Welcome to the second part of our in-depth review of Stern's Indiana Jones.

In the first part we looked at the game's external artwork, build and then toured the playfield to look at the various features and devices, seeing how they worked and interacted.

Now we're going to take a look at how the rules of the game come together, examine the dot, sound and lighting effects and wrap everything up with our conclusions and ratings.  Please take the time to read this through before jumping to the ratings, since they are fairly meaningless unless they are read in context.

As usual, this review is purely personal opinion and so may or may not match you own individual preferences.  If you've read our earlier reviews you've probably come to know where you agree or disagree with the views expressed but if you're new to this review, we'll do our best to explain why various conclusions were reached so you can make your own mind up.

The game used for this review had a clean install of version 1.3 software, so all settings were on factory default. If a game has different settings or software installed, some of the details in the rules section may change accordingly.


You press the start button, the ball is kicked into the shooter lane and you're faced with your first of many decisions - the skill shot.

Indiana Jones gives you 5 possible options for your skill shot award. Each one is represented by an insert in the shooter lane and the lit award cycles through each of the possible choices.

The shooter lane skill shot options
The shooter lane skill shot inserts

When the ball is plunged using the manual ball shooter, it passes over the inserts before triggering the skill shot switch. 

Skill shot switch
The skill shot switch

Unlike Lord of the Rings which uses a similar skill shot system, the lit award is not locked-in when the ball leaves the shooter, so you have to factor in the time the ball takes to reach the skill shot switch when timing your ball launch. 

The 5 options are:


Indy Jones - This completes either the I-N-D-Y or the J-O-N-E-S standup target bank as though you had shot it yourself four or five times respectively. This starts either Indy Scoring or Jones Scoring, more on which later.

Cairo Swordsman - This starts the hurry-up at the Map Room captive ball as though you had hit the captive ball enough times to start it yourself.  See the Map Room rules for scoring details.
Light Mystery - No mystery to this one, it does exactly what it says and lights the mystery award at the Last Crusade scoop as though you had gone through the right inlane enough times to light it yourself
Light Super Pops - Increases the scores awarded from the pop bumpers.  Since the ball immediately ends up in the pops, this is an immediate bonus even if you never make a shot. More importantly, though, it increases the amount added to the jackpot values, making the initial paltry pop bumper awards potentially valuable in the longer term.
Advance Scene - This completes one of the the four movie's four scenes, awarding you a single jackpot value of 1 million points for the first time you select it, increasing by 1 million each subsequent time.  It's a way to move towards the Final Adventure wizard mode more quickly but you sacrifice the opportunity to score significantly more by actually playing the associated mode or multiball.

The display also shows these 5 options in sync with the changing lit insert.

Each of the 5 choices immediately starts its appropriate feature.

There is no requirement to gauge the strength of your plunge though, as there is in Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Fortune. The ball only has one destination when it leaves the shooter lane at the start of a new ball - into the pop bumpers.  The game has no ball locks, so the only time you manually launch is at the start of a new ball (or extra ball).

You will notice from the dot matrix frames shown above how the split display first used on Wheel Of Fortune has been carried over to Indiana Jones.

We liked this method of keeping the scores on the screen through most of the game, even when complex animations were taking place on the right side of the dividing line. Indy continues this and extends it further, rigidly adhering to the layout except during high score entry, a ball save and when the coin door is opened.

One side effect of the split screen is to reduce the size of the animations, hence allowing more to be fitted into the available memory.

A minor but noticeable change can be found with the score display itself. Back in the review for The Sopranos, we commented on how, when the game was idle and points were not being added, the score wiped off and back on again in the same way Williams dot matrix and alpha-numeric games used to. That animation style has continued since The Sopranos and now with Indy it extends to the small score on the left side of the screen as well, mimicking the full size score on the right.

Get the Flash Player to see this video clip.

Got problems seeing the video? Consult our help page for assistance.

So the skill shot has been chosen and the ball is plunged up the shooter lane, round the back of the Ark and into the pop bumpers.

With the first hit of the bumpers, we get to see a display showing us the four jackpot values relating to the four movie features. Each one begins at 1 million and builds throughout the game.

If you remember from part 1, each movie's playfield artwork is colour-coded and those colours also match the colours of the 4 pop bumper caps. The four jackpot values shown on the display match the physical positions of the four pop bumpers. So the green bumper is the top left value, the red one is the bottom right value, etc.

The pop bumpers
The pop bumpers

Each bumper hit builds its associated movie jackpot value by the amount shown on the display as well as immediately scoring the same number of points.

Although the increases to the jackpots are small, because the jackpot values build throughout the game, all those bumper hits start adding up, so once the ball's been rattling around the pop bumpers for a while the four jackpot values have reached a slightly more impressive amount.

In addition, if you select Light Super Pops from the skill shot, the jackpots build much faster but only for the pop bumper hits scored following a plunger shot. Once the ball exits the bumpers they revert to regular pops.

There is a ball saver which activates at the start of each ball and at the start of multiball.

However, you can't use it to put the ball back in the pop bumpers to get extra super pop hits, since super pops ends following a ball save.

With the ball exiting the pop bumpers, lets take a look at the main features of Indiana Jones - the 4 movie modes.

Each movie has its own shot to build towards the next mode (or "scene" in Indy parlance) and then start it. For Raiders of the Lost Ark it is the shot at the base of the Ark, for Temple of Doom it is the captive ball followed by the scoop below once the captive ball has moved up to reveal it. The Last Crusade shot is the left scoop while the Crystal Skull shot is the ramp.

The rules are simple to start any one of the movie scenes, just keep shooting the movie's shot until it starts. It's not hugely imaginative or exciting but it's clear and obvious to new players. To help you see your progress there is a meter for each movie in the centre of the playfield.

The progress meters
The progress meters

Each movie has 4 scenes (or modes) to play followed by a final scene to complete the movie. Movie scenes Completing all 4 movies lights the wizard mode Final Adventure but scenes cannot be stacked and have to be played individually. Given that there are 20 of them in all and none of them are video modes, you won't get to the Final Adventure quickly.

Somewhat annoyingly, the movies are arranged left to right in chronological order rather than in the order their shots are laid-out on the playfield. So while Temple Of Doom and Crystal Skull are correct and point at their features, Raiders and Last Crusade are swapped.

So in keeping with that, we'll also look at the details of each movie in chronological order starting at the beginning with Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Ark is the main shot for this movie and your aim is to spell out "R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K" by adding one letter for each hit. A couple of letters will be lit for the first scene to help you on your way.

The Ark shot

To score a hit, the ball needs to hit the blue rubber pad at the base of the Ark. Unlike Attack From Mars or Spider-Man, hitting the green standup targets lining the entrance to the Ark doesn't count as a hit, you need to hit the base of the Ark itself.

This breaks an opto beam and registers the shot, adding a letter.

Simulated opto beam
The opto beam across the Ark base (simulated)

Letters are shown on the dot matrix display and there is a loud electrical hum sound to accompany the hit, but there's no indication of your progress on the playfield so it's easy to lose track of how close you are to completing the sequence of letters.

After each letter is added to build towards the first scene, the display also says "8 Ball Ready" which is somewhat misleading, since you still need to complete all 19 letters to start it.

Breaking the beam also activates the magnet in front of the ark.

If you are building towards completing R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K then the magnet operates briefly to disrupt the path of the ball as it rolls away from the Ark. It throws the ball in a pretty random direction and can even throw it back at the Ark for another letter.

While shooting the Ark earns you extra letters, hitting the two banks of green standups at the entrance to the Ark gives you a nice little animation on the display of Nazi troops running across the score, a little like the sword fight you get in Pirates Of The Caribbean when the ball is in the pop bumpers.

These only appear if no other display animations take precedence and the number of soldiers depends on how many green targets you hit.

Beyond that effect, there doesn't appear to be any other reward for hitting the green side targets, so breaking the beam and completing R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K is the only shot worth making.

If you've completed the sequence then the ball is held on the magnet while the Raiders movie scene begins. If this is the first Raiders scene it will always start with scene 1 which is the 8 ball multiball.

The Ark opens
The Ark opens for eight ball multiball

Raiders - Scene 1

There is an impressive light and sound show to go along with the dot matrix screening of the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Ark is opened with chaos and death ensuing.

When that ends, the 4 balls are ejected from the ark and the remaining 4 are auto-launched from the trough to start eight ball multiball.

Despite first impressions, having 8 balls on the playfield is not as ludicrous as it may seem at first, and aimed shots are still just about possible. Fairly soon though, the number of balls reduces to 4 or 5 and then 2 or 3. The scene continues to play until you are down to just 1 ball in play.

The aim is to score enough switch hits from anywhere on the playfield (except the outhole) to score a jackpot.

The switch count begins at 10 and counts down with each switch hit.

When the required number of hits is achieved, a jackpot is automatically awarded. The jackpot value starts at 1 million and builds with each hit of the yellow pop bumper.

As with all jackpots in the game, you are first shown a short clip from the scene followed by the jackpot screen.

In this case 2x scoring was active during the multiball so the jackpot values are doubled. More about 2x scoring later in this rules section.

After the first jackpot, the number of switch hits required to collect a jackpot rises. The second jackpot comes after a further 30 switch hits, the third after 35 and the fourth at 40 hits.

Once the fourth jackpot has been collected, the yellow arrow in front of the Ark is lit to collect a super jackpot.

The Ark is lit for Super Jackpot
The yellow insert is lit to indicate the Ark scores Super Jackpot

Like nearly all super jackpots in Indiana Jones, the value of the super jackpot is 5x the regular jackpot. In this case though, because the 2x scoring was also running, it totaled 10x the regular jackpot value.

You can see how 2x scoring is a valuable feature to have running in multiball.

Once you've collected the first super jackpot it's back to regular jackpots at 50, 55, 60 and 65 switch hits before the next Super is ready at the Ark.

The sequence continues with jackpots at 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 with a super jackpot following.

If you get that far, jackpots pick up again at 110 switch hits followed by 115, 120 and so on until the location closes for the night or neighbours call the police because they haven't seen you around for a long time and are concerned for your welfare.

When seven or more of the initial balls drain, multiball ends and you are shown your total score for that scene.

The next Raiders scene requires you to spell out R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K again. That's right, another 19 hits on the Ark and you're ready for the next Raiders scene.

All the Raiders scenes are multiball with the four balls in the Ark added to the mix, but only the first is an 8 ball multiball. Subsequent Raiders scenes only use those 4 Ark balls plus the ball held on the magnet for a total of 5 balls.

Raiders - Scene 2

Scene 2 adds some variation but starts again with 10 switch hits required. When they have been completed, the Ark is lit for jackpot. Then it's 20 switches followed by the Ark, then 30 switches and so on. Although the orbit shots are flashing during this mode, the don't appear to do anything different and are perhaps just guidance to shoot for the spinners which rapidly score multiple switch hits.

There are no super jackpots available in Raiders scene 2, just regular jackpots at the Ark after 10, 20, 30, etc switches.

When scene 2's multiball ends, so does the scene and it requires another barrage of hits on the Ark before Raider scene 3 begins.

Raiders - Scene 3

Scene 3 mixes things up a little and causes a little confusion with its display. When the scene begins, the Ark staged balls are released and the display shows "3 switches to light jackpot" which sounds easy enough, but unlike in previous scenes it's not any old switches.

In fact it is only the Ark and the 2 banks of I-N-D-Y and J-O-N-E-S standup targets which score switch hits. Hit any 3 of those and the Ark is lit to score a jackpot.

Repeat that process 5 times and the 6th jackpot will be a super jackpot. It will also raise the number of switch hits needed by 1.

This continues until you're down to 1 ball at which point the multiball is over and the scene ends.

Raiders - Scene 4

OK, time to start attacking the Ark for the 4th scene.

Once you've spelled out R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K yet again, the 4th scene and its associated multiball start with another twist to the rules.

The display shows "2 switches to relight jackpot" but as in scene 3, it's not any old switches. This time it's the 6 major shots in the game - the 4 movie shots plus the 2 orbit shots.

Shoot any of these 6 major shots to count down the number of switches needed. When it reaches 0, shoot the ark for a jackpot.

That sequence repeats until you're down to 1 or 0 balls. As in scene 2 there is no super jackpot available.

When all 4 scenes have been played, the white Raiders of the Lost Ark insert at the top of the yellow progress meter flashes for the final Raiders scene. Complete R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K again by hammering away at the Ark and it begins.

The progress meters

Raiders - Final Scene

As the multiball starts, the rules of the final scene are revealed. The Ark is the only shot lit, so shoot it for a jackpot. Then do it again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

Then, finally, the 7th jackpot is a Super Jackpot and things get a bit more interesting as the display shows "1 switch to relight jackpot". But guess which switch it is. Yes, it's the Ark again. So shoot the Ark to light jackpot at the Ark.

Then it's 2 Ark hits to relight the jackpot at the Ark and the same for the next batch of jackpots until the next super jackpot is collected, when the number of Ark switch hits required to relight jackpot rises to 4.

This continues with the number of hits on the ark required to relight the jackpot there incrementing with each super jackpot collected until multiball comes to an end and you're down to just 1 ball in play.  When the scene ends you will hear "Raiders completed".

So to summarise the final Raiders scene - shoot the Ark. A lot. 

The 2nd movie in the quadrilogy was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom so we'll look at that next.

Temple of Doom

The Temple of Doom shot is the movable captive ball and the scoop below it which is revealed when the captive ball mechanism lifts up.

The Temple Of Doom captive ball
The Temple of Doom captive ball

The Temple of Doom shot
The Temple of Doom scoop

All the Temple of Doom scenes are started by first shooting the captive ball and then shooting the ball in the scoop to collect a Sankara stone.

Initially only 1 hit on the captive ball is required to open the scoop for the 1st scene, but later on more hits are needed.

Once the scoop is open, a shot into it collects 1 of the 3 Sankara stones.

Collecting the 3rd stone starts the Temple of Doom scene. As with Raiders of the Lost Ark, all the temple of Doom scenes are multiballs although only balls in the trough are auto-launched - the ones in the Ark stay where they are for this movie.

Temple of Doom - Scene 1

When multiball begins, the ball in the scoop is kicked out and the captive ball lowers.

The 6 major shots - the 4 movie shots plus the 2 orbits - are lit and score jackpots when made. The jackpot value is the Temple of Doom jackpot which starts at 1 million and builds with hits on the red pop bumper - the one with the baked potato on top.


As you keep shooting the lit shots, you keep scoring jackpots as long as you're still in multiball. After you have collected 13 jackpots, the captive ball rises and the other shots are no longer lit.

The scoop is now lit for super jackpot. It's a fairly easy shot, easily backhanded and not too dangerous if you miss either. Make the scoop and the captive ball lowers again as you score the super jackpot of 5x the normal jackpot.

After that, the ball the ball in the scoop is kicked out, all the major shots relight and you're off collecting another 13 jackpots before super jackpot lights again.

This repeats until enough balls drain to end your multiball.

To start the next scene you have to shoot the captive ball and then the scoop 3 more times to collect 3 Sankara stones. Once you've got the 3rd, the next scene begins.

Temple of Doom - Scene 2

This multiball starts with the Temple of Doom captive ball lit. It needs to be hit twice at which point it rises to make it and all the other major shots lit. Each one scores a jackpot but unlike previous scenes, once a shot is collected it become unlit and no longer awards jackpots.

You have to make all 6 major shots - and that includes the left and right orbits separately - in order to relight them all. When the Temple of Doom shot is made it closes up until relit.

Once you have collected all 6 shots twice, the captive ball scoop is revealed again and lit for a super jackpot at 5x the normal jackpot value.

After collecting the super jackpot, the number of hits on the captive ball increases by 1 (to 3 hits) to raise it and light all 6 shots again for the same sequence.

As usual, the scene ends when you're down to one ball.

Collecting 3 more Sankara stones kicks off the next scene.

Temple of Doom - Scene 3

The 3rd Temple of Doom scene takes us on a chase around the playfield to match the mine cart chase played out on the display.

The scene begins with the Temple of Doom captive ball lit for jackpot. Shoot it and the lit shot moves right to the Ark. Collect the Ark for a 2nd jackpot and the lit shot moves further right to the ramp.

After that the jackpot shot moves to the right orbit, back across the playfield to the Last Crusade scoop and the left orbit before returning to the Temple of Doom captive ball to start the sequence a 2nd time.

If you complete the 2nd tour of the playfield and get back to make the captive ball shot, the captive ball lifts up and the scoop below is lit for a super jackpot of 5x the jackpot value.

This jollity continues as long as there are 2 or more balls in play.

Temple of Doom - Scene 4

In scene 4 all the major shots are lit for jackpots and can be collected twice before they extinguish and are no longer available. The target is to collect 7 jackpots which will turn them all off and reveal the captive ball scoop which is now lit for the usual super jackpot at 5x the jackpot.

Collecting the super jackpot relights all the shots and the procedure starts over again.

When all 4 regular scenes have been played, the white Temple of Doom insert flashes at the top of the progress meter to indicate you have just 1 more scene from this movie to play - the final scene.

Temple of Doom - Final Scene

Being the 5th scene, starting the final scene takes 5 hits to the Temple of Doom captive ball before it reveals the scoop that starts the scene.

The scene itself is eerily familiar to scene 3, except each shot needs to be made twice. The captive ball scoop has to be shot 2 times to collect 2 jackpots and move the lit shot on to the Ark for another 2 jackpots. As before, the lit shot moves to the right - the ramp and then the right orbit - before returning to the left side with the Last Crusade scoop, the left orbit and back to the Temple of Doom for the super jackpot.  This ends the final scene and you hear the words "Temple completed".

The Temple of Doom is more imaginative than Raiders in its use of different shots and moving play around the playfield which makes it more enjoyable to play. The proximity of the scoop to the flippers makes it appear dangerous but in practice, the most dangerous aspect of the device is when a ball rolls down the right side of it and heads for the centre drain.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was, until recently, the most recent film in the franchise. Now though, it's the penultimate movie and it's the next one on our list of features.


Last Crusade Scenes

The Last Crusade is based around the Holy Grail and is colour-coded blue. So the artwork in front of the scoop is blue, the progress meter is blue and it is the blue pop bumper under the Grail that builds the Last Crusade jackpot value.

The Last Crusade shot
The Last Crusade feature

The various scenes are started by repeatedly shooting the scoop until the scene begins.

Each scoop shot give an animation of Indy's father's notebook opening to reveal the number of shots remaining.

The next shot to the scoop starts the scene.

Unlike the previous two movies, the scenes for the Last Crusade are not multiball modes. Instead they are timed and have a task that needs to be completed in the allocated time. Let's take a look at the scenes now.

Last Crusade - Scene 1

It takes five shots to the scoop to start the first scene which is about Indy choosing wisely when selecting the one true grail.

All the 4 major shots are lit and the timer is set to 40 seconds. The orbit shots are not lit for Last Crusade though.

The task is to collect 10 jackpots from the lit shots.

Once the 10 jackpots have been collected, the scoop is the only lit shot and shooting it awards a super jackpot of 5x the jackpot value.  You hear the quote "You have chosen poorly" when the all 10 jackpots have been collected but you can rectify that by scoring the super jackpot.

"You have chosen.... wisely"

Collecting the super jackpot ends the scene allowing progress towards the next one to begin.

Last Crusade - Scene 2

The number of shots to the scoop to start the 2nd scene increases from 5 to 6 but the scene itself is very similar to the 1st scene.

The major shots are lit again and the task is to collect 12 of them and their associated jackpots before shooting the Last Crusade scoop for the standard Super Jackpot.

Because the number of jackpots required is increased from 10 to 12, the time allowed for the task is also increased to 50 seconds.

Last Crusade - Scene 3

For the 3rd scene, it takes 7 shots to the scoop to start things off and the format is the same as before with all shots lit for jackpots. This time it's 9 shots in forty seconds before the scoop is ready for a Super Jackpot award.

Last Crusade - Scene 4

No surprises that the 4th scene follows the same format as the previous 3. It's still 7 scoop shots to start and then 11 jackpots have to be collected before the super jackpot is available. Time allowed is 40 seconds.

Last Crusade - Final Scene

Once the first 4 scenes have been played, the 4 scene inserts on the progress meter are solidly lit and the top white insert is flashing. Another 7 shots to the scoop starts the Final Scene.

This gives you 60 seconds to make any 22 major shots. It's a daunting task but if you do it you get another super jackpot to end the scene and complete the movie, which gives you a "Crusade completed" quote as verification.

Which leave us with the newest movie - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the one that prompted this game to be made in the first place.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Because details of the new movie were closely guarded until release and material for use in the pinball machine was not available during early development, this movie's scenes are missing from the game.

The principle is the same as the other movies - keep shooting the same shot over and over until the scene starts. For Kingdom of the Crystal skull, that shot is the ramp.

The Crystal Skull ramp
The Crystal Skull ramp

Crystal Skull - Scene 1

It takes 5 ramp shots to start the 1st scene. Each ramp shot shows a plane flying across the screen revealing the number of ramp shots needed to start the scene.

As we said though, the scenes themselves don't actually exist so instead, a jackpot award is given. It says "super jackpot" but the value is that of a regular jackpot which starts at 1 million and increases with each hit to the green pop bumper.

The ball is held briefly at the ball trap on the ramp while a brief clip from the trailer is shown followed by the super jackpot display. Then the ball is released and you can build towards the next scene.

Crystal Skull - Scene 2

Scene 2 is awarded after 9 ramps and is just a super jackpot equivalent to a regular jackpot.

Crystal Skull - Scene 3

The 3rd Crystal Skull scene is awarded after 14 ramps and is another super jackpot worth a regular jackpot.

Crystal Skull - Scene 4

The 4th scene is also the final Crystal Skull scene and is started after 20 ramps. There is no Final Scene for this movie (yet) so the white insert at the top of the progress meter is automatically lit when the 4th scene is collected. Like the others, it is also a regular jackpot masquerading as a super jackpot but this time you also get a "Crystal Skull completed" quote to show you've finished the movie, such as it is.

If you're trying to complete Crystal Skull a second time, it's going to be considerably harder. Once you've collected the 4th scene, the display then shows "Next scene at 50" although perhaps this indicates the unfinished nature of this movie's implementation.

All of which brings us back to the progress meter.

The progress meter

When the first 4 scenes for a movie have been started, the white insert at the top of the meter flashes to show the final scene is ready. When you have started that, the movie is completed and the white insert is lit solidly.

When you have completed all 4 movies you're ready for the wizard mode - Final Adventure.

Some of you may not want to know what happens during Final Adventure and might wish to skip this next part. If so, scroll past the 2 paragraphs of gray text and join us a little further down.

Final Adventure is implemented in version 1.3a of the software but starting it is not all that obvious. It might be expected that there will be some fanfare when you've completed all four movies but it's much like Attack From Mars's "Rule The Universe" where your only notification is a solitary playfield insert flashing. As with AFM, it's the scoop you need to shoot - the Last Crusade scoop - which has a blue flashing arrow to alert you to it's importance.

Shoot the scoop and Final Adventure mode begins. Unfortunately at this point - and having taken over an hour to get there - the Pinball News camcorder ran out of tape and because the instructions flashed past on the screen in rapid succession it wasn't possible to note them all down. However, what can be revealed is that it is a multiball mode where, according to the instructions, "All shots score jackpots" and "everything builds the super jackpot". In addition, completing M-A-P in the Map Room adds a ball to the multiball up to a maximum of all 8 balls being in play.

Beyond that, we can't bring you any further details but if you manage to reach Final Adventure, well done and tell us any additional details you discover.

OK, that's covered the four movies and their 20 associated scenes. Now it's time to look at some of the other features Indiana Jones has to offer.

Indy Jones Scoring

Either side of the lower half of the playfield are two banks of white standup targets with associated clear playfield inserts labeled I-N-D-Y and J-O-N-E-S.

The I-N-D-Y targets
The I-N-D-Y targets

The J-O-N-E-S targets
The J-O-N-E-S targets

At the start of the game none of the inserts are lit but as the standup targets are hit, the inserts light up. Initially, any of the targets will light an unlit insert but later on you have to hit the specific target for the unlit insert in order to light it.


The purpose of completing either target bank is to start either Indy or Jones scoring on that bank.

Both banks act independently so starting one doesn't start the other, and you can start either Indy or Jones scoring directly with the "Indy Jones scoring" skill shot award at the start of a ball. If you do this, the game chooses whether it's Indy or Jones scoring.

When started, a single insert lights and starts strobing up and down the bank. As the lit insert moves on, the previously lit one doesn't extinguish immediately. It drops to 2/3 brightness and then as the lit insert moves on again it falls to 1/3 brightness. This gives a kind of trail to the moving shot and that trail is important for the points earned in Indy Jones scoring.

With either bank's inserts strobing, shooting the brightly lit target gives you a 750K super score but if you miss it and hit the previously lit (now only 2/3 lit) target you score 625K instead, while hitting the even dimmer target scores you 500K.

The currently active bank can be shot 6 times for super scores after which the feature ends and you are awarded a completion bonus of 2 million points for a maximum total of 6.5 million.

Completing Indy or Jones scoring doesn't prevent you restarting it though and it's a worthwhile feature to have running, especially during multiball. It's also worthwhile starting it as often as possible since the super score points increase by 250K each time and the completion bonus is boosted by 2 million.

The next feature in our rules section is the Map Room which is a kind of mini-playfield next to the Ark.

The Map Room
The Map Room

The Map Room performs 3 main functions, 1 of which scores immediate points while the others 2 are more strategic.

Cairo Swordsman

The Cairo Swordsman feature is a hurry-up which is started by hitting the Map Room captive ball a certain number of times.

It requires 3 hits on the captive ball to start the first Cairo Swordsman or you can start it straight away with the Cairo Swordsman skill shot award.

This prompts the swordsman (and his wall) to swing out to cover the Map Room while an initial value is shown on the display.

The Cairo Swordsman
The Cairo Swordsman

The first Cairo Swordsman starts at 750K points and remains at that value for a couple of seconds.

But then that initial 750K starts counting down as the swordsman swings his weapon from side to side.

You have to shoot the Map Room captive ball again to collect the points before the value drops to its minimum of 400K. Shooting the Map Room captive ball also shoots the swordsman, giving you a humorously slapstick display animation to match.

If you fail to collect the countdown score, when it reaches 400K there is a pause while it holds at that value, giving you one last chance to salvage some points from the feature.

The 1st Cairo Swordsman takes 3 hits to start with a 750K starting value. The 2nd requires 4 hits but starts at 800K. As with all scores, it can be boosted nicely by having 2x running at the same time (details coming up).

The 3rd time it takes 7 hits to coax the swordsman out of his hiding place and the starting value rises another 50K to 850K. Collecting the 3rd swordsman also lights extra ball.

Thereafter, each subsequent Cairo Swordsman takes an additional 3 hits to start, while the initial value continues to increase by 50K each time.

This means it ceases to be worth starting deliberately after you've collected the feature a few times. Hitting the captive ball 13 times just to get a potential 950K tells you to let the Cairo Swordsman take care of itself once you've got the extra ball from it.

That's not to say the captive ball isn't worth hitting though because there are two more features you can start there.

Bonus Multiplier

The Map Room contains three yellow M-A-P standups and the two kickers at the side of the room throw the ball into the standups.

The M-A-P targets
The M-A-P targets

When they are completed they increases the bonus multiplier which as we shall see later, can be significant to your score.

You can increase your chances of completing them by using the 2nd loose ball behind the captive ball. Shoot the captive ball once to free the back loose ball and then shoot it again quickly so the second ball is released for a multiball in the Map Room.

X Marks The Spot

As with all the best treasure maps, it's the X that shows where the true rewards are buried.

To start X Marks the Spot, one of the loose balls has to enter the saucer at the top right of the Map Room 3 times. That can be from 3 or more hits to the Map Room captive ball or it could be from a lucky series of bounces and kicks.

However you do it, once the saucer has been reached enough times, the mode starts. But you don't get just one X, you get 2X.

Yes, X Marks The Spot is the double scoring feature you'll want to combine with one of the higher scoring movie scenes.

Of course, a valuable award like double scoring can't last for ever. In fact you have 15 seconds to make the most of it.

Those 15 seconds count down on the dot matrix as the default display instead of the large score.

X Marks the Spot is especially good in multiball not only for the double jackpot and double super jackpots we saw earlier, but because hitting one of the loose Map Room captive balls back into the saucer adds an extra second to the timer, keeping X Marks the Spot alive for longer.

A frantic multiball is not only more likely to rack up the extra valuable jackpots but there's more likelihood of hitting the captive ball and adding more time.

All through X Marks the Spot, the bright yellow flasher is active on the back panel to duplicate the sun-scorched excavation depicted on the dot matrix display.

The double scoring flasher

We mentioned how collecting three Cairo Swordsman awards lights extra ball but how is it collected?

Extra Ball

The extra ball is quite easily collected by shooting the Crystal Skull ramp which, provided you're not already playing a scene, will advance towards the next Crystal Skull scene as well.

The extra ball display animation really had to be the huge rolling stone ball from the first movie, despite it also being used for the extra ball animation in the Williams game.

Extra ball can also be lit by the mystery award so let's take a look at that feature now.


The mystery is a pseudo-random award which is lit by rolling over the right inlane switch when the insert is lit. The inlane insert is lit at the start of the ball so a single roll through there will light mystery at the Last Crusade scoop.

The mystery switch
The mystery switch

As lighting mystery would be so easy, it becomes soon become tougher by requiring multiple rolls over the inlane switch before mystery is lit.  The availability of the mystery feature is shown by the orange mystery lamp lighting over the scoop.

The mystery lamp
The mystery lamp


It's worth noting that mystery awards cannot be stacked, so you have to collect a lit mystery before you light it again.  If you try to light it when it's already lit, you still only get one award and the scoop is then unlit.

The possible awards are fairly standard and include:

  • Light extra ball - lit on the ramp
  • Little points - awarded immediately
  • Big points - awarded immediately
  • Rats hurry up - see below
  • Snakes hurry up - see below
  • Ants hurry up - see below
  • Light special - lights one outlane, lit outlane alternates with slingshots
  • Cairo Swordsman - starts feature

The display cycles through a series of options before stopping on the selected award.

The last award shown above is one of the orbit hurry ups which can be given by the mystery feature. Ants, like snakes and rats are the creatures that plague Indy in the various movies and are included here as points awards which start at 2.5 million when started and quickly start counting down.  Each one requires a shot to one of the spinners on the orbit. 

One of the spinners

The selected creature is shown on one of the two spinners and the flashing red arrow indicates which one.   Making the shot stops the count down and awards the indicated points.

You may also notice the Super Spinner insert below the red arrow.  This was never seen lit so it's not known how this is activated or if it is implemented yet.

Eventually though, the ball is going to drain and it's time to look back on your performance through the end-of-ball bonus.


There are three main elements which make up your bonus score - a fixed value, the number of movie shots and the bonus multiplier.

The first of these is a fixed score of 125K multiplied by the ball count.  So that's 125K for the first ball, 250K for the second, 375K for the third and so on.  Extra balls also increase the ball count but ball saves don't.

Added to this fixed value are a number of scores based on how many shots you made to each of the four movies' features.  The value of each movie's shot is 25K multiplied by the movie number and most importantly, the number of hits builds throughout the game and doesn't reset at the start of each ball, which can lead to some big bonus points by the final ball.

Being the first movie, each hit on the Ark adds 25K to the bonus.

Shots to the second movie - the Temple of Doom captive ball - add 50K each.

The third movie's Holy Grail scoop earns 75K per shot.

Finally, the Crystal Skull ramp is worth 100K each time it was shot.

Those bonus scores are reasonable in themselves, but the bonus multiplier earned in the Map Room applies to them all.

It's easy to think the number shown is the result of the bonus score after the multiplier, but in fact it's the pre-multiplied bonus as the next frame shows.

So the bonus can be a significant part of your overall score and it's worth making a few of those ramp shots even after you've completed the Crystal Skull movie to add 100K x the bonus multiplier to the every ball's end bonus.

One thing to look out for is the way the bonus is added to your score because, unlike just about every other score in the game, the bonus is not added immediately.

Even though the total bonus is shown on the display, it has not been added to your score yet. 

You only get to see the true total once the next ball or player begins, or the match animation starts.

Because the bonus is based on the number of shots to each movie and not how many overall playfield switches were triggered, it does tend to be a fair reflection of how well you played even though it can account for around a quarter of the total score.

The last part of the game is also the last part of our rules description - the match sequence.

This features Indy running across the airfield from The Last Crusade with fuel drums and planes exploding in the background as the match number is revealed.

That brings us to the end of the rules, so now it's time to look at various different aspects of the game, starting with the display.

Dot Matrix Display

We've peppered this review with frames from the display animations and passed comment on them, so you've already got a good idea how the information is conveyed, but the game makes a big play of showing clips from the movies at the expense of custom rendered animations, so how well is that handled?

The answer is, surprisingly well.  It seems the conversion of full-colour, full-motion sequences to the 12 shades of orange (or red) and the reduced frame rate of a pinball display has improved considerably since it was used so prominently in Spider-Man.  Granted, Spider-Man was a darker movie overall, but Indiana Jones has plenty of underground cave sequences with suitably moody lighting, so there is a reasonable comparison to be made.

Indy does the same trick with its movie clips as Spider-Man where a short sequence is shown which then freezes and dims as the score is overlayed.  Spider-Man suffered by having small text, which left much of the dimmed frame visible, revealing just how low resolution (both in terms of number of pixels and number of shades) it really was. 

The result was a background image rendered meaningless by lack of detail. Indy gets round this by not dwelling on this low resolution image but quickly moving on to a different frame to show the points awarded.

It's far from a perfect solution though with its clashing mix of fonts and styles.  The large italic numerals seem out of place and don't display well with the limited pixel count provided by both the DMD and the split-screen formatting.  There are also some timing issues with clips running to a freeze prematurely and despite the increased processing power of the new board set, there is still some evidence of very jerky playback during periods of rapid multiple switch hits such as multiball.

Then we have to consider whether displaying clips from the movies is any great shakes these days.  With cheap MP4 players which fit in your pocket and cost less than half what a DMD costs, able to show full motion video movies in at least 65,000 colours, is having a pinball machine showing low-resolution single colour short clips impressive?

It can be a great benefit if it helps convey the game's story and advances you through the game.  Whether is does that or not we'll examine a little later in this review.

Apart from the movie clips, though, there are a fair few custom animations such as the Cairo Swordsman and the movie build-ups.

These are all well animated and convey the required information in a clear style.  Indeed, the Cairo Swordsman provides one of the few humorous moments in the game.

So, within the limitations of what is possible with the hardware, Indy's display effects are one of the game's highlights. Hopefully the remaining Crystal Skull movie clips will be added in a future software update along with some more interesting build-up animations to complete the package.


The role of sound effects and music are often under-appreciated until you play a game on location and can't hear it because the volume has been turned right down.  It's a totally different and disappointing experience.

As with the video, Indy ties in closely to the franchise, making good use of clips from the movies as well as the main Indy theme for the game's main music.

The famous Indy theme is perhaps a little overpowering for the main gameplay music and although it is downplayed as much as possible it has such a definite end that looping it smoothly isn't achievable.  After playing for a while, the tune did start becoming a little repetitive and that's as a big fan of the tune.  The Williams idea of holding back the main theme and only using it where the power and instant recognition was needed worked better for the long term owners.  For a quick couple of games in an arcade or bar though, the up front use of the tune works fine.

That main theme supposedly came from the original recording by the London Symphony Orchestra although whether all the themes used also came from that session isn't clear.

Here is a sample of the other music used in the game.  It is the theme for the Cairo Swordsman.

Get the Flash Player to see this video clip.

Got problems hearing the audio? Consult our help page for assistance.

Sound effects are generally well integrated into the gameplay.  The whip crack effect on the slingshots is a superbly simple idea and well executed.  The electronic hum you get when shooting the Ark seems somewhat out of place but with the lack of playfield inserts indicating your progress towards completing R-A-I-D-E-R-S O-F T-H-E L-O-S-T A-R-K and the need for the ball to break the opto beam to count, you need something to indicate a registered shot and that sound cuts through others to achieve just that.

Also nice are the sounds you get for a successful shot during Indy or Jones scoring.  Not only do you get good positive feedback about making the shot, but a variety of different "Indy" and "Dr Jones" sound calls which sounds like someone went through all the films finding all the instances of these quotes.

Finally, we come to the voice calls used to narrate the game and for all the pinball-specific quotes.

It seems it wasn't possible to get any of the actors to record custom speech and voice artists had to be used to mimic Messrs Ford and Connery.  For the impersonation to be pulled off successfully, it has to be possible to believe the original actor spoke those lines.  Now, maybe coming from the UK increases the sensitivity to these things, but the Sean Connery impersonation has to be one of the worst ever.  I've got mates and people I work with who can do more convincing impressions of Sean Connery.

It's just nothing like him, and once you know it's not him, the illusion falls apart and it may as well be anyone.  Not only that, it's also a strange choice of narrator with Dr Jones Sr  only appearing in the third movie and refusing to take part in the fourth.

Deliberately downplaying "Jackpot" in the way Sean Connery would, may be accurate but it does nothing to inject some excitement into the game at what should be an important moment.

But the choice of quotes taken from the movies and performed by the real actors is done well to tie in with the dot animations while the balance and equalisation makes them clear and easily heard.

So, definitely a mixed bag with the sounds and music for Indy.  Let's see how the artwork fares.


The rich, warm hues used for the whole Indiana Jones brand and continued onto the pinball machine artwork certainly makes for an attractive package.

The cabinet art
The cabinet art

There's a wealth of iconic images to use plus, of course, the logo itself and it's good to see a strong correlation between the cabinet imagery and the playfield art.

The cabinet sides are bold and depict scenes from the first and third movies combined with the Indy type in its stylised typeface, while the backbox sides bring in the fourth, although it is sufficiently generic to think it could have come from any of them.

The backglass image is much busier and brings in many elements from the four movies.

The backglass artwork

It's a little cluttered with all the airbrushed cutouts, the logo, the large Indy head and the medallion but it's not visually offensive or objectionable, and it keep picks up the map motif from the playfield for consistency.

The method of colour-coding of the individual movie features works well as a pointer to the player, although the inconsistency with order shown on the progress meter reduces the clarity of that device. Another inconsistency is how, because of the placement of the I-N-D-Y inserts, the Last Crusade insert had to move away from the scoop so the Holy Grail image is at adjacent to the scoop rather than below the arrow like the other movie shots.

The playfield artwork

Artwork on the plastics complements the rest of the game and all in all it's a very competent playfield art package which supports the theme and guides the player.


Indiana Jones is a brightly and evenly lit, with no obvious hot spots or dark corners.  The two spot lights at the top of the slingshots don't look like they can add much illumination to the Ark but if you cover them up the Ark certainly becomes noticeably darker.

One of the Ark spotlights
One of the Ark spotlights

The flashers in the bumpers are nearly as effective as they are in Spider-Man while the flashers on the slingshots combined with the whip crack sound effects help emphasise the ball action in the lower part of the playfield.

It seems space considerations rule out the use of flashers by the two scoops which would definitely benefit from some clearer signposting than the single insert arrow when they are the sole remaining shot to complete a feature.

The two scoop shots
The two scoop shots

The X Marks The Spot flasher on the backboard is suitably bright to advertise the double scoring in effect but the main light show is reserved for the opening of the Ark which is definitely an impressive sight the first few times you experience it.  Granted, after that you'll probably want to blow-off the whole sequence and just get on with it (which you can't), but it's the lighting that's a large part of what makes the Ark as effective as it is.

Elsewhere, the Indy and Jones scoring is innovate in its use of insert light levels to indicate score values, and the flashers in the skull and Sankara Stone do their jobs well.

So the lighting is another highlight of the game.


And so we come to the end of our in-depth review and it's time to take stock and consider the overall Indiana Jones package.

The playfield layout is a conservative one with no big surprises.  There's an orbit including a shot through the pop bumpers, a ramp which feeds an inlane, a scoop near the flippers, a centre toy to bash repeatedly and some targets above the outlanes. 

The playfield layout
The playfield layout

The unusual features are the moving captive ball and the Map Room.  The moving captive ball is innovative in the way it works but the functionality it provides is to combine two features into one.  The Map Room is an enhanced version of the one in Guns N' Roses.

But Indiana Jones is, without doubt, a great theme with plenty of possibilities and storylines that can be pulled out for use in various features.  Indeed, with 20 scenes to play before you get to the Final Adventure, nobody can accuse Stern of not packing it full of modes.

The problem is, none of them are great fun to play.

It's not so much the playfield layout or the shots themselves, it's more the overall premise behind the rules.

Ever since High Speed, many pinball games have attempted to tell a story as a way of involving the player in the action and getting them motivated to achieve a goal.  When you start a mode, it not only tells you what you have to do, it tells you why and how it will move you closer to your goal.  In short, who am I and what am I trying to do?

Some games are combative - where you battle against someone like in Pirates Of The Caribbean, Attack From Mars or Black Knight - whereas others are collaborative - you join the main character to achieve goals such as Ripley's, Wheel Of Fortune or Family Guy.

Indy doesn't try to tell a story or give you a character to play.  It assumes you know the four movies and are happy to keep watching little snippets of them while it throws jackpots and super jackpots your way.  It tells you which shots to make to get them but doesn't create any pretext as to why you're shooting those particular shots as opposed to any others.  You're not playing the role of Indy and fighting anyone.  You're not solving puzzles to help him find the treasure or find a way to escape.  You're doing it because that's what it says to do and if you don't do that, what else are you going to do?

In all fairness, the Last Crusade and Temple of Doom scene build-ups do give us a small back story.  The Last Crusade turns the pages of Dr Jones Sr's notebook until we get to the page with the scene and the Temple Of Doom requires us to collect three Sankara Stones but then it's back to:

Shoot more switches.  Shoot the flashing shots.

While that's fine for scoring points, it doesn't engage the player and almost turns playing into a passive experience.  Just like watching a movie in fact.

But there certainly are some fun things to do in Indiana Jones.  The Cairo Swordsman is a suitably silly feature and one of the few humorous moments in an otherwise fairly dry game. 

Indy Jones scoring takes skill to time it right and can lead to amusement when players consistently get it wrong. X Marks the Spot is a tactical feature to be deployed when the time is right and to liven up an otherwise run-of-the-mill scene, and 8 ball multiball is a challenge every time.

Having so many modes does mean the game has legs (both literally and metaphorically) and the fact that half of the scenes are multiballs should make the game good for a quick blast as well.

There's no doubt the video quality has improved markedly and the audio comes through loud and clear too, helping to make up for the lack of any playfield inserts to show your progress towards the next scene for any of the four movies.

The Ark, despite being a one trick pony is very well executed and deservedly thecentrepiece of the game. 

The Ark
The Ark

It looks beautiful and is well illuminated both during normal play and even more so in the build-up to releasing its 4 staged balls for multiball.  It would have been nice for the player to lock balls in there instead of the game trying to do it surreptitiously under cover of a multiball, which can lead to confusion  Consequently, just as in Wheel Of Fortune and Family Guy/Shrek, there are no ball locks in Indiana Jones.

The Map Room is interesting but your interaction with it is limited by the fact that once you've hit the captive ball to start the action, you're always trying to control the ball on the main playfield and can't give your attention to what's happening in the Map Room. 

The Map Room

That's not a big problem since you don't have much control over the completion of the M-A-P targets since there's no lane change either.

So in summary, while Indiana Jones has the usual mix of the excellent, the good and the not so good, it largely misses out on the "F" word - fun.  Once the novelty of discovering how everything works has worn off, ploughing your way through those 20 scenes ceases to be the exciting rollercoaster ride we associate with Indiana Jones.


Finally, here are our rating for various different aspects of the game.  As usual, they are entirely personal and may not match your views in the slightest, but they are based on the opinions in this review.

Indiana Jones is running - barring the addition of some more Crystal Skull scenes - just about complete software, so unless the code changes dramatically these will be our final ratings.  If there are significant chances though, we'll be back to update this review.

Editor's Ratings

Total score: 53 out of 70

Remember, these are proper marks out of 10 for each element of the game, so a rating of 8 means Indiana Jones is 80% as good as the best ever game in that category. No game is ever going to get 10 in every or indeed in many categories.

The rankings are totally subjective and are included only as a guide. Feel free to disagree with them.

If you jumped straight here, please go back and read the full review to see whether you agree with them and if you put the same significance on certain features.

If you read all the way through, well done and we hope you found it informative.


NEW: Want to print out this review, or are the images taking too long to download? Then click here for a version with smaller images.


Back to the Indiana Jones page

Back to the games page

Back to the front page

© Pinball News 2008