The computer versions of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are conversions of the Atari arcade game based on the second movie in the series. As Indy you must complete several cycles of the following 3 types of levels: Mine level: Whip your way through a mine in order to free children that are held captive. Use your whip to swing across chasms, climb ladders, ride along conveyor belts and defend yourself against attacks from Thuggee guards, bats, snakes and the fireball-throwing Mola ram. Escape with the mine cart after you've freed all children. Mine cart level: Pick the right route through a network of tracks while riding in a mine cart. Avoid potholes, broken tracks & guards in carts and safely reach the end of the track. Temple level: Make your way to the altar and grab the Sankara stone while Mola Ram, bats and Thuggee guards attack you. Watch out for that lava.
With every cycle the mine & mine cart levels become more complex, the layout of the temple levels is always the same. After several cycles there's a showdown with Mola Ram on the rope bridge.
The Temple of Doom was undoubtedly the darkest film in the Indiana Jones trilogy. I can still remember the eyes in the soup, the main course of monkey brains and I can still hear those haunting words: "Kali ma..." that the priest spoke, before he pulled the beating heart out of the victim in the underground caverns.
After the opening screen (where you can change the settings with the function keys) the game will put you strait in those very same underground caverns. You get to choose the difficulty level by entering the shaft with the difficulty you want (there are three possibilities).
Once you begin, your whip will be your truest friend. You'll use it to whip the guards, the bats, the flames and the snakes. You'll also use it to swing from a ledge to a ledge and to free children. That's the main objective, to save as many children as possible. Although even if you don't rescue them you'll be able to continue. You need to get to the top of the level, where the mining cart awaits you. I bet you still remember the rollercoaster sequence from the movie.
Unlike the movie this cart doesn't bring you to the end of the action. You use it to get to the next level, where you need to get the sacred stone - remember the plot? You need to return the stones to the villagers. And only from then on you'll get to the conveyer belt level - remember that big guy getting some extreme massage by the big rock grinding stone?
Well, all in all this game offers quite a lot of action, but some things don't make much sense. How come the mine is circular? When you walk far enough to one side, you'll end up where you started (very life-like). Also the game doesn't follow the plot of the movie (it would have been nice to have the airplane crashing sequence and the elephant riding included). But the main attributes are there. There's a whip cracking action hero, although by the quality of the graphics it could have been anyone. The opening tune is OK, but the rest of the sound doesn't really please the ears. It serves to warn you when there's a bat nearing you though. All point taken in consideration (even the fact that there's no save option) this game comes out very average, thus the average score!
Oh yes, this is a good example for a game that probably never should have been made. It's a weird action-mixture made up from the movie of the same name. I bet they could have made a nice adventure of it like they proved later. Well, they rather made up an Indy 4 than having a look at the previous movies to create an adventure from them. Alrighty, but did it have to be this... run around and kill some snakes (oh yes, we know - Indy hates snakes...) and other bad guys? Just like in the film you are running through the mines and free children. Your whip is your weapon...
Maybe I sound too pessimistic, to be honest I've played (and enjoyed) far worse games. The game is playable, but it's just not of the high standard the adventures set - it's not even as good as the action version of Indy 3.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a disappointing PC port of the average arcade version of the second Indiana Jones movie. The description and review at MobyGames says it all about this poor use of a blockbuster license:
There's not much I like about this game. Nevertheless, the mine cart levels are fun to play. And when I first played the game (a long, long time ago) I thought the title screen looked great (Look, it's Harrison Ford!). Also the game had the original Indiana Jones tune.
Well there are really just three different levels. The mine level, the mine cart level and the temple levels. When you've completed a temple level, you have to play another mine level to save some more children, after which you have to escape in a mine cart AGAIN etc. Of course the levels do get tougher. The designers could have done so much more with this license. Following the story line of the movie for example (I admit I was looking forward to eating monkey brains :-) ). The problem is that this game is a conversion from a simple arcade game. And there's no room for a story line in arcade games.
Bad controls make the game really difficult when you're approached by several enemies. And it's not always easy to hit a fireball with your whip.
The sound of an approaching bat is not what I like to hear. But then again most of these old games have sound effects (using PC speaker) that make me turn off the sound.
The Bottom Line:
A not very interesting conversion of an arcade game that uses an Indiana Jones license. If you want to play a decent Indiana Jones game, play Fate of Atlantis. Even if you can look past the dated graphics and sound you probably won't enjoy playing this one.
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