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GAME FACT: The whip in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom can be used to swing across dangerous areas. 

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Reviews (0-9 / A-M)

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (US)

985 (1-2 Players)



Overview and game play

As videogames became more popular among the general public, games developers and Hollywood producers realised the moneymaking potential of making a “game of a film”. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (“IJTD”), (for those who don’t know) was a successful action-adventure Hollywood film produced in the 1980’s starring Harrison Ford (of “Star Wars”). Indiana Jones (or “Indy” to his fans) is an archaeologist who not only has brains, but is also a keen fighter and is quite skilful at using a whip too.  

When a coin is deposited, the player is given the option of pressing player button 2 for 3 lives or inserting an additional coin for 7 lives and pressing player button 1, (or the second coin can be used to have a 2-player game where the players take it in turns to play, each with 3 lives). It is also possible to start a 2-player game with each player having 7 lives if an additional coin is inserted for each player. From a business perspective, this is a good idea for arcade machine manufacturers to give the players a choice of playing the game longer by committing more money to the game. From a game play point of view it is also a welcome option for players who are not so skilful or who wish to play the game through to the end without fiddling around for too many extra coins while playing. However, when comparing high scores with other players, an honest player would mention whether they started the game with 3 or 7 lives, at what difficulty level and also whether any continues were used and if so how many.



Once it has been decided what credit permutation will apply, a difficulty select screen appears showing Indy in a cave with 3 exits: easy, medium and hard. Some snakes are present outside the medium and hard caves, indicating they are the more difficult routes. Using the joystick in any of eight directions can control Indy to walk and pressing button 1 causes him to lash his whip in the direction he is facing. 

When inside a cave the level begins with some text instructions to free a certain number of children kept captive. A bonus life is awarded to the player upon accumulating 30,000 points or by starting in the medium or hard caves and after completing a specified task. The number of children held captive is displayed at the top of the game area and as Indy runs around, he can eventually locate and free the captured children by whipping the cages in which they sit. “Thugee” guards rush towards Indy to prevent him in his work but a well-placed lash of his whip soon stops them in their tracks. 

The game is true to the film in several ways and attempts to reflect the main parts of the story. A particularly good element of the film that translated well to the game is the use of the whip to latch on to an object above Indy’s head and then for him to swing “Tarzan-style” over dangerous or deadly terrain. This is a pleasing game-play element that is fun and mastery of which is necessary to complete the game.



The character and background graphics are colourful and detailed and of a good standard for the time of IJTD’s release. Like the film, Indy faces numerous obstacles such as scolding lava, metal spikes and moving platforms for him to navigate. The animation satisfactorily conveys basic actions of running and climbing as well as other actions such as falling, swinging of Indy’s whip across areas and riding in a mine cart.





Atari developed its own sound system, which, for 1985, was state of the art technology featuring synthesized music and some basic sound samples. There is some speech in IJTD, but the limits imposed by the hardware of the game make the words sound is if someone who has a frog in their throat is narrating them. Despite this, the tunes and sound effects are above par and add something to the game play.



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