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Young Indiana Jones - Instrument of Chaos


Jaleco 1992

Sega Genesis




When reviewing video games there are several things one must do to be "fair," that includes actually playing the game to the best of one's ability, no matter how bad it is. For the most part even when I review a stinking pile of doggy doo-doo I at least manage to get half way though the game. But not this time.

The game is a side-scrolling action title with pretty good graphics and animation. Problem is the control is so ridiculously horrendous it becomes unplayable from the start. It's World War I and the allies need to break up some kind of spy ring. Instead of sending professional agents they decide to send a 17 year old kid to do this instead. Yeah that makes sense.

Indy is armed with a whip and a gun. Problem is unlike in the movies Indy is totally useless with a whip. You would think the whip would be like Castlevaina style; Instead it's slow as molasses and overly animated, it scrawls out at a snail's pace and usually whatever enemy thing you're trying to attack nails you several times even before the whip gets close. Also when you hit someone full on with a bullwhip there is like zero reaction; The enemy has the slightest of knockbacks so you know you hit them then they continue as if nothing had happened. You would think being lashed across the chest by a bullwhip would like, hurt a little bit, at least. You also have a gun that kills most enemy types in one shot, problem is you can only shoot ahead and the little animals can run under your bullets.

That's right, little animals. Because no matter where you are in the world (Egypt, Germany, etc) Indy is constantly plagued by little tiny bastard animals. Indy must have pissed off the animal kingdom pretty bad in his youth because they all seem to be constantly nipping and biting at his heels, not enough to kill you, but annoying enough to knock you into pits, screw up a critical jump, or bump you into another enemy. Plus Indy is so damn incompetent he can't even crouch low and whip the little bastards, he has to wait until they come to his feet, then actually whip downwards (like at the ground.) In the meantime the stupid scorpion/goddamn snake/fucking rat bites/stings/gnaws the shit out of you. Lame.

You of course get knocked back like crazy whenever something hits you. Problem is there is no "invincibility period" after you get hit as in most games of this type, So you get bit by a snake, juggled in mid-air by the boomerang sword thrown by the evil-Arab type you just got finished bullwhipping (to zero visible effect,) then land on the giant rat and scorpion that have been chasing you since the beginning of the level and get juggled again. So utterly lame.

Indy also must have been an olympic sprinter in his youth because he certainly hauls ass across the screen. But it doesn't really matter because every two seconds some little fuzzy thing is nipping the shit out of you. You can't even run through the levels and dodge anything because the collision detection is ridiculously horrible. You can do this crazy super jump like 18 feet in the air but little things on the ground still hit you when you're clearly over their heads. They must have got Stevie Wonder to program this game or something.

In the Egypt level I finally manage to get halfway past all the annoying little animals and the guys with the swords, then suddenly there's this sandstorm that blows me back to the beginning of the level (In the meantime little rats and snakes continue to bite the crap out of me as I tumble through the air.) Not back a screen or two, all the way back to the beginning of the stupid level. What kind of sadistic bitch thought up that idea? Now I'm supposed suffer through this baloney all over again? Fuck that shit. Game over.

Thus, this is the one review on this site where I turned the game off without even getting past the first level. Take my word for it; It's just not worth it. I am convinced continuous playing of this game will cause my head to explode. Think of all those poor little animals trapped in the game, always hungry, never satisfied. We need to put them out of their misery by never playing this game again.

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