My thirst to continue Bwana, Kito and Lina’s adventure has finally arrived! Journey Down Chapter 1 leaves you wanting for more since the end feature of a plane crash is short of an open-ending that hardly left you with any closure on the climactic adventure to find Bwana’s missing father, Kaonandodo, and finding proof of the mysterious Underland.
Might I say, Journey Down Chapter 2 held consistent to its gameplay, film noir atmosphere and witty dialogues. Political corruption and scandals infiltrated its plot, adding color to its musically jazzed up, Afro-Carribean point-and-click gameplay.
The plot starts with our 3 protagonists dredged up by a ship called M.S. Biko after their plane ‘crashed’ into the sea. The ship is full of hungry sailors, who tells you about their fear of bloodthirsty pirates and of giant eels that could swallow ships. The ship is lost at sea and it will be to you to figure out how to charter the waters to arrive on land.
Once you successfully arrive at Port Artue, all characters will be arrested by police Chief Barlow for the possession of the Journal to Underland. Bwana and Kito will be held up in jail, while Lina will be dragged by Barlow into a luxurious Club. And so the adventure starts.
The plot thickens with you helping the characters escape jail, discover of political connections to the Underland mystery, mystifying Kaonandodo’s relationship to the treacherous part of Port Artue, being cornered by pirates and running from the law.
This game’s creators stayed true to their graphics. Everything is gorgeous, 3D rendered graphics mix well with hand drawn backgrounds. Visuals of the city streets, especially in overview during movie sequences, are so realistic I wished this was a sandbox game so I can roam the streets (and convince myself I could feel the texture).
The original jazzy reggae soundtrack is so fantastic I am wishing the creator’s release an OST on it. It goes along with the atmosphere, plot, incredible voice overs, you think you are viewing a detective and mafia movie. Check the video below to see what I mean. The trailer’s narration is also amazing.
Controls are similar as it did in the first chapter. You have to point at items and figure out how to do with them. For those who hasn’t played Journey Down Chapter 1, here’s a tip: Be creative. Sometimes the most ridiculous and non-sensical combination of items are done but when you’ve solved it, you will realize and enjoy how ‘street-smart’ and ‘resourceful’ Bwana and your way of thinking should be in order to finish the game. You’ll scratch your head sometimes but it is sometimes funny it’s worth the effort.
Unlike other games like The Room and Machinarium, Journey Down does not provide you with a button to access hints. Therefore, it is highly important that you focus on the storyline, listen or read the conversations (have subtitles on), and remember everything as much as you can. More often than not, you find yourself frustrated not knowing what to do next because you missed out an important tool or information pointing you to the next step. In a way, this is highly effective because it forces you to engage in the plot, be always aware of hints and sometimes be a smart-aleck when having conversations among characters. It’s all part of the fun.
I applaud The Journey Down 2 for its amazing, consistent gameplay and atmosphere. I still have to finish the game but I hope there will be a next installment.