Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures

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Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures
Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures Coverart.png
The boxart for Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures features a still of Indiana Jones from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Developer(s) LucasArts
Publisher(s) LucasArts
Director(s) Hal Barwood
Designer(s) Hal Barwood
Wayne Cline
Paul D. LeFevre
Tom Payne
Programmer(s) Paul D. LeFevre
Artist(s) Tom Payne
Writer(s) Hal Barwood
Wayne Cline
Composer(s) Clint Bajakian
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh
Release date(s) April 1996[1]
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures is a 1996 adventure video game. Desktop Adventures was made to run in a windowed form on the desktop to limit memory use and allow the player to perform other tasks[citation needed]. This game was the first Desktop Adventures game, and was followed by Star Wars: Yoda Stories in 1997.


The game is set in mid-1930s Middle America with a variety of characters, puzzles, and outcomes. The plot, size, and direction of each game are randomly generated at the start, with locations and items being different every time, though each storyline has a pre-scripted resolution.


Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures gameplay. Note the top-down view along with the directional arrows and round health meter in the lower right.

The playing area is displayed from an overhead perspective. The player-controlled Indiana Jones is limited to orthogonal movement, which is controlled with the arrow keys or with the mouse. The mouse is also used for other actions, such as managing inventory and using weapons. There is limited audio and no speech, with characters speaking with speech bubbles. After winning, the player can continue to explore the setting.


GameSpot reviewed the game as having low-quality visuals and audio but being possibly useful for passing time.[2] Billboard magazine mentioned the game's randomly generated environment and its target audience of "gamers on the go."[3]

Charles Ardai of Computer Gaming World gave the game one star out of five and wrote, "For a genius, George Lucas sure has a lot of bad ideas. [...] Some time ago, someone from his computer game division must have come to him and said, 'Hey, let's put out a really simple, randomly generated RPG-style adventure game, stick a whip in the hand of the main character, use the Indiana Jones name–and make it look really ugly.' And Lucas must have said, 'Sounds good to me.'"[4]

Ardai wrote that "there are 'literally billions of possible games!' as the game's package proudly proclaims. Problem is, it isn't worth playing even once or twice. [...] There's almost nothing redeeming about the game, except maybe the picture of Harrison Ford on the splash screen–and even that is a steal from Temple of Doom." Ardai wrote that Indiana Jones fans may enjoy the theme music featured in the game, but concluded that the game was, "Embarrassingly retro," with its "overly simplistic gameplay; crude visuals and sound" and "ludicrous ethnic stereotypes."[4]

Rob Tribe of PC Zone rated the game 8 out of 10 and called it "very, very addictive," but wrote, "The one gripe I have about fighting is this. Although you can move in any direction, you can only fight horizontally and vertically - trying to shoot something diagonally is not allowed - so where is the most popular place for people to attack you? Diagonally! It's hardly fair, is it?"[5]


  1. ^ "20th Anniversary - History; Part Three: Broadening Horizons, 1995 – 1998". LucasArts. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006. 
  2. ^ Ward, Trent (1996-06-27). "Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  3. ^ Atwood, Brett (1996-06-01). "Reviews & Previews". Billboard: 84. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  4. ^ a b Ardai, Charles (August 1996). "A Compact Ford: Indiana Jones Meets His Doom In Desktop Adventures" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. p. 128. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  5. ^ Tribe, Rob (2001-08-13). "Indiana Jones And His Desktop Adventures". PC Zone. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. 

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