Raiders of the Lost Ark

Moby ID: 14996
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Description official description

Raiders of the Lost Ark is an adventure game which is loosely based on the movie of the same name. In the game you control Indiana Jones on his quest to find the Lost Ark of the Covenant. The ark is hidden somewhere in the valley of poison. Your mission begins in the Egyptian city of Cairo; next you must find your way to the Temple of the Ancients where there is a secret map room. In the map room you will find a hieroglyphic indicating an object you must have to unlock the secrets of the map room; when unlocked, you will be able to find where in the Mesa Field the entrance to the Well of Souls is located. If you can find your way safely across the Mesa tops into the Well of Souls, you will locate the ark and win the game! The game uses two joysticks for control; one joystick moves Indy around the screen and uses a selected object, the second joystick allows you to select and/or drop objects from your inventory. On the many different locations of your journey you will come across different objects (some hidden) which can be collected to help you out. You may find weapons (like a whip or gun) for defense, or objects (such as a key or money) which can be used to unlock new areas or receive help. You begin the game with three lives, and the game ends when all lives are lost. There are plenty of enemies to hinder your progress, and of course numerous snakes!

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Credits (Atari 2600 version)

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Average score: 70% (based on 14 ratings)


Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 1 reviews)

One-of-a-kind 2600 adventure game!

The Good
For those of us looking to blow our early 80s rainy saturdays via video games, few games grabbed hold as strong as Atari's rendition of Raiders of the Lost Ark. An early licensed game before such licenses were a sure sign of shoddiness, RotLA was multi-facetted and complex in a way that no previous game had ever achieved, and which future games would mimic and perfect. There were just so many PARTS to the game- the spider, the gold monkey, the black market, the grappling hook, the PARACHUTE!!! With its games within the game, RotLA may be the ancestor of Grand Theft Auto and its many, many knock offs!

The Bad
Since it was designed for the 2600, you just have to forgive its blocky graphics. What you CAN'T forgive is that when you finally got to the actual Ark, you could NEVER actually get the ladder-jack-thingamajig to get all the way up to it no matter how perfect a run you'd just spent 4 hours achieving. That, and it's semi-sequel "E.T.", which was so bad that you almost wished they hadn't made Raiders, just so that they couldn't botch the engine with that ugly blob of a game.

The Bottom Line
A rollicking adventure story with so many more facets to it than any other 2600 title, before or after.

Atari 2600 · by Ian Kelleher (7) · 2006



  • FLUX Magazine
    • April 1995 (Issue 4)- #11 in the Top 25 Worst Video Games of All-Time* Retro Gamer Magazine
    • January 2008 (Issue 46) - #23 in the “Top 25 Atari 2600” Games poll

Information also contributed by Big John WV


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  • MobyGames ID: 14996
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Sciere, Alaka, LepricahnsGold.

Game added September 29, 2004. Last modified March 29, 2024.