Review: Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (Action Game)

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (Action game)

ST Format Review

My Review
In some ways it’s appropriate to go from Rick Dangerous to the man who inspired him (that the first level sees the player running from a rolling boulder is no coincidence). Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the action game of the movie, with an adventure game to follow. The adventure is of course much-loved as one of Lucasarts greats, while this action game is a little closer to the typical movie tie-ins of the era, a platformer mostly. It looks like this isn’t the one I had as a kid as I remember that one having a mine-cart section among other things (click here if you want to see it in all its shite glory, where this is more or less a straight platformer. ST Format make the comparison with Navy Moves but talk themselves out of it, but in truth that’s probably about right.

For this review I’ve used the usual STFM with TOS 1.0 and 1MB of RAM running in Steem, and I’ve used an Automation disk (menu 124 in this case). The menu is nicely presented, with an animated disk sliding into the ST’s drive when you select your game.

The game goes straight into a Lucasfilm logo with a sound-chip version beeping the theme tune (doing a far better job than the later adventure game which suffers from the same problems as the Zak McKracken port in that it seems to have been ported straight from the C64 in sharp contrast to Monkey Island when that came along). Eventually we get the Indy logo and he cracks his whip to switch between credits, high score and an image which might have been captured from the movie. Press fire to start.

So we arrive at the first level and the sprite is pretty large, while the status bar takes about the bottom third of the screen, leaving nowhere near enough room to see what’s going on. I’m on a ledge and it looks like I’ll be taking a leap of faith. Not a great start. The framerate is actually pretty smooth, though the jumping is poor, suffering in from some similar problems to Verminator in that once in the air you don’t really have much control (and yes I know that’s not the most realistic thing to ask for but it does make for better gameplay and makes it easier to jump variable distances). Controls are left and right to walk, down to crouch and up to jump (which is surprisingly common in these older games where now we expect a separate button to jump) while fire takes care of punching (and later whipping).

Indy loses energy from some quite short drops which really makes playing him quite a chore, especially when he’s so bad at grabbing ropes. Then there’s his whip, one of his trademark items. Even the crappy old Temple Of Doom game understood this and allowed you to make regular use of it. Here you get to use it 5 times, then you have to wait for a power up. Why restrict a fun mechanic like the whip? Admittedly it doesn’t seem to offer much over the other move, the punch.

All in all, this is a lazy cashgrab and as the developers don’t seem to have put much effort into make it, I don’t feel compelled to make a huge effort playing it. Instead, here’s a video of someone eles playing it. In case you wondered, no I don’t recommend this game.

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