bvilleneuve's Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (Steam) (PC) review

A good piece of writing rendered unreadable by flowy longhand

This one didn’t grab me.

See, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Video Game does some really interesting stuff. It seems like it’s embracing its status as a movie tie-in product, in that many of the puzzles can be solved just like they are in the film. However, the designers also went above and beyond by programming in alternate solutions to puzzles that players can use if they’re smart enough.

The problem is, I’m not smart enough.

I’ve had some success with newer adventure games, but with this one, I just can’t do it. It has (some) personality, the interface makes quite a lot of sense, and it has some solid pixel art, but it’s a total chore.

My first hint should have been when I looked at the instruction manual. That’s really a good indicator of what’s to come. It’s this well-written, in-universe grail diary… written almost entirely in hard-to-read cursive. I’m sure it must have been a joy to open the game box and pull that out, but my eyes just can’t do it. I’m counting the time I spent reading that PDF in my game-time for this one.

I started using a walkthrough almost immediately. I didn’t realize that I should pick up all of the stuff on Indiana Jones’s desk so that I could find his father’s grail diary underneath it. My only hint that I should walk all the way back to Indy’s office was when I tried to break the floor of a library in Venice and he said he shouldn’t do it yet, he didn’t even have his dad’s diary to find out if it was the right panel to break! That was when I knew I wouldn't be getting far in this game.

I didn’t finish this one, but I did read all the way through the walkthrough, and I’m pretty sure that’s what my time with the game would have been like anyway. Two stars.


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