Journey Home is an old-school point and click adventure game with a
modern twist. The game features multiple endings, death sequences,
secrets, optional puzzle strands and much more. It will take most
players around 1 hour to complete. The game is based on the AGS platform
therefore requiring minimal running standards.
During install, Journey Home offers you the option to play in window
mode by clicking a box. However once your choice is made I could find no
way to change it. I played the game in full screen mode and at one point
I wanted to view it in window format but found no command to allow
switching the view. With that said the game ran well in Windows 7
without any operating issues. Upon opening you are offered several
choices to select. They are: New Game, Load, How to Play, Credits,
and Quit. A tutorial appears to explain how to play the game, which
is fairly standard for an Adventure game, but it is advisable to view How
to Play to familiarize yourself with local controls.
As advertised there is no voice acting and no background music is
playing to entertain or annoy you. There are however settings for Audio
and brightness via sliders found when clicking a gear icon shown when
sweeping your mouse along the top of the screen. The default setting for
brightness was employed on my system keeping with the dark aura though
it was not too dark. Some may wish to lighten it a bit, though I found
the default acceptable. Along with the Gear icon you will find a
backpack for inventory, save and load icons, X is for quit. Other icons
are shown to signify walk, look, touch and talk. Yes talk -- it is used
in some cases for puzzle solving. The interaction icons can be utilized
by right clicking your mouse during game play to cycle through for your
choice of action. You can save or load a prior game at any time. There
are many save slots located (in Windows 7) at Users/User Name/Saved
Games/Journey Home. There is audio in the form of effective sound
effects such as thunder and various animal sounds along with assorted
noises to startle you.
For the last thirty years everything I download is directed by
browsers to dump them into the Download folder created on my hard drive.
Early on I tired of searching for my stuff. There is a reason that I
mention this because upon install the game does not automatically make
an icon on your desktop. When you unzip the file if you choose extract
here that’s where everything goes. The Journey Home folder will appear
in the location you extracted it from. There are five files. The two you
want are Winsetup.exe to install the game and Journey Home.exe
to start the game. If you do as I do and download to a place other than
your desktop, simply right click on the Journey Home.exe file,
select Send to desktop create shortcut. That will place an icon
on your desktop.
Story / Game Play
The story is quite straightforward. Your character is a young boy who
wakes up in the dark. He seems to be lost in the forest, confused as to
who he is and how he came to be here. Off in the distance he can see a
light beckoning to him. On the ground is what appears to be a dead boar.
It certainly is not a fun awakening. Your task is to get this kid home
and it is not a walk in the park. The developer did say you can get
killed. If I recall, the blurb for this game said killed plural, meaning
watch your step.
Before anybody gets excited, you are never rushed, there are no quick
reflexes required, and thankfully no sliders or mazes. The game is
purely point and click represented in third person. It is sounding
better already isn’t it? I would have liked to tap on the spacebar to
highlight items of interest, however that feature is not included.
Instead a sweep of your mouse provides written titles to identify points
of interest. One of my screenshots shows this effect it is taken at the
opening play screen identified by the words “apple tree” in white
script. Thankfully there’s no pixel hunting.
Puzzles are primarily intuitive there are no spoilers here but be
advised you are not likely to be able to simply walk down that dark path
without a spot of trouble. What do you do? As King Graham taught you,
look around and pick up everything because you will need it. The beauty
of this game is that when you get killed, it restarts at the point of
your demise. You don’t have to start over again. Regarding the opening
scene and the splotch you see on the tree as ugly as it appears you will
need it. I credit the developer for this bit of puzzle building, as it
is a unique brain teaser.
Supposedly there are five different endings. your conclusion is
affected in part by how many times you got killed. The game is linear.
It would have to be because your goal is to get through several scenes
to reach the end of the path. However there is one level where you must
walk to the next to obtain an item you need and return to solve your
current puzzle. That one drove me bats for a few minutes. There are
hidden items you can find. The developer names them secrets. I did not
locate any. When completed, the ending screen reports I died once
without discovering any secrets stating my kid, (he does not have a name
that was revealed in my play through) did arrive safely home achieving
ending version three. See screen shot included with this review. I
suspect the number of times killed coupled with secrets discovered will
determine what ending version you reach.
I enjoyed this game very much. It is a fun little adventure with
clever puzzles. I admit it is rather short, an hour or two perhaps, but
everyone plays at a different rate. At the download site a pdf
walkthrough you is provided for download. In addition there is a link to
a YouTube play through. I discovered the latter after completing the
game. I watched it and the fellow playing the game appeared not to use a
walkthrough. The video took one hour and thirty five minutes. His ending
was the same as mine, died once, found 1 secret to reach ending version
number 3. I can state that I've paid for games that were far less fun
than this one.