Innovative and challenging Lucasarts classic
The Lucasarts graphic adventures are some of the best examples of the genre, with greats like Fate of Atlantis, The Secret of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango racking up the accolades and cementing their reputation as true classics. This is one of their earlier releases and while it shares many of the qualities of later games, including well designed puzzles and a highly cinematic feel, it has aged somewhat and perhaps does not deserve quite the same status as its stable-mates. The plot sticks pretty closely to that of the movie, expanding on some aspects while ignoring others, which is something of a double-edged sword for fans but at least the core premise of Indy's search for the Holy Grail is intact as is the sparkling interaction between him and his father. The game makes use of the SCUMM system with the screen divided into the main graphical section depicting the unfolding events, while underneath is a set of words which can be clicked on to interact with objects and solve puzzles. Generally speaking, these are pretty inventive but are also highly challenging at times and should keep genre veterans tested, but there are also several action-style sequences in keeping with the movie and which see Indy engaging in fisticuffs and plane battles with the Nazis. For fans of Lucasarts other adventures, this is a must play as it offers most of the elements which make their other games so attractive, while for newcomers it is also highly recommended. The graphics are appealing, with nicely detailed environments and smoothly animated sprites, the story and dialogue are compelling and sharp and the puzzles are difficult but satisfying, so really this has everything you need for a great adventure.