Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis – PC
Release Date: June 1992 (CD-Rom), July 8, 2009 (Steam)
Genre: Point & Click
Nerd Rating: 9/10
Reviewed by: InfiniteKnife
Indiana Jones is one of my favorite characters from film. He’s among very few who could ever make archaeology exciting and thwarted the Nazis’ plans on more than one occasion, so what’s not to like? Point & Click games are great for Indy because his adventures are usually centered around solving puzzles and entertaining dialogue and Fate of Atlantis gets it right on both fronts.
This adventure takes place in 1939, shortly before WWII and begins when a strange man, calling himself Mr. Smith, comes to Barnett College to locate a small statue containing a small coppery bead within its archives. Finding the statue acts as an intro as well as a bit of a tutorial to allow you to get used to the game. Once found, he pulls a gun and escapes, leaving his coat behind. Indy discovers that the man was actually Klaus Kerner, an officer in the Third Reich. Another article left behind also mentions Indy’s former work partner, Sophia Hapgood, archaeologist turned psychic. Fearing for her safety and wanting to learn more about what the Nazis are up to, Indy heads to meet Sophia in New York and our adventure begins.
We find that the statue found at Barnett College was an artifact of the lost city of Atlantis and that the small beads are made of orichalcum, a mythical metal that a Nazi scientist, named Hans Ubermann, wants to use to create energy for weapons. Placing the bead left in her office into her Atlantean necklace, Sophia calls upon the god Nur-Ab-Sal and is instructed to find the lost dialogue of Plato which is said to lead to Atlantis. As the story progresses, Indy and Sophia visit many different places across the globe to thwart the Nazi scheme, from tropical islands, to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Atlantis itself.
The game is a Point and Click adventure, meaning all actions are performed by selecting an action from the menu that permanently sits on the bottom of the screen and clicking an item and/or location to move around, talk, and use things to progress the game or solve puzzles. Many of the puzzles involve combining items found in the different areas. Most are fairly straightforward, but there are a few curve balls in there to keep your brain working. I think there was a good amount of variation in the puzzles to keep the game fresh as it went on. Some examples include series of levers to pull, mazes to traverse, and even use of Indy’s trusty whip.
There is also a fist fighting element to the game, where you can use the keyboard and mouse to punch and dodge enemies. It’s not a major part of the game and isn’t really seen a lot until the end. You can even avoid it entirely for the most part if you want. To be honest, I’ve never really even bothered with it because there’s a cheat that lets you win all but one fight in the game with a sucker punch. I find it best to just do that and move on.
At a certain point, the game gives you the option of splitting off into one of three different paths, each offering a different play style. You can team up with Sophia, choose a series of more complex puzzles, or go the action route that involves a lot of fist fighting. The endings aren’t affected by the path you choose, but it is really interesting that you can get there in a variety of ways. It was a nice touch that also added replay value.
Like many other Point and Click games, it is possible to die in Fate of Atlantis. The really dangerous parts are pretty well laid out in front of you, and I wouldn’t consider the ability to die a hindrance to the enjoyment. When you die (or complete the game), you’re given a score called Indy Quotient Points that are calculated by how far you progress, how many puzzles you solve, and items you find. You can check it at any point during the game but I rarely worried about it. You completionists out there can rejoice that there is in fact a high score to achieve which I guess would be the equivalent of 100% completion.
Fate of Atlantis was originally released on floppy disks so it only included text dialogue, but the CD-Rom had full voice acting which I found to be really good. They couldn’t get Harrison Ford to lend his voice, but the actor used for Indy, Doug Lee, did a fine job. I think the writing was a great mix of smart talk and humor, and really captured the feel of an Indy adventure like we saw in the movies. It’s fun to go through the different options in conversations to see what kind of snarky responses you can find. There’s a well written dynamic between Indy and Sophia that is evident in how they speak to each other during the adventure. There was a Steam release in 2009 and the full game was included as a bonus feature on the Wii game, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.
The original Indy theme, along with some other really Indy sounding music, was arranged in MIDI for this game and it works really well. The music does a good job of fitting the different locations and situations while keeping the Indy feel. Hard to argue with music based off a John Williams composition! I always found music arranged in MIDI to be charming and works for those early 90s titles.
This Indy Point and Click was far more successful than its predecessor, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, based on the third film. I’ve had a chance to play both, but definitely find Fate of Atlantis to be a more enjoyable title. The puzzles are easier to solve and it’s not as easy to get lost/killed, but it offers enough of a challenge and variety to make it worth several playthroughs.
I’d say Fate of Atlantis is my favorite Point & Click title of those made by LucasArts. I love the Indy films and am really glad there are ways to enjoy his adventures through another medium. Some have been better than others, as the action titles are very hit and miss, but if you want a really fun, satisfying Indy experience, check this one out!
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