It's pretty rare to have a major film studio with its own in-house game development branch. Rarer still for that branch to be extremely talented, and to also have some of the most wildly popular Hollywood action-adventure franchises to base their work on ... in fact, LucasArts is pretty much the only company in that situation.

Thanks to this unique arrangement, Lucasfilm properties tend to get much more careful and quality treatment in the gaming world than the usual pump-and-dump style of handling licenses. Well, maybe not so much anymore ... but back in the 1990s they sure did. Some of LucasArts best gaming releases were based on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones properties, this game included.

Fate of Atlantis is a separate story from all the Jones movies. It doesn't exactly have the thrill-ride feel of the movies - no giant boulder chases or likewise overblown action sequences here. However, it is a pretty great puzzle-based adventure game, if you don't mind your Indiana Jones experience being a little more slow-paced and thoughtful.

Like most LucasArts adventures, you can't screw yourself irrevocably by missing something early. There *are* a few ways to die in this one, but you mostly have to be trying to do so. This "soft" style is a lot less frustrating than other adventure games, but when it's combined with the small inventory and self-contained areas it makes the game pretty easy to breeze through.

Off-setting the general lack of difficulty is the fact that every area of the game's presentation is excellent. The graphics are nice (some excellent backdrops here), the musical score is among LucasArts best of the period (with some great creative riffing on the classic Indy theme), the writing and characters are fairly strong. The game also has some unpredictability and replayability, as there are three "paths" that you can take which change of some of the areas and puzzles.

I can't honestly say that Indy is one of the very best adventure games, or even one of LucasArts top tier - it's just a little too easy, doesn't have any really innovative or memorable puzzles or gameplay twists, and the story does both comedy and drama pretty but well but doesn't do either at a level of greatness. However, it is a very good game on the whole and worth at least one run. It executes everything very well, and does have a really excellent soundtrack. It's easily one of the better adventures of the period, and Jones fans should be happy with the treatment of the character. If you do give it a go on a modern computer, just be sure to use ScummVM or a similar Scumm emulator, as DOSBox doesn't get the music quite right.

Links :

* HTML Walkthrough

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
* Funny errors
* Fate of Atlantis 3D
* Trailer for fan-made movie
* Sophia's box

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