Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis

The Fate of Atlantis on the C64! This is gonna be amazing! Fantastic! Must spend pocket money on this!

And this is probably what went through my head when I first found this game on a local Market stall. Only problem is that this game is nothing like the rather spiffing click and point that I had on the Amiga.

This game would turn out to be one of the nightmares of my gaming past. One that will still haunt me to this very day.

Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis: The Action Game is a very ambitious arcade adventure for the C64. And ambition might be all well and good but that does not mean it’s going to be a good game. Which, unfortunately, this game proves. All too well.

The controls on this game are clunky, fiddley and all together useless. Many times I found myself cursing at the screen because there is such a delay with the selected weapon. Collision detection is a little finicky and you have to be arrow straight in front of the enemy or item for it to register. And moving does not feel fluid and I found that I would helplessly stuck on a wall or item.

The sound is poor and the game features very little in the way of a soundtrack. The punching and weapon sounds are all a little generic. Just a bland audio experience.

The graphics are ok though. For the most par anyway. With some nicely detailed locations and sprites. I do like the look of the HUD which is set out in a nice way. With the biggest section of the screen been devoted to the action. But the animation is jerky and rough. The is also a delay with scrolling the screen. Which is incredibly annoying when navigating the levels.

Yet the single biggest, and it’s a huge one, complaint with this game comes solely from the most ridiculous conversation system I have ever seen in a video game.

When you converse with an NPC in the game you are given a symbol. This symbol represents part of a conversation which is written in your manual. Now I am sure they thought this was great idea and was going to save the programmers both time and effort by employing this system. I am also sure that they thought the issue of media storage capacity would have also been overcome using this system. However as I discovered in my younger days, when I had taken less care of my games, that if you lose the said manual you are stuffed. Rendering the game completely unplayable. Unless you somehow managed to memories the symbols and text.

This is a joke

Unfortunately I didn’t commit all this to memory. And I ended up not been able to ever complete the game. Until I found the joys of the internet and a PDF copy of the instructions.

Thanks for that internet!

The fate of Atlantis could possibly be one of the greatest games I have ever had the pleasure of playing.

Is what I would have been saying if it had been the rather awesome click and point adventure on the Amiga I was reviewing. However the C64 “the action game” version is less than spectacular.

I know they will have been fighting against system limitations and I understand this. Yet I feel if more effort had been put into the game then it would have turned out far better. As it stands, however, the entire package just feels like the development team were phoning in sick most of the time. Things just feels unfinished and sloppy. The graphics may look nice but the frame rate is just terrible. And whatever they we smoking when the came up with that message icon system I want some too. So I can finally understand why they did it.

But I like their ambition with this “action game” variant of Fate of Atlantis. And it’s the only reason that it’s been saved from a one star rating. So as such I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

Gameplay Video

CritAnime

I grew up in the magical 8-bit era of computers and consoles. I saw the games crash and saw the recovery from it with the NES. I will always have my trusty C64 in my office and when the need arises I will pop a tape in the Datasette and play some classic games.

With a wealth of knowledge, especially on old-school rpg's, I hope to bring it to you. The viewers of Retroist.com

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