Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

10Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis has all of the characteristics of a classic adventure game–great plot, great puzzles, great voices and great controls. From Barnett College to Iceland, from Monte Carlo to Crete, from Algiers to the mythical city of Atlantis, Indiana Jones (controlled by you, of course) will pursue Nazis in order to stop them from uncovering the awesome power of Atlantis and conquering the world. All blended together, this game can be as entertaining as any Indiana Jones movie (except maybe the last one).

The Fate of Atlantis, simply said, has a story to rival any book, movie, game, or any other form of entertainment you can think of. The game starts off with Indiana Jones searching through Barnett College to find a statue that one Mr. Smith wants. After Indy shows the statue to Smith, Smith pulls a gun on Indy, and Marcus and takes the statue. After a brief scuffle with Indy, Smith escapes but loses his jacket. From his passport, Indy and Marcus discover that this Smith is actually Klaus Kerner, an agent of the Third Reich.

Another object in Kerner’s coat was a magazine article featuring Indy and one woman, Sophia Hapgood, on a dig in Iceland 10 years ago. Figuring that Sophia may be in trouble, he travels to New York, where she is giving a talk. Sophia, now a psychic, tells Indy that Kerner is trying to discover the secret of orichalcum, a mineral that was used in Atlantis. So Indy and Sophia head off to stop the Nazis from finding Atlantis and doing generally bad things with the uber-mineral orichalcum .

9The game uses SCUMM to control navigation, and LucasArts’ tried-and-true engine functions efficiently. Commands include give, pick up, use, open, talk to, push, close, look at, and pull. Conversations always have multiple paths, with several choices to choose from. Possibly the best part of the gameplay in The Fate of Atlantis is the fact that there are three ways to beat the game–team mode with Sophia, fighting mode, and using your brain mode. A mode is chosen near the beginning of the game, and each one is totally different.

Like the rest of The Fate of Atlantis, the puzzles are excellently crafted and highly entertaining. Though there are a few arcade sequences, they are all relatively easy and enjoyable with the exception of one. That one would be the dreaded submarine puzzle. Indy has to maneuver a Nazi U-boat into an Atlantean airlock. The controls are confusing, and it took me a good half-hour to complete this puzzle.

The Fate of Atlantis is one of the few games where I felt truly satisfied when I finished a puzzle. There are no Myst-like brain-benders here. All of the puzzles involve complex logic and thinking skills. Though the puzzles are some of the best I have ever seen in an adventure game, the one annoying submarine puzzle requires me to mark down some.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was released in 1992, but the graphics still look quite good. Despite their age, some locales look practically breath-taking, especially the Azores and Atlantis. Colorful VGA graphics and excellently rendered animations populate the world of Indiana Jones.

3Strange for such an old adventure, but the sound in The Fate of Atlantis is some of the best I’ve heard for a DOS game. The music, including John Williams’ epic theme, fits the mood almost perfectly, with bazaar music playing in Algiers, soft Greek music in Knossos, and intellectual smarty-pants style music in Barnett College. I played the CD-ROM remake of The Fate of Atlantis, and it features great voice-overs. Though Indy’s voice is not played by Harrison Ford, it manages to sound incredibly like him.

If you haven’t played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, you are missing out on a piece of adventure gaming history. With multiple paths to complete the game, a plot better than any of the movies, and some of the best puzzles in the whole genre, The Fate of Atlantis stands out as an example of how an adventure game should be made.

System Requirements: 386 CPU, 640 KB RAM, 50 KB HDD, DOS

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