THE man with the hat is back, and this time he's brought his niece. Well, not quite. But dontcha just loves games developed with ail formats in mind? Isn't it a great feeling knowing that the game running on your immensely powerful Amiga sits just as happily on the Spectrum?
Believe me, it shows. The multi-
Now you must have seen the film, otherwise you wouldn't be interested in playing the game, buttering the tea shirt and eating the soundtrack album. This does help. Not with making the game any easier or playable, but in convincing you that this is vaguely connected to the real thing, and thus a worthwhile game.
Unfortunately it isn't a worthwhile game. Only a very worthwhile marketing exercise. But there you go, that's the software biz for you.
Indiana Jones is on the last crusade (before infirmity strikes) to find the Holy Grail. He must get to it before the Nazis do. The Grail goes from being the cup of everlasting youth to a power of great destruction if in the wrong hands. It sounds suspiciously like Raiders of the Lost Ark, and indeed it is.
The computer version takes four sequences and makes them into the four levels of the game.
Part one, accompanied by a nice little digitised piccy, casts you as the young Indy, played by River Phoenix of course.
This is sideways scrolling rocky platforms and ropes territory, populated with knife-
The first level then, has you traversing these caves, avoiding the indians, watching out for the platforms which crumble underfoot, picking up vital supplies of whips and torches - it gets dark otherwise - and swinging from rope to rope over water.
A couple of points here. Firstly, the knife thrower hurls at random so luck largely determines getting past unscathed. Secondly, where there are two gunmen patrolling, you have to be lucky enough for them to appear some distance apart and not on top of each other, otherwise it is impossible to get past them.
One touch by anyone and you lose a life.
The final groan comes when Indy falls from the ropes over the water section - he doesn't sink beneath the waves, rather he falls in front of them off the screen. Sloppy programming or what?
Still, it is very difficult to get through the first third of level one without serious damage - stupidly hard in fact, when more rope play knife throwers and fatal drops have to be considered.
Then you go outside, have a leap out to the back of a speeding train and avoid rhino horns, mad giraffes and the usual bad guys before you get to the end. And that was the first level.
The other levels are easier, with the simplest being the final one. There's more cavern play with rats to consider in level two, the Assault on Castle Brunwald. The castle is burning and you must climb up the wall to part three. The effect of the fire dropping from the stone ceiling is feeble.
The next level is slightly at odds with the film as it has you racing around the zeppelin, trying to escape by biplane. This bit was cut, so didn't make it into the cinema. There's a nice heaving effect where the screen slowly scrolls up and down to simulate the airship's movement, but really the graphics are very dull here - it's just a maze thrash with the guards in the way.
Only the climax of the game, the Get the Grail sequence, where a heartbeat representing Indy's dad slowly declines, captures any of the spirit of Indiana Jones. There's traps, a fair bit of leaping and a nasty buzz
Graphically, Indy and the Last Crusade is only adequate. The playing area is fairly small, the scrolling a bit jerky and only the animation of characters worthy of note.
Speaking of note, the music and sound effects are awful. I wish someone had told the programmers that a good gun effect doesn't mean you don't have to bother with the rest of the game.
Indiana Jones and the Last Rites would have been a better title for this game. There's plenty of it, but you're never going to see it unless you can master the absurdly difficult first level. Sloppy programming adds to the misery. Maybe Indy should have brought his niece after all, it would have made things a little more interesting.