Run-of-the-mill film adaptation.
If you were a computer or console user in the late 80s or early 90s and you told me you never played a film adaptation, I'd call you a liar without hesitation. That's how common these games were back then. They basically bought the rights of any film of the season and then turn the major scenes into sub games, usually of the platform kind, although Ocean used to throw in at least a puzzle stage in their games.
This particular game was quite popular, as the film was, but I remember game critics being particularly vicious with it. They had their reasons (more on that later), but I have to say I've seen far worse jobs than the one Tiertex did here.
Starting with the game strenghts, the game has a good number of stages mirroring most of the exploits of Indiana Jones in the film. We get to find the Cross of Coronado, to escape the illegal diggers through the train, to explore the catacombs under Venice and many other things, all in pretty big and imaginative scenarios. Considering that many people bought this kind of games as a memento of the film, that's a positive thing.
The game also boasts pretty good graphics. Indy has a good size and he moves rather well, and so do his enemies. The color in the Amstrad CPC version is poor, though. It looks like Tiertex did a direct conversion of the monochrome Spectrum version. The sound and music, while scarce, also do their job.
But then comes the gameplay. Oh, boy. I've seen far worse platformers than this one, but none of them is as frustrating as this one.
As I said, Indiana moves quite well, but this doesn't prevent him from long, energy draining falls whenever he fails to catch a rope or suffers the smallest fall. Which is often. And many times the ropes hang over instant death hazards, like water. Who knew Indy couldn't swim?
And then there are the enemies. They are not that tough. A punch from Indy or his whip will stop them at once, but they often carry knives or guns, which inflict as much damage as half of Indy's energy bar. And someone at Tiertex headquarters though it would be a good idea to limit the amount of times Indy can use his whip to five, until he can find a replacement. I didn't know those things were that fragile.
The Bottom Line
Although this review applies to the Amstrad CPC version of the game, they all are pretty much the same thing. Indy may run faster, and the screen may be more colorful, but the game strenghts and weaknesses are exactly the same.