The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review – An Adventure Game with a Big Heart
key review info
- Game: The Journey Down: Chapter Two
- Platform: Linux
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
The Journey Down: Chapter Two is a point-and-click adventure that will transport you back in the golden era of gaming that was populated by titles like Grim Fandango and Broken Sword. It's an amazing experience and it shows us that adventures games are not a thing of the past.
The developers from SkyGoblin have been working on the second chapter for more than two years. The first game in the series was released back in 2012 and it was actually a remake of the same game unveiled in 2010. The differences were huge, so it can be considered that The Journey Down actually started its life in 2012.
So, you might wonder why it took the makers of this game two years to release the second episode. With everything in place, like the engine and most of the technical problems out of the way, it might seem like a long time for a sequel. In fact, a lot of people have been wondering if we'll ever get to find out the rest of the story.
The truth is that the guys from SkyGoblin chose to delay the game in order to incorporate all the suggestions they received from the community and to improve, as much as possible, the second and third part. After playing the game, I have no doubt that they made the right choice and that Chapter Two is actually better in almost every way.
Story and Gameplay
If you never played the first part, you should try it now. It's actually 90% off for a few more days on Steam and it's not that long (this was one of the main problems with it). In any case, here is some history and a few spoilers.
The action starts in the city of St. Armando where Bwana and Kito are trying to run a gas station. A girl shows up and asks them about an old book that might have belonged to their adoptive father, which is missing for many years. It turns out that they have the book and it's actually a guide to a mysterious place called the Underworld. Apparently, in the game's world, it's even forbidden to speak of it.
It turns out that the girl, Lina, is not the only one looking for the book, and some evil characters are also interested in it, although their motives are not clear. Long story short, they make a narrow escape with a plane that's barely flying and the first chapter ends.
The second part of the game shows our characters getting caught in the net of a fishing boat that's actually lost at sea. The crew of the boat doesn't know how to exit the mysterious fog surrounding them, but with the help of Bwana's compass they manage to get back to shore, where they are promptly arrested in the city of Port Artue and thrown in jail. This is where the adventure begins and where my story-telling stops.
This is a classic point-and-click game, and that means users will have to talk to the characters they meet, find various items that can help them solve puzzles, and follow a beautifully crafted story. It might seem simple at first glance, but great games don't need to be overly complicated.
Some of the puzzles might be difficult, at least until you find the really simple answer that was eluding you the entire time. There is a real sense of progression, but you have to keep in mind that there are no hints and no way to see what you have to do next. You will have to think for yourself and solve each puzzle.
It's not a hard game, by any measure, but you won't be able to go breezing through it either, although you might not want to. The backgrounds used in the game are painstakingly painted by hand, and all the characters are unique and have something that seems to make them real. The voice-overs are nicely done and the music, a combination of jazz and something else, is simply exquisite.
- Beautiful rendered backdrops
- Very good voice acting
- Very good music
- Interesting story
- No hints of any kind
Usually, I do a Good and Bad summary at the end of the reviews, but I can't remember the last time I had so much fun with an adventure game. Yes, there are some minor issues and sometimes you find yourself combing the screen for items to interact with, but the overall feeling you have after The Journey Down: Chapter Two leaves me with no doubt that I'm playing a great game.
Adventure games are not an item of the past. If anything else, The Journey Down: Chapter Two shows the young generation what they have missed. It doesn't matter what your age is, you will definitely enjoy it.