“Time to go to work” is the opening of the game. Indy slides down a slope and lands on a stone platform overlooking a canyon. Now you’re ready to start the game’s tutorial. Well, I can try to write a billion introductions for this game, but I will never really be happy with it. I will always restart writing this article and after many tries, I just decided to write it. Since this game is filled with childhood nostalgia for me. I always try to replay it but with all broken copies, bad compatibility with later operating systems, it’s a big pain. If you want to play this game, your safest bet is to either go and buy an ancient pc that runs Windows 98 or be lucky and play in a virtual machine. But the third option is that you go and buy the N64 version. I can’t talk much about that version since I only played the PC and Game Boy Color version. I still remember that one morning I woke up on my birthday at my aunt’s place, and she gave me Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine for my Game Boy Color. Okay, enough nostalgia. Feel free to leave me a comment with your opinion on this article and or game. Let’s dive right into this.
If you look around the internet, you find mostly an overdose of content about it. But this game got overlooked. My best guess is that it’s mostly compared to a cheap Tomb Raider clone. Whilst this is somewhat true, I think that if you look at this game as an entry into the 3D adventure game genre, it’s a pretty solid entry.
Let’s talk about the story. While it isn’t a deep story, and it only has enough characters to count on your both hands, I think it actually works in favor of this game.
All the characters are flat, and you barely got to know them. If I need to put aside my nostalgia, I have to admit that the story is weak. But then again, this is an action adventure game, so it’s a bit forgiven. Action games don’t need to have a deep story. While adventure games, a deep story is a must!
The story brings us through various locations. From Egypt to a boat in the middle of the sea. And every location is nicely introduced at the end of each level. And that’s the main function of the story, tying the levels together nicely.
The infernal machine
Thanks to some great voice acting, I personally can forgive the weak story. But the gameplay is where this game shines. And it truly shines.
First, there are around 15 levels in the game. Each level has a decent length. At best, you can finish this game after a few weeks of play.
Most area’s won’t give you any trouble. Not that this game has low difficulty, not at all. But the game is pretty straight forward. While some puzzles can stump you, it’s not that you can get stuck easily.
Each level requires you to kill enemies, jump from platform to platform and try to find the exit to advance to the next level. Basic adventure game stuff. But the execution is amazing. Since each area, while falling into the cliché area’s, feels unique and feels true to the Indiana Jones movies. It’s almost like you are playing an Indiana Jones movie.
A volcano, jeep, boat, pyramid or a tropical island level are present in the game and tons more. And the main objective in each area is different and fun. While some have fetch quests, they don’t feel boring or lazy in any way. Plus, the game isn’t extremely linear. Some areas can be finished with doing things in a different order.
So, in each level you can find 10 treasure items. With these you can buy ammo, health packs and various other items at the end of every level. Some treasures are in plain sight, but some treasures ask some exploration of the open levels. A tip that I give to you guys is that in the Olmec Valley (level 10), there is a treasure hidden in a pond. That was one that took me a long time to find.
Visually, this game has aged quite poorly. The animations and graphics will look terrible to the modern gamer. But truth to be told, the design of every place is beautiful. For a retro gamer, this game is a jewel. A pearl in design.
The level design is just pretty and provides quite the variation in gameplay and will not easily bore you. Even a couple of Easter eggs are hidden. I will reveal two of them. Both extremely close to each other. In one level, where you need to enter the mines, you will visit a control room. On the desk of the control room there is a picture of the Young Indy. If you press the action button, Indy will give a nice comment. After that, try to get on top of the control room. It’s tricky to do, but the boxes outside will help you. Once on top, light your lighter and somewhere in the middle you will see the name of one of the designers edged into the wood.
So, what haven’t I talked about? Oh yes, the music. While it’s mainly absent, I think that it’s a missed opportunity. The game could have benefited from a more extended musical score. But the sound design isn’t bad at all and gets a thumbs up from me.
Oh, before I forget, there is a big reward if you collect all the treasures. You will be able to buy something really special that will put a big smile on your face if you have seen the first movie. Just saying.
And to finish, let me talk about the cheats. Yes, there are cheats. From god mode to have each and every weapon in the game. But there are even Easter Eggs in the cheats!
So, I think I am going to leave it here for this review and go on to the conclusion. Don’t forget to draw everywhere on the walls with your chalk in the game! I haven’t talked about everything inside the game as usual, since I want you guys to have some discoveries in the game if you’re interested!
– Tricky to get to work on modern system.
– Some weapons can crash the game if you have Windows XP or higher.
– The story is weak.
– This game could have benefited from more music.
+ The Easter eggs are truly worth finding.
+ The replay value is high.
+ The length is very great.
+ Nice sound design.
+ Epic visuals for retro gamers.
+ Nice voice acting.
+ Addictive gameplay.
Phew, this was harsh to do. My nostalgia was always taking the best of me and pushing every bad thing I wanted to say, was pushed out of my head. The old warning I have to give is that this game is a pain to get working properly on modern systems. It even acts funny from time to time on my virtual machine. So, please, keep that in mind.
But this game was the cause I got truly addicted to gaming. It’s a very influential game in my eyes and I often reference it in my head when I’m reviewing or writing. Somehow it gives me inspiration.
Let me reveal a few things I haven’t talked about in my review. Like the adjustable difficulty, boss battles and a map system. Yeah, the game is pretty deep when I think about it. I had enough material for a long review for sure, but just because I felt like writing a review about this game and finally publish it, since I was always somewhat displeased, I kept it to my usual length.
Anyway, I’m writing a longer final thought then I should. Play this game for yourself and tell me what you thought of this game. I truly think it’s a masterpiece with a few flaws.