Description of Journey: The Quest Begins
Journey is an epic fantasy game that marks a radical departure for Infocom: the entire game is played similar to a choose-your-own-adventure book, in which you choose actions from a menu of choices. The lack of parser surprisingly does not lead to lack of interaction, as there are always many choices to choose from and many possible solutions to the same puzzle, including optional ones.
In Journey, you become part of a well-written epic, controlling a band of hardy adventurers as they set out to find the cause and remedy of failing crops in their small village. Despite the game's claim that many puzzles are optional, you'll quickly find that the game isn't as non-linear as it seems: you might make your way to the final stages of the game, only to discover that you cannot continue because you didn't solve some puzzles in the past in an "optimal" way.
This is most aggravating with the game's magic system-- spellcasting requires "essences," (e.g. air and earth), which are extremely hard to find (you'll have used most or all of them by the game's finale). Because the game never hints at how much essence you will find, you are free to waste a lot of them in solving various optional puzzles, only to find out later that you need more than you have. This "realism" makes Journey a frustrating save-and-restore type of game, and this may intimidate IF newbies.
This complaint aside, however, Journey is a very well-written, well-paced game with a plot that will keep you guessing to the end. Its non-linear feel, no matter how illusive, is a refreshing change from typical interactive fiction. The ability to control multiple characters and see the world from their different viewpoints also adds a great deal to the atmosphere.
Definitely a must play for everyone, although be sure to save a lot, and don't waste the essences :)
Review By HOTUD
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
IntyLab 2020-11-24 0 point
I remember playing through this game back in the year 2000. Yes, there's a good amount of trial-and-error, and you'll restart the game many times - especially when you reach the final puzzle and discover you were supposed to pay attention at a few points early in the game to a randomized bit of something that seemed trivial at first - but the illustrations, the menu-driven command system, and the excellent storytelling of this gem make restarting the game a painless experience.
I was intimidated to pick this up again at first, because I remember save-scumming through a couple choice puzzles, particularly in the mill. But then I discovered the apparent intended solution, which is not unlike Infocom puzzles of the time, such as in Zork Zero. My biggest problem too was running out of Air Essence. But while putting together a walkthrough of my own, I found that having exactly as much of it as you need before the final puzzle is sometimes vital.
If you're new to Infocom games and don't want to play a game with "no graphics and a parser for entering commands", then give this a try first to ease your way in to the world of Infocom. If you're a veteran of the earlier games, you may just appreciate the departure from the traditional system and enjoy the story.
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