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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - The Atari Times

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I hate snakes!
by Matthias Jaap

April 9, 2002
Indiana Jones hated snakes since he was young. Of course, the snakes know that and it seems that they wait for him in each cave.

Atari Games created an Indiana Jones game based on the movie, Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom. It was one of the few Atari titles that used a film license (the other ones are the Star Wars Trilogy and Batman). The arcade game was created in 1985 during a time when Atari made experiments with speech synthesis. Almost every game used a few voice samples and Indy was no exception.

The gameplay is quite simple: the player controls Indy through the Temple of Doom. The only weapon Indy has is his whip. The whip can be used to hit enemies and reach other platforms. Indy can not jump and has to find other ways to reach platforms. If he does not pay attention he can also fall off the platform. Unlike older platform games, the Atari game has a pseudo 3D look which means that Indy can move up and down.

There are three main enemies in the game. If you collide with one of them, Indy will lose a live. The first ones are the snakes which just sit on the ground. One hit with the whip and they disappear. The second type of enemies look like Arabian warriors and can not be killed. If you hit them with the whip they will be disorientated for a while. Fortunately, they are not very smart. It often occurs that they fall off the platforms. The third enemy is Mola Ram (from the movie) and he throws flaming hearts at you if you don't keep moving. There is no way to avoid the flaming heart but the whip can destroy it. Other enemies are introduced later, e.g. a giant bat.

There are three different scenarios which are repeated until you recover the three Sankara stones. The first is the cave where you have to rescue children. (Interestingly, Indy only has to free the children and they seem to find their way out alone.) The next scenario is the mine cart. Other carts follow Indy and he can influence the direction of the cart while swinging his whip to hit enemies. The last scenario is in front of the temple shrine: Indy has to get a mystical stone. Unfortunately, the ground before the stone can disappear and Mola Ram, the shrine keeper appears after a while to throw more flaming hearts.

The graphics of Indiana Jones are well done although it is very obvious that the Atari engineers spend much more time on the Indy sprite than on the others. The animation on the enemy sprites look clumsy. The background graphics are painted well although all caves look the same.

As I have written before, Indy has voice samples. Unfortunately, they do not fit into the game and I think Atari re-used some of them in A.P.B. Especially some of Indiana Jones samples sound ridiculous. The classic Indiana Jones theme is played at the end of each game.

Although I would say that Indy is a nice platformer, there are some annoying things in the game that should have been fixed. The Arabian warrior is incredibly stupid and sometimes when Indy climbs to another platform you can see that a warrior jumps off the platform into his death. It's a miracle that they don't fall out of the mine carts, too. Indy is certainly not a bad game but it is the weakest of Atari's movie arcade games.

Ah, the days before digitization!
Mola Ram must have a warehouse full of flaming hearts.
Always whip down the fuel barrels.
You have to be quick to get the Sankara stone.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
System: Arcade
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 74%
Sound & Music Score: 68%
Gameplay Score: 76%
Control Score: %

Final Score: 76%

Reader Comments for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

My Take by Gregory D. George on 2002-04-09 12:00:00
This is one of my all-time favorite games! I love running around using the whip on the guards and snapping open the caged children. And swinging across chasms is a blast.

As stated in the main review, some of the sound samples are lame sounding. But they are that way on purpose to show how inept the guards are. Voice samples of Harrison Ford are rare, but are there if you listen for them.

This game is extremely faithful to the movie and I love it. I give it a 90%
Leaves 'em all behind... by Darryl B. on 2006-09-24 17:51:56
Except for any cool space shooter based on a movie -- like the arcade Star Wars and Star Trek (although that's a non-Atari product, I'll admit!) -- most movie "adaptions" to video games weren't very good (2600 Porky's, the very complicated and weird Raiders of the Lost Ark), but this one was. I always had fun playing a game of this at a local Kroger when I did my grocery shopping (God forbid the rare day that I went, forgetting to bring a quarter!). Thumbs up!
Looking to purchase by kevin on 2007-08-05 12:00:21
Hey, Does anyone know where one of these old standup Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is FOR SALE?
Purchase and old stand-up game by Kevin on 2007-08-06 20:43:05
Where can I buy one of these old games?
where to buy old carts by aquaria_girl on 2007-09-23 08:27:57
I buy mine on eBay. Bought a system on there too.
old srand up games by kevin on 2007-09-27 06:47:02
thanks aquaria_girl for the post....I will have to go look at ebay again....I could not find any old IJ "stand-up" games.
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