  • Amiga, Commodore 64, FM Towns (Japan), SEGA Genesis, Macintosh, PC
Indy returns in an all-new adventure. Again two versions were released, with the Graphic Adventure continuing to use in the SCRUMM style. Tricked into recovering an ancient statue for a disguised Nazi general, Indy teams up with psychic, Sophia Hapgood, to recover the artifact and discover the evil general's plans. They journey takes them to the ends of the earth and the discovery of the lost continent of Atlantis. Unlike previous Indy Graphic Adventure games, this one comes with 3 different modes, Wits Path - where players mostly solves clues & puzzles, Fists Path - more action packed with easier puzzles, and the Team Path - where Sophia joins Indy for cooperative gameplay.

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