Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Release Date: June 1992
Platform Played On: PC
2018 Placement: #78 (-7)
What It Is:
The best Indiana Jones game.
It’s a point-and-click adventure game from the old-school LucasArts days that is as complicated as any of the other games from that era. It’s less difficult now with plenty of online access to walkthroughs but as a kid this was the peak of challenge.
The story is fantastic and really evokes the Indiana Jones atmosphere from the movies with an entirely new plot involving the city of Atlantis. It has humor and style and all the panache that those 90s LucasArts games had. Yeah, it’s a little obtuse in places and probably benefits from a walkthrough (or having played it twenty times over) for puzzles. But that was just part of the genre in its heyday – puzzles were supposed to take time and you were supposed to use your brain while play. The bottom line is it’s a faithful adaptation of Indiana Jones and a good game to boot.
Why It’s Important To Me:
I love movies, I love books, I love TV shows and other mediums where you get to enjoy stories. And one of my favorite experiences is when a game takes a character I love and lets me experience a story AS them. I grew up loving the Indiana Jones movies and the fact that I got to turn around and play as Indy in a very well-done video game was just flat out awesome. And I wasn’t just re-experiencing the same story I already knew – it was a brand new tale and that just added to the magic. I was getting to participate in a new Indy story.
I probably played the game through to the end at least five or six times growing up as a kid – and I wasn’t even a big PC person. I preferred my Nintendo consoles as a young’n, but this (and some of the other LucasArts point-and-click greats) always made me come back to the PC for more just because of how much I loved the genre and humor of each of them. It was a well-polished (but not infernal) machine.
My Strongest Memory:
The goddamn fez.
There’s a puzzle around the middle of the game where you go to Algiers and have to track a guy through a giant crowd of people. The solution to the puzzle is that there’s another guy in the city wearing a red fez. You have to get that guy to give you the fez, then get the guy you need to follow to wear it, so then when he goes to meet the person you’re trying to find you can follow him on the map screen because of the bright red fez moving through the crowds.
It’s a pretty brilliant puzzle with an interesting solution and I still remember it to this day because it took me GODDAMN AGES TO FIGURE OUT THE FEZ WAS THE KEY. I don’t know why it took me so long to put two and two together as a kid, but I spent so much wasted time watching that guy go through the crowd and always losing him: beating my head against a brick wall thinking I wasn’t fast enough or was just missing something until I ran around the city again and realized the fucking fez was the key.
Stupid fucking fez.
Why It’s #85:
Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade are two of my favorite pulp adventure movies and were up there as my favorite to watch and rewatch growing up. So Indy has a special place in my heart and there’s no way this game will ever fall out of the #100. It may ebb and flow, especially since I’ve unfortunately gotten less interested in point-and-click adventures as I’ve gotten older, but it will always be a staple because I love Indy and specifically this game.
Just not the fez.