Sequels, for the most part, can be a failure for many developers no matter how great they are. Telltale Games are great at their episodic story telling and it seems that Skygoblin also know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to their chapter split series The Journey Down. The point and click series recently released its second chapter, more than a couple of years after the first and the wait doesn’t disappoint.
As in the first game the main protagonist is Bwana and after fixing a plane with his buddy Kito to help fly the book-lover Lina with her quest, he makes the mistake of thinking he can fly. Having crash landed in the middle of the ocean, we find ourselves with yet another roadblock on our journey. Luckily for us we’re picked up by some stranded sailors and it is here that we continue our journey. Using Bwana’s expert puzzle-solving skills, or ours actually, we’re able to find our way back to the city were the majority of the game takes place.
As mentioned above the game is a point and click title. Interacting with the world around you is simple, clicking on objects will start either an action (such a retrieving an item), a conversation or some kind of general observation by Bwana. Collecting items plays a big role in The Journey Down, allowing you to combine things together to complete puzzles, use as a means to get around the environment and also use to hand over to people to convince them to do some of the dirty work for you.
The puzzle themselves are diverse and aplenty, but apart from the occasional challenging puzzle they really aren’t as demanding as I though they would get. There is however a nice balance of fetch and branching quests, the latter referring to quests split in to smaller segments.
The Journey Down: Chapter 2 is as beautiful as the first chapter with the game taking a unique perspective on the film noir themes. The style made me wish more than once that the game was open world, allowing me to wander around the creative backdrops. The game uses a mixture of hand drawn elements and 3D renders that fit together wonderfully, the art style is what makes this game unique, though this sadly wont be to everyone’s tastes. Exploring these environments is easy and can be done by moving left, right and also inwards and outwards which creates real depth and some amount of freedom. The soundtrack is also as beautifully made as the rest of the game, I took great pleasure in listening to it.
Whilst I didn’t come across many problems with the game, I should mention one technical issue that followed me throughout. During several sections during the game I felt that the audio and video didn’t completely sync and felt choppy, sadly to a point were the immersion dissipated. Thankfully, this wasn’t a regularly occurring issue and the rest of the game ran smoothly with any other hiccups – major or minor.