Mischievous gas station owners Bwana and Kito always figure out a way to get their run-down business up and running. While doing their usual routine, they run into Lina, a scholar, looking for a lost journal about the “Underland” written by a Captain Kaonandodo… who also happens to be Bwana and Kito’s long-missing adoptive father.
The Journey Down continues until the third chapter, following Bwana’s adventure of discovering the mystery of the Underland and the secret identity behind Captain Kaonandodo. The game starts off with a feel-good and comedic dialogue with easily likeable characters. However as the story progresses to the second and third chapters, the story becomes more serious, while still retaining the natural jokes the game is known for.
I initially played the first chapter game when I was still in high school, and absolutely loved the game. I later received the rest of the chapters courtesy of SkyGoblin and as much as I want to give it more love, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed at how the game climaxed and ended. Personally, as the chapters progressed, the story seemed to decline and lose sight of its original objective especially at the end. Other people seemed to like its conclusion, so I recommend you all to try the game for yourselves. 😌
Gameplay / Visuals
Only viewing screenshots of this game may actually make you think it’s a thriller or horror because of the way the characters are designed, however they are actually inspired by African culture (masks), which also explains the names of some of the characters.
The visuals stick to specific vibe and no individual scene oddly stands out. The team was able to showcase a variety of landscapes (nature, urban, etc.) in a subtle manner while giving the player a view to appreciate. I especially liked the photo on the left because of the detail of the water and the lights. Usually in games, there are areas the player can’t touch or interact with and the Journey Down challenges that by allowing Bwana to climb, walk, or throw things into the background, making the game highly interactive for a game with these kinds of graphics.
There is also a series of cutscenes to compliment the story and also adds more life to some dreary settings. They were also able to retain the graphic quality of cutscene versus normal gameplay mode, though that changed in later chapters, and also added more hands-on screens. (Click the photos to view)
Probably my most favorite thing about the game is its soundtrack. It’s always so complimentary, and if you like feel-good reggae music, you’ll definitely enjoy it as well. It’s a set of fusion, and jazz composed by the late Simon D’Souza (rest in peace) only up to chapter 2. This one is my favorite and in my opinion, the song you’ll remember the most:
Another notable thing about the Journey Down’s audio is their voice acting. Yup, the characters speak! It adds so much life to what initially seems like a macabre game, and makes the jokes even funnier because of the delivery. Each character has a specific accent that matches the theme as well. It has been approximately 2.5 months since I’ve played it and I can still perfectly recall the voices in my head.
Rating: 8 / 10
The Journey Down Trilogy is available on iOS, and Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux. You can purchase it as a bundle for 20% less (P1,031.88) on their Steam page and from their website. Like this game on Facebook.
Thanks again to SkyGoblin for sending your game to me!