Let’s Play 1984’s The Temple Of Doom Board Game!

By the time that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom hit theaters back on May 23, 1984. I was impatiently counting the days up until it’s release. When my Father and I finally had the chance to see it, I was all set to join Indiana Jones again and brave that Temple of Doom.

Film Trailers

Of course it helped that television ads were all over the place. It must be remembered as well that Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of took everyone by surprise in 1981. It seemed like the studio was truly doing its best to get the word out about Temple of Doom.

Having said that I must admit that I do not ever recall seeing the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom board game back in the day. Thankfully this matter was corrected when the Arkadia Retrocade received a copy of it a few months back.

Joining me for this special event was none other than my fellow author on The Retroist, PLCary.

I must point out the nice design of the Temple of Doom board itself.
Temple of Doom

Each Player also receives a little board that connects to the main board – which features exciting moments from the film as well. Such as the plane crash, waterfall, the palace and of course Club Obi Wan!

After a go with the spinner, a Player must travel the full number of steps. At the very beginning you must choose to take the shorter path which is more dangerous. Or the longer path giving you more opportunities to avoid landing on a danger – sending you back precious steps or even to the beginning.

Dotted across the board are symbols featuring both Indy’s hat and whip and the visage of Mola Ram. When landing on these symbols a Player spins the spinner – if it matches the symbol you have landed upon, two outcomes take place. A match of symbols while on Indy’s hat means a Player can move a piece up to 3 spaces. Where as if you match while on Mola Ram’s symbol – you lose your next turn…probably trying to avoid having your heart ripped out.

Another key point is that a Player isn’t allowed to jump over another of their pieces. Which means there are moments in fact during the game where you are stuck. An opposing Player is allowed to land on your piece – placing your piece where they just were. An act by and large that can become beneficial in certain cases, especially when you enter the temple itself.
Temple of Doom

After navigating the treacherous temple, avoiding the sulfurous pitfalls. By foot or using the stairwells as shortcuts, you begin to move Indy, Willie, and Short Round to the appropriate colored mine carts. A Player must get all three of their playing pieces on the cart before they can race for the finish line.

In our game, while PLCary pulled ahead at the beginning – I made it through the mines first. But on the negative side you need an exact number to cross the rope bridge and win the game. All three of your pieces must have crossed before you can claim victory.

I was getting bad spins and PLCary easily caught up with me. It was a battle across the rope bridge but in the end I lucked out and managed to get all of my pieces across first.

Which in the spirit of Temple of Doom meant I of course paused to cut the rope bridge.

Generally speaking board games based on 1980’s franchises were something of a crapshoot. I can say though that the Temple of Doom game was exceptionally fun. If you can get your hands on it – it is most worth adding to your collection.

Lunch Box Stash

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During a recent trip to a local antique mall I found this little stash of metal lunch boxes. Of course, I had to investigate.

There were a few good ones there — the Indiana Jones, the Six Million Dollar Man, and He-Man ones caught my eye. Unfortunately they were all in the $20 range, had rust, and were missing their Thermoses. The ones on the other side of the aisle (Pac-Man and Rambo) had no rust and included their Thermoses, but were $50 each. I already own the Pac-Man and Rambo lunch boxes, but even if I did, $50 is too much for me.

I never understood the appeal of those generic lunch boxes, like the ones here with the girl on the side. What kid wouldn’t prefer having lunch with an officially licensed lunch partner?

Indiana Jones in Stop Motion Animation


The recent announcement of Disney securing the marketing and distribution rights of future Indiana Jones movies from Paramount Pictures has me excited for new content. While this announcement means future content of the franchise I hope it also will get us an animated series.

This isn’t traditional animation or even CGI but it does show that the Indiana Jones franchise lends itself to the animation format.

This stop-motion project was released about two years ago for the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s a shot-for-shot remake of the opening sequence, well, up until Indiana Jones leaps out of the cave anyway. It’s so well done and the music, dialogue and sound effects match up perfectly.

Hopefully this announcement means that the Indiana Jones brand will be reestablished as the first name in adventure.

Find Your Fate Adventure Books

Here at the Retroist we’ve talked about the Choose Your Own Adventure book series before and some of the knock-offs like the Endless Quest and Twistaplot books, but here’s a brand I had never seen until recently: the Find Your Fate adventure books, starring Indiana Jones.

When I saw this book for sale at a local book store for a buck, I couldn’t pass it up. Like most books of the genre, the goal of this one is to help Indiana find some treasure (the “Lost Treasure of Sheba”) and keep him alive in the process. In the book you are not Indiana but rather his young friend (probably an easier character for young readers to relate to).

The book is also filled with lots of illustrations.

“Don’t just sit there, Indy — the Lost Treasure of Sheba (c) awaits!”

(Not your friends.)

I read the book through a couple of different paths the other night. Although the writing was good, I didn’t think the adventure was particularly exciting. Then again that could be because I am no longer a member of the book’s younger target audience.

According to the Indiana Jones Wiki, there were seventeen Find Your Fate adventure books. Books 1-9 feature Indiana Jones, books 10-15 feature other protagonists (including James Bond), and books 16 and 17 again star Dr. Jones. Fans of the genre will not be surprised to learn that several of the books were written by R. L. Stine, who wrote several other Choose Your Own Adventure books for competing brands. Through Google I also discovered that there were several other lines of “Find Your Fate” books, including books for GI Joe, Jem and the Holograms, and the Transformers. Sounds like more things I will have to track down now.

As I was writing this article I just noticed something. In the book, your (and your father’s) last name is Ballentyne. The Find Your Fate books were published by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House. Coincidence?