From time to time, there are magnificent games that hit the Desura store and no one seems to care much (at least not as much as people care when Ubuntu’s software center is enriched with an already available flash game from EA).
The Journey Down is maybe the biggest example. This game comes from the Sweden based indie games developing studio Skygoblin and is based on the low-resolution freeware adventure game, called The Journey Down: Over the Edge. The game was improved with much better graphics, more puzzles and locations, and better dialogues.
Playing the Journey Down made me feel the way I felt when I was playing these old masterpieces of the past like The Curse of Monkey Island from Lucas Arts. You get the same amount of character eccentricity, puzzle solving craziness and comic-like graphics design.
You are Bwana, a dark skinned crazy guy who works together with his brother Kito to keep their dying Gas n Charter business alive since they were mysteriously abandoned by their adoptive father. When given the opportunity to help a young woman named Lina, the pair jump at the chance, as they are seriously behind on their electric bills. Lina is seeking a lost book that may hold the illegal secret to reaching “the Underland”. Unfortunately, their airplane hasn’t been flown in years, and will need a variety of parts and repairs in order to take off. This is what the first chapter’s story is mainly about.
Playing the game is quite simple really. The Journey Down is a point n click adventure that features the same classic elements of all the games of the kind. There are items that can be pressed and make Bwana say something about (that is helpful for the solving of the puzzles most of the time), an inventory where you store useful items that you can drag and drop to the environment and interact with it and the “go somewhere else” arrow at the edges of the screen that allows you to move from one place to the other.
Talking with other characters on the game is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll do. Every character has something to tell you about the imaginary city you live in (St. Armando), your father, their job, their plans, their opinions etc. You can usually choose what to say and although I can’t tell if your choice makes a difference on the story, I believe it doesn’t as you will end up doing what you have to do to continue sooner or later.
Puzzle solving usually require the use of ostensibly irrelevant items in unusual ways and this is something that will remind you again of the Lucas Arts adventures. The puzzles are not hard to solve, but even if you get stuck, a series of hints and tips will start coming from Bwana.
The game costs 12.99 euro, and it certainly worth every penny of it. If you are an adventure lover, this will remind you of all the classics of the past and provide you with that feeling again, and I believe this nowadays is invaluable. I can only hope that the next chapter will be available soon, cause I am really looking forward for it. Have a nice adventuring weekend everyone!