The Journey Down Chapter Two Review (iOS)
When it comes to episodic games, there are normally two ways things are going to go down; Telltale games will sell you a season pass and deliver the goods in a decent time frame, or you will be crying into your pillow every night that Valve (all hail Gaben!) have not finished the Half Life saga yet. Either way, when we do eventually get the next episode the first thing that springs to gamers lips is “This had better be worth the wait”. This statement is now firmly aimed at the latest instalment of The Journey Down from Skygoblin.
Released twenty months ago in 2012 on iOS, the opening chapter of The Journey Down told the story of Bwana and Kito and their attempts to help Lina unravel the mystery of the Underland. You can read our review from then which will give you a wee refresher course. Chapter Two picks up from where Chapter One left off with our heroes on a boat trying to get to the misty town of Port Artue. The majority of the story takes place there and will see you trying to help Bwana and Kito ge…. wait, spoilers! As the story is always the meat and potatoes of a point and click game, I will only go as far as to say that your adventure continues to unfold in the same noir style you have become used to.
The controls are pretty much the same for this instalment of The Journey Down; swipe your finger to across the environments and any area of interest will be highlighted. You can then proceed to investigate said areas to progress your adventure. It is a brilliant and intuitive system that works really well for a point and click adventure on a tablet. Everything within this episode of The Journey Down seems to be the same as before yet slightly polished. The first instalment looked very good but Chapter Two looks downright gorgeous on the iPad. The backgrounds are lush with detail and the opening credits will blow you away. The sound seems to be of a better quality as well with the jazzy music making me want to grab my detective outfit and go looking for the Maltese falcon. I did have a slight issue with some of the voice acting though. Whilst the Jamaican accents of Bwana and Kito are rather well done and suit the tone of the game, there were points where it felt like the actors were trying too hard which affected the accents and pulls you out of the experience slightly. Thankfully this does not happen that often but it can be rather jarring when it does.
Gameplay in The Journey Down Chapter 2 is more of the same point and clicky goodness from its predecessor. The characters will find themselves in various predicaments which have you searching around for various items or point of interest which you interact with to solve said predicament. One of my favourites was whilst trying to escape captivity; Bwana discovers that he can kick the top bunk of the prison bed that Kito is lying on. The first time he tries this, it causes hilarity and some friendly banter between the two. After some looking around the cell it will become clear that the only way to continue the story is to continue kicking Kito’s bunk. This eventually causes the bunk and Kito to come crashing down and snap Bwana’s chains in the process meaning you can now move about the cell. This is a good thing too as poor Kito is now hanging upside down and needs your help before all the blood rushes to his head. The rest of the puzzles seem to be of a medium difficulty setting and whilst you won’t be reaching for any walkthrough’s, you will be engaged enough with the game to get caught up in the story and enjoy the experience.
It seems that Skygoblin certainly made the most of the twenty month gap between the two chapters of The Journey Down. The improvements to the graphics (did I mention it looks gorgeous on the iPad?), sound and overall presentation of Chapter Two ensures that The Journey Down can still be regarded as a solid example of a good point and click adventure game. It is also further proof that all good things come to those who wait – hint hint Steam (all hail Gaben!)
4 Jamaicans out of 5