Chapter 2 of The Journey Down is nice, darned nice.
The game doesn’t have a wry bone in its body and its friendliness somehow never crosses into earnestness. I don’t get that feeling from a lot of games and that’s especially strange since games are largely a form of escapism for many people. You’d think more people would want light and fluffy from their fantasies; to them, dark and sarcastic is the closest approximation of “real” for a video game protagonist, I guess. Not The Journey Down‘s Bwana! The guy is about as cheerful and optimistic as it gets and it’s a lot of fun to be around.
If you’ve yet to play The Journey Down Chapter 1 you can read this post from my days when I dreamt of being a video games journalist, where I reviewed the game and even had a short Q&A with developer Theodor Waern. Plus, I later wrote a quick post on the high-resolution re-release of Chapter 1.
Sure, the world of The Journey Down is dark and dreary (gorgeously rendered by developer Skygoblin once again) and it’s inhabitants are barely scraping by under a system of government corrupted by corporate interests, but that can’t restrain the huge personalities of the characters in the game.
Skygoblin‘s use of African masks continues to be an inspired choice that does a good job of giving the game’s citizens character without moving into caricature; the fine voice acting also certainly helps.
The “puzzling” of Chapter 2 isn’t very involved but that’s ok. The game has some easy inventory puzzles and some environmental stuff later on but I was more interested in moving the story along than anything that might have halted my steady progress.
I’m overusing the word but everything in Chapter 2 of The Journey Down is nice. It was a warm and pleasant experience and I continue to be excited for future installments in the series. Go play the series, it’s cheerful and that’s missing from video games.