Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

by Jonathan Court [2], Nick Cooke
U.S. Gold Ltd
Your Sinclair Issue 78, Jun 1992   page(s) 14,15

US Gold
£11.99 cassette
021 625 3388
Reviewer: Andy Hutchinson

It's always so tempting to believe that there are strange worlds out there waiting to be discovered despite the best attempts of MI-5 and Richard Branson. My personal favourites were always Neverneverland, the M72 and Frontierland. Within these mystic realms you could find adventures and strange sights never before seen by human eyes, like a cheap can of coke from an ice cream van or a definition for that bit at the back of your knee.

Indiana Jones of course, thrives on such strange and other-worldly things. He's made a living from nipping off to Egypt and Tooting and uncovering the Holy Grail, the Ark Of The Covenant and some cunning additions to his snake collection. One place he never travelled to was the land of Atlantis, that submerged city where man had harnessed nature itself to live on, when volcanoes threatened its very existence. Thanks to those lovely Lucasfilm peeps, we can now ruin that ancient land of Atlantis as Indy goes bravely downwards in the Speccy version of the game.

As this is the action game, there are loads of isometric puzzles to solve. Problems within the game are solved by moving either Indy or his girly Sophia Hapgood about the game-world. These problems range from getting hold of some dosh to fighting the dreaded Nazis. The overall idea of the game is to get both Indy and Sophia through the nine game locations and off Atlantis before explodes and disappears forever beneath the sea.

Indy's journey starts off in a casino. Here he's got to win himself some dosh by working out a was to cheat the tables. Having done that he can travel through the naval base, the docks the submarine, the four islands and finally Atlantis itself.


Ha! Ha! No, it's not, fighting for instance isn't a case of simply waggling your joystick and hoping for the best. For starers there are loads of different ways of fighting; you'll have to use fists, feet, the whip, a pistol and knives en route to the Nazis defeat. You see the whole game is crawling with Germans and you're going to have to let your fists do the talking your Kraut accent fails you.

At certain points in the game Indy or Sophia might have the misfortune of being captured by the Germans. If this happens you have track them down and mount a rescue opertaion. This whole process is greatly helped by the inclusion of a compass. This highlights one of the best aspects of the game, namely the fact that you cant die, merely get captured. It makes moving around a lot more fun.

The cartoony feel to the graphics in Indy don't work too brilliantly in mono, but the animation is excellent. It does get tricky at certain points in the game to see what exactly you're up to, especially if you're playing the game on a Speccy plugged into a fuzzy television.

When you consider that this game was actually designed on a PC to run in 13 times the memory you realise what a job the guys were up against. As it stands (and as chocka as the game is), this is a fairly standard isometric 3D explore-'em-up. There are annoying glitches like the way Nazis appear from nowhere and pummel you to death that make the game a lot harder than it should be. These glitches have knocked it down from Megagame status, which is a bit of a shame considering how big a licence it is.

It's not so much that the game is unoriginal, if games were downmarked for that nothing would ever get over 30. No, the point is that while the programmers have tried really hard to cram the game chock full of goodies to be discovered and Nazis to be shot, they forgot to tweak the gameplay.

This is one of those games in which you tend to unwittingly walk into your death. Your character fills a good portion of the already reduced playing screen, which means that when you do come across Herr Nazi, you have to have the reactions of a leopard on steroids. What's more, these Nazis are obviously specially trained elite soldiers 'cos they don I have to hit you much before you're captured.

Something tells me that all you Speccy owners have learnt to work your way around the inconsistencies of games: there are so many flawed games out there. Indy 4 is full of puzzles to solve and levels to crack, but unfortunately death (just like in real life) comes too easily. There's lots of Indy 4, but my temper couldn't take the punishment.

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Life Expectancy: 65%
Instant Appeal: 80%
Graphics: 93%
Addictiveness: 70%
Overall: 75%

Summary: Shame really, this could have been a stonking Megagame.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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