The Journey Down:
Over the Edge
The Journey Down: Over the Edge is a classic-style point-and-click adventure game released by SkyGoblin. Bwana and Kito, longtime friends and mechanics in Kingsport Bay, are having a bit of a cash problem. The all-powerful and evil electric company is demanding massive payments from everyone, and to top it off, they've made it a punishable offense to visit the area known as "The Edge". Couple that with a woman loaded with cash who's asking questions about Bwana's missing friend, and you've got a great start to what is guaranteed to be a strange and intriguing adventure!
The Journey Down plays like any other old-school adventure game, though this time around the controls are simplified. Instead of swapping cursor commands between Look, Talk, Walk, etc., everything is handled with simple mouse clicks. So, to walk to a certain spot, click it. To talk to someone, click them. To interact with objects, just click. You'll suddenly realize you don't miss switching commands in the slightest.
Puzzles are largely inventory-based, and they're very well constructed. Solutions are logical, if a bit whimsical in nature from time to time, and if you can't figure out what to do, you probably missed a subtle clue while talking to a character. The Journey Down: Over the Edge isn't a game you can just charge through. You need to take your time, talk to every character, explore every option in the conversation tree, and not be afraid to do a little exploration.
Analysis: The Journey Down: Over The Edge is a gorgeous, gorgeous game. Not only are the backgrounds and characters painted with a lot of loving attention, the animations are surprisingly complete for a free adventure game. Instead of using two frames to show a console opening, The Journey Down fills in the gaps so you can watch it drop on your own. It may not sound like much, but in practice, it makes the game look so much better than most of its contemporaries.
Another area where The Journey Down really excels is setting a great atmosphere. the world of Kingsport Bay feels familiar, yet a little different. It could take place in the present day, but there's a vibe of the future lurking as well. The characters and the dialogue are also great, allowing you to sink in to the game as if you were reading a graphic novel (or a regular novel!).
Over the Edge is just the first chapter in what is planned to be a four part series. The next episode, Into the Mist, is scheduled for late next year, which is a long time to wait once you get a taste of what this adventure offers. Expect between two and three hours of gameplay for this run, shorter if you're a l33t adventure gamer. But the best part is, the game doesn't feel short. It feels like a complete, hearty adventure game
The Journey Down: Over the Edge is a carefully-crafted, gorgeous-looking adventure game with an intriguing story, fun characters, excellent dialogue, captivating music, and well-made puzzles. Chapter 2 can't come soon enough!