21 April 2012

The Journey Down: Chapter One HD

Gaming Genres: Graphical Adventure
Story Genres: Drama, Fantasy
Graphical Styles: 2.5D, Cartoon, High Resolution, Punk
Platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Android
Pricing Model: Pay $
Developer(s): Skygoblin
Publisher(s): Skygoblin
Initial Release Date: May 18, 2012
Website(s): Homepage, Facebook, Free Version
The Journey Down is a classical point and click adventure game, full to the brim with puzzles, conspiracies, mystery and adventure!

In chapter 1 we follow Bwana and his trusted sidekick Kito, as they struggle to make ends meet at their waterfront gas station in an off-beat place called Kingsport bay. When all hope seems lost and the power company is on their case with a mean threat, something promising appears. A woman. A woman with cash. What strings does she come attached with? What secrets are hiding underneath her fair surface? Find out, in chapter one of The Journey Down!

Now in the HD remake you have: a fully voiced cast, HD art and animations, more locations and characters, more story and puzzles, and even more jazz.

The Journey Down: Chapter One - HD is the HD remake of the 2010 critically acclaimed The Journey Down: Over the Edge AGS freeware adventure. Over the Edge is 2010's AGS game of the year, it swept the awards that year and is one of the best general adventure AGS games ever made.

The HD remake is this original game with improved graphics, a fully voiced cast, even more puzzles and locations, and in general greater production values. It is moderately well polished and is a signification improvement on the original while maintaining the same delightful style.

The biggest improvement in the remake is its graphics, and I normally am not a fan of HD remakes. These include, very nice, high resolution backgrounds; Grim Fandango reminiscent 3D character models; And simply superb cutscenes. The backgrounds are great but it is the cutscenes and character models that are of such a surprisingly high quality. The character models are so stylish and unique, and seem to be the best possible way to show off the rather brilliant African tribal masks. And then you have the cutscenes, they obviously took their time with these; They look beautiful, they match the style of the in-game art while extending it, the animation is fluid and realistic, and they add to the overall experience by excellently conveying the emotions of the scene. The last, ending, cinematic is really the exception to this; It is not horrible, but it is very rough in comparison to the others.

The second biggest thing added to the game is the voice cast, and similarly to the higher resolution graphics these can really go wrong if not done well. The remake is 100% completely voiced and while there is still a little polishing needed, it is fantastic. I like the character's voice tones, I thought everything line was expertly delivered, and ultimately that these voices only added to the character of the characters and the game. And just to make it even better, all the dialogue is easily skippable, which can be great in certain circumstances (particularly if you are plaything through the game multiple times).

One thing I normally don't talk about much is game soundtracks, and that is because normally unless they are doing a bad job they is not all that noticeable. The Journey Down is an exception; The first thing I did when I starting up the game to the title screen was to sit back and listen to the terrific jazz. It is a great addition to the game, and enjoyable to listen to in game or out.

The gameplay and world is the only area that has not been completely overhauled. It is, basically, the exact same game with a few small puzzles and areas added. This additional content fits almost completely in the original story with only a few really small changes being added to the story and a few very minor story additions. Like the original, both of these are fantastically crafted; But a few issues have crept into the mold in this remake. There is now some choppiness and slowdown, particularly when entering scenes; This is noticeable but not really all that inconvenient. The interface has also obviously been designed for use in touch screens, and some of controls are somewhat counterintuitive to use with a mouse.

All in all, I think you should be excited about The Journey Down: Chapter One. It is a fantastic and polished adventure and they have done a great job of melding the AGS award winning original title with superb production values.

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Related Media (+):
Indieness: Indie
Play?: Should Play


  1. Game released, opinion section update, new images added, link to the new release trailer added.

  2. Game price drop to half of what it stated at (now $6.99), and the soundtrack released. All the original purchasers at the launch price get the soundtrack free. http://www.skygoblin.com/2012/soundtrack-launched-game-at-half-price/