hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Journey Down: Over the Edge

Review: The Journey Down: Over the Edge

2:00 PM on 07.04.2012 // Fraser Brown
  @FraserIBrown

The Journey Down was a classic-style, 2D pixel art adventure game which you can still play for free. Now it's a slightly larger, fully voiced, gorgeous adventure game that mixes 3D animated models with painted backgrounds. The result is a visual treat. It's a bit unusual to see a remake of a series that only had one episode, but this new direction is a very welcome one.

Inventory puzzles, minor theft, and mischief will make any adventure game fan feel right at home, while the use of macabre masks and black African themes and characters make it feel fresh. It's certainly an uncommon setting.

The Journey Down: Over the Edge (Mac, PC [reviewed])
Publisher: Skygoblin
Developer: Skygoblin
Released: May 18, 2012 
MSRP: $6.99

Bwana is a good-natured, laid back pilot and petrol station owner who is scared of heights. Living in one of many bays of the shining, yet corrupt, city of St. Armando with his best friend and engineer, Kito, he has an uncomplicated life. Unfortunately for him it seems like the universe was just saving up, and in the space of one evening it dumps a whole heap of complications on him and his short friend.

Journey Down's tale of a city gripped by corruption, one essentially being run by a single corporation, is a compelling one. Bwana finds himself in the middle of a huge cover-up, where the ominous Armando Company has made everyone believe that the mysterious "Underland" is a deadly and dangerous place and that even looking over "The Edge" is now completely illegal. He's chartered to take the somewhat haughty academic, Lina, over The Edge to find out what the heck is going on. But first he has to fix his decayed plane, the one he hasn't flown since he was a child.

The high-stakes mystery looms over the adventure, which in contrast is simple, fun, and lighthearted. Bwana is a wonderful protagonist and I found it impossible not to smile constantly at his cheeky comments and often oblivious nature. He's that great mix of almost relaxed enough to be considered lazy, but also rather ingenious. He's quickly become one of my favorite adventure game "heroes" in a very long time.

Unfortunately there are a couple of occasions where he's used to criticize the sort of obtuse puzzles that many adventure games are known for, it's not subtle and it's a bit silly when he then has to actually solve said obtuse puzzle. These puzzles are stupid, so go solve one. Really? There is one instance where this did elicit a chuckle from me, however. When Bwana gets frustrated and pretty much gives up trying to solve it, only to solve it in his anger. That, at least, was clever. 

Thankfully, most of the puzzles are actually great. Not difficult, not even challenging, but great. Sometimes I like to moan about how puzzles in adventure games have been killed off by the dying attention spans of the audience. Skygoblin's solution has been to make them short, sweet, and most importantly -- funny. There's always a pay-off, be it a visual gag, a joke, or the satisfaction of outsmarting an annoying French fellow. All of them feel connected to the slightly goofy logic of the game world. There's a wee bit of backtracking, but the game is limited to only a handful of scenes, so it feels more like getting the most out of a location rather than lazy design. 

Accompanying Bwana on this short adventure is a truly excellent soundtrack. Simon De Souza's smooth jazz reggae kept me gently bouncing in my seat, relaxed to the point where I almost slide off it. There's variety though, too. The tracks match the atmosphere perfectly. Those of you who picked the game up before Skygoblin wised up and slashed the price -- the original one was absurdly high for one episode of who knows how many -- can get the soundtrack for free. Lucky devils. 


Unfortunately, your ears will not be as delighted by the voice acting. Anthony Sardinha and David Dixon do a superb job voicing Bwana and Kito respectively, but that's where it ends. The rest of the cast run the gamut from forgettable to pretty bad, with a couple being horrible racial cliches; notably the French doorman and Japanese chef. Making matters worse, the recording quality is all over the place. In one conversation the quality can change multiple times, and it's impossible not to notice this. It's simply not very professional and mars an otherwise polished experience.

I'm not just throwing the word polished around, either. The last things I expected to see in Over the Edge were cut scenes, but there are quite a few, and they look fine. And by fine I mean fine, not merely alright. Feel free to add an extra "i" or two in your mind. The 3D models are simple, but effective, and the cut scenes add a lot of extra life to the proceedings.

With the price now more reasonable, I feel very comfortable telling you to buy this game immediately. The gameplay is pretty traditional, but the setting, music, and lovable characters keep things from being tired. Yeah, another great adventure game. Of course, the genre's been dead since the late '90s, so this is all a fever dream.

It's also worth noting that Over the Edge is part of an indie bundle right now. iOS and Android versions are being tinkered with too.



THE VERDICT

8

The Journey Down: Over the Edge - Reviewed by Fraser Brown
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Fraser Brown, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure FraserIBrown Tips
Fraser Brown is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming who is not Alasdair Duncan. Got a splinter stuck in his hand nineteen years ago and just left it in there. True story. ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

kolten2 avatarkolten2
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJCiF5dBSpweeStTjOqu-uA/videos
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I'm pretty sure you guys know what game I'll be playing tomorrow. One of THE hottest games of the season. That's right, I'm talking about Lunch Truck Tychoon. Kojima ain't got shit on me, mukkas!
Flegma avatarFlegma
Playing Project Zero 2 on Wii. One should hope PZ5 got more sensible controls - twisting the Wiimote left/right to turn the camera does not make sense.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
"When you are not playing the game or choose not to join the defense, your FOB will be defended automatically by your Security Team and security devices." Yeah, I think I'll just avoid the FOB functionality in MGS V
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
PSA: If you're picking up Phantom Pain tomorrow, put the kids down for a nap, turn off your phone and tell your partner to pipe down - the opening hour deserves your undivided attention. Enjoy!
extatix avatarextatix
If you like your hentai VNs [url="https://groupees.com/vn3"]cheap.[/url] Or even [url="https://www.indiegala.com/manga"]cheaper[/url].
VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Just read that SquareEnix have applied some weird mutation of crowdfunding mechanics to the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided preorder. I know the last blog I wrote mentioned how big publishers try to pervert these systems, but to think it's already this far gone.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
First in line to grab MGS V tomorrow. Close to my house, so it looks like I can eat and sleep comfortably. No one else seems to be waiting at my mailbox. Neighbors are getting suspicious.
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CNwHpCTVAAA0jLp.png[/img] Sometimes, life is good as a ghost.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
You know what, I'm just gonna come out and say it. I hope MGSV fails. It won't train wreck by any means, but I hope it's a huge financial failure. Nothing against Kojima, but #fuckonami
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
MGS V unlocks for me tomorrow at noon.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Since my blog using this is basically useless, I still wanted to share it. [img]http://i.imgur.com/a33WM5Q.png[/img] CAN YOU DIG IT!?
Manchild avatarManchild
I don't think you should be able to say #Fuckonami if you are deciding to support their product anyways. I don't often agree with boycotting and am not condoning that, but get your story straight and show a little consistency.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
When the band began to play the stars were shining bright. Now the milkman's on his way and it's too late to say good night. So, Good Morning! Good Morning!
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I'm guessing all rock bands in the world must have stopped making music videos this year, since I read fall out boy's "Uma Thurman" won for rock video of the year. I can only assume there were no other nominees.that's the only rational explanation.
RatCasket avatarRatCasket
dtoid discussion has been awfully bitchy these past couple of days. knock it off. its just video games.
StripyTrousers avatarStripyTrousers
Just posted my first Dtoid Community blog. Hello all!
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Good Morning Good Morning We've talked the whole night through Good Morning Good Morning to you Good Morning Good Morning It's great to stay up late Good Morning Good Morning to you
Daniel Lingen avatarDaniel Lingen
#PAX2015
Agent9 avatarAgent9
gonna help my mom move and pack some things. what it means is I'm gonna sit and get yelled at whether I do or do not do something. I can't be the only one with a picky parent that expects nothing less than clairvoyance (-_-)
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Journey Down: Over the Edge


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -