The story picks up almost immediately after the events of the first game with happy-go-lucky charter pilots Bwana and Kito and their client Lina off on their quest to find the mysterious place simply known as ‘Underland’ and figure out what happened to the Bwana and Kito’s long-lost father, Captain Kaonandodo.
Without giving too much away, you are dropped right into the action and we quickly discover that the trio’s plane has crash landed and they’ve been picked up by the strange, but friendly crew of an eel trawler. Unable to return to shore due to this area’s infamous impenetrable mist thanks to a broken lighthouse.
The scope of this second outing is fairly massive, with multiple distinct acts (and even a bonus encore act just when you think the think the chapter is about to end). So you’ll get quite a few hours of gameplay out of this game, which will take you to the dark, rain soaks streets of the corrupt afro-noir city of Port Artue, prison, a lighthouse, a bar, Club Temba and more. Along the way you’ll meet a funny and eclectic cast of characters including quite a few sailors, corrupt politicians, barman, taxi driver and even a crazy old lighthouse worker.
I absolutely loved the first chapter of the The Journey Down and found hardly anything to fault it on, yet somehow the team at SkyGoblin has somehow managed to find a way to improve every single aspect of the game play, from the beautiful visuals including some stunning lighting and rain effects on the cobblestone streets, to the amazing professional voice work which brings the interesting and often humorous story, dialog and characters to life. And lest we forget the soulful jazz fusion soundtrack provided by the late Simon D’souza, who unfortunately passed away during the production of the game. His score does a brilliant job of setting a noir mood to the game.
On a lighter note, no good point and click adventure worth its salt is complete with crafty puzzles and a few good puns and tricky wordplay. Happily, The Journey Down delivers the goods. The puzzles are creative without being obtuse. Some are obvious, while others had just the right amount of trickiness to get you to stop and think for a moment, resulting in that satisfying rush that you get from the ah-ha moment when you finally figure it out.
I am really struggling to come up with anything negative to say about this game, but if I had to nitpick, I wish that they’d take advantage of the Kito character a bit more. There has been a sort of running joke in both games thus far where Kito basically disappears to work on the plane for the vast majority of the game (think Argyle in Die Hard), however I think it would be interesting to have puzzles which involve using both brothers in combination to solve. Telltale/Straandlooper did a nice job with this sort of mechanic in their third HECTOR game and I think it’d be a cool idea for The Journey Down as well.
With a well-written story-line and characters that draw you in, you are likely to be so engrossed in The Journey Down: Chapter Two, that you’ll quickly lose all track of time. This is an absolutely fantastic and entertaining point and click adventure game, with top-notch production values. One thing is for sure, I certainly enjoyed this game much more than that atrocious new TMNT film. I can’t wait to see how the series concludes in the third and final chapter, which is currently in development.