I've long known that one of the games was written by Mercer Mayer, an author I knew from my youth because of his "Me and My Dad" books (the protagonists were porcupines or something). What I've learned in more recent years is that he co-founded the company. I can only imagine that he and his partner thought they could do the literary aspect of IF better than Infocom. I mean, most of the Infocom authors (except for Berlyn) weren't even published authors.
If that was indeed the case, from what I've seen of Angelsoft games, they never really reached that goal. Most prose in Angelsoft games is not that exceptional, but the games really fall apart in other areas like the interface and the game design.
Still, given the licenses involved and what not, I would like to play through all of the Angelsoft games just to see if there are worthwhile moments.
That brings us to my transcript today.
How it Begins
The TranscriptYou'll notice that the transcript's text width is the same as it was on the Apple II. Yes, this blog will have plenty of ugly transcripts:
Final ThoughtsSo, there aren't many parts in this game that I liked, and I find not being about to GET things infuriatingly awful (if you missed it, you must TAKE things). While the game makes an effort to incorporate Indiana Jones tropes, it doesn't make the required effort to properly translate it to IF (of course, Angelsoft was even worse with some of its earlier games, and if I really hate you, I'll cover their Rambo game here, too.).
Still, there was one section that I thought had some charm. Particularly, it's the section after the intro (man, what a horrible intro) where the player can either go south and talk to the Belloq-type bad guy or go north and talk to the snake dude and learn about what's going on. If you go south earlier enough, you actually can be saved by Marion and her plane even though it's not the optimal route (you need the snake dude's snake-charming commands to win the game).
For a game that is marred by things like randomly marching Nazi troops, the multiple-route part there is pretty nice. Of course, while jumping into Marion's plane while it passes under the bridge is hinted at, I'm not sure if I would have thought such a command was worth trying, even with Indiana Jones logic applied to it.
Hmm, yeah, I can't think of any other good things. 'Til next time!