I grew up on Indiana Jones movies as an older millennial the way other kids grew up on The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. In retrospect, the Disney movies would have been far more age-appropriate, but Dr. Jones and his adventures ended up having a more significant impact on my childhood years.
When I went off to college, our Indiana Jones movies even came with me. Funko Games, one of my favorite makers of games based on franchises, has recently been dropping a line of Indiana Jones-related games that have been scoring high on nostalgia for me. Luckily, they were kind enough to send me copies for reviewing just in time for my kids to be off of school. One of the more unique editions to their line is Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol!, a much more physical game that lets you more directly participate in Dr. Jones’s adventures.
What Is Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol!
Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol! is a hands-on family game that lets you take part in Indiana Jones-related activities that feel a lot like taking part in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Players compete to reach the Idol Chamber and then take part in booby-trapped challenges to earn points. It’s fast, fun, and easy to learn. The game is aimed at 2-10 players ages 7+ and takes about 30 minutes to play. It has an MSRP of $22.99.
Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol! Contents
Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol! contains the following:
- 1 Whip
- 1 Golden Idol
- 1 Sandbag
- 1 Arrow
- 1 Blindfold
- 1 Tarantula
- 1 Idol Chamber Tile
- 11 Indiana Jones Temple Cards
- 11 René Belloq Temple Cards
- 12 Challenge Cards
- 10 “Wood” Score Tokens
- 10 “Stone” Score Tokens
- 15 “Gold” Score Tokens
- 1 Instruction Booklet
The contents alone will start summoning nostalgia for fans of the films. Common traps like tarantulas and arrows are featured along with iconic props like the Golden Idol, the sandbag, and Indy’s whip. For this game, the props are made out of thick foam (the Whip, Arrow, and Tarantula) or light plastic (The Golden Idol and the Sandbag) as they’re used for different challenges. There’s a simple cardboard blindfold that will probably hold up okay over time. The cards are typical thickness, although the Challenge Cards are larger, and it should be noted that the Temple Cards are marked on the back to tell them apart. The Idol Temple Tile and Tokens are made of thicker cardboard, and I like how the Tokens have different shapes to tell them apart. The instruction booklet breaks things down easily and makes good use of pictures and diagrams to set up and teach the game. Overall, good components capture the feel of the film and should be able to handle lots of rougher play since this game is more physical.
How to Play Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol!
The goal of Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol! is to help your team (Indy or Belloq) claim victory by earning the most points. Points are earned first by winning Temple Races and then by being victorious in Daring Challenges. The team with the highest point value by the end of three rounds wins.
Setup really is quite fast, but the big key is that location matters. Part of this game will require you to throw objects, so make sure to set it up outdoors or in an indoor space without a lot of breakables. We set our game up in the upstairs loft that acts as a playroom. While you probably could set up everything at a table and use the floor for the Daring Challenges, we personally chose to use just use the floor. Your preferences may vary.
Follow these steps to get the game ready to go:
- Place the Idol Chamber Tile in the center of the play area. Place the Golden Idol on top.
- Shuffle the 12 Challenge Cards and place them in a face-down deck.
- Group the Score Tokens by type and place them in piles with the number side down.
- Split into 2 Teams (Indy and Belloq) as evenly as possible and sit on opposite sides of the Idol Chamber Tile.
- Each team takes its Temple Cards and shuffles them to form a face-down deck.
- Each Team flips one Temple Card and places it about two feet from the Idol Chamber Tile (or at the edge of the table). The card should be turned horizontally so at least two symbols face the Idol Chamber Tile. This card starts the path.
- Each Team deals 3 Temple Cards into a face-down row near the face-up card.
You are now ready to play.
The game is played over three rounds with each round having two parts: the Temple Race and the Daring Challenge.
Each team selects an Explorer, and when the Explorers are ready someone calls out “Nobody’s come out of there alive!” and play begins. Explorers flip their face-down Temple Cards over and attempt to create a path to the Idol Chamber Tile starting with the card already set out.
- Cards can be played horizontally or vertically as long as the symbol matches.
- You only need to match one symbol even if two line up.
- Cards cannot overlap a card already on the path.
Only the Explorer can play the cards, but other teammates can flip replacement cards from the deck and point out matches. If you are stuck with no match then pick up the last Card you played to replay it or play a different Card. If you have played all of your Cards, pick up the 2 Cards at the start of the path (the furthest from the Idol Chamber Tile) and continue playing.
When you play a Card that overlaps any part of the Idol Chamber Tile, grab the Golden Idol and your team wins the Idol Race as long as the path was created correctly. (If not, the other team wins.) The winning Team earns a Gold Score Token (don’t look at the value yet) and selects the top Challenge Card for the Daring Challenge.
Read the Challenge Card out loud and do the Daring Challenge as described. Both teams participate in the Daring Challenge and can earn points. Each Challenge has unique rules and rewards noted on the card. Some may require additional objects like a timer or a mirror (phone cameras work too), so be prepared for that. Some Challenges require 4+ Players, so if you don’t have that many, pick again until you come to a Challenge that can be done with under 4 Players. You should make certain that every Player gets a chance to either be the Explorer or take part in a Daring Challenge. Score Tokens double in the final Daring Challenge. Don’t look at the value of the Score Tokens until the end of the game.
Challenges might include activities like guiding a blindfolded person past “obstacles” or trying to hit the Idol with an object while someone else creates obstacles.
At the end of three rounds, the game is done and the Point Tokens are flipped over and added up. The winning Team claims victory. In case of a tie, do additional Daring Challenges with the same Race Winners until one team pulls ahead.
Why You Should Play Indiana Jones: Throw Me the Idol!
First off, this game was fun. My two kids, ages 9 and 12, immediately wanted to play it again after we placed it the first time and so we did. It is fast, fun, easy to play and learn game that is really great for a large group of Players where ages might be in range. This is the sort of game you can play at social gatherings over the summer like barbeques and camping trips. The team aspect lets you balance out ages and skills to try to make things far more even and fair too. There is also a certain amount of chance in the game, as you have no idea what the point values are on the Tokens until it’s time to tally them up. Having challenges that were a combination of brains and athletics was pretty fun, although younger kids who dislike pressure may not appreciate the Temple Race section as much.
As an Indiana Jones fan, the game was a delightful tribute to a beloved action series, but you don’t have to ever have seen an Indiana Jones movie to play. That being said, I will repeat what I have often said in other reviews: Funko Games really does do a solid job in making games that are tributes to their franchises and not just licensed skins on the same old games.
The components all tie back to the franchise and are made pretty decently. The bits used for the Daring Challenges should hold up and with reasonable use probably won’t destroy your house too badly (but maybe don’t play near breakables just in case).
So if you’d like a game that pulls kids off their screens for a bit, this is one to grab. With an MSRP of $22.99, it’d really not be unreasonable to pick up either. Check out the Funko Games site to see where you can grab a copy. Iconic fedora and theme song are not included.