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.
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.
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.
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.