The Nardio Review
Is Journey Below Worth Your Time?
Not unless you are a hardcore rogue like game fan.
I am not.
How it Plays:
This is a roguelike game in the truest sense. Meaning you have zero saves and everything is randomized. Also there is no permanent character progression.
It’s super, duper, duper rare if I ever like one of these games. I don’t like the idea of a game that has zero progress and the potential to be flat out cheap and punishing. There are rare exceptions to this. Sadly Journey Below has everything I hate about roguelike games…
But it doesn’t tell you that in the store page….
Check out the description below:
Journey Below is an auto-running platformer by the creators of Tiny Rogue, Devious Dungeon, Random Heroes and League of Evil!
In Journey Below you will control a knight on his adventure to save the kingdom from an evil monster. The game is an auto-runner where you turn on wall collisions. You tap the left side of the screen to jump and the right side to attack. Each play session has 12 randomly generated levels and then you fight the boss. Each run is unique and designed for short-medium game sessions! Killing enemies adds to your combo counter and after each level you get to choose one of 3 upgrades that get randomly rolled. Can you get the high score on one of the 3 leaderboards?
– Randomly generated maps
– 4 environments
– 15 enemies
– Character upgrades
– Boss battle
– Unlock hard mode and endless mode by beating the game!
– Compete on the leaderboards
– Universal (play on all your devices)
So I just paid $2.99 for a game that is totally not for me thanks to an unclear description. I expected the randomly generated levels, but not the lack of progress. This isn’t cool. That being said of course I tried it out and yep, everything I hate about roguelike games is there. Some runs you will get useless power ups in between levels. Others you will get what you need and power through the game. At this point I did find myself enjoying it a bit…and then I got to an area where cannons are aimed at angles and then only shoot right as they are able to damage me and I can’t avoid them. Great!
Just fraking great!
I am so glad I unknowingly paid to play a game designed to screw me over. Yea!
Damnit Ravenous Games… Yea, thanks for making this game not an instant cash grab like your last game, but for fraks sakes could you have at least tried to make sure the levels weren’t so damn luck based and cheap? I’ve had several runs where damage was totally unavoidable and some levels seemed designed just to end runs. The placement of traps and enemies wasn’t punishing it was flat out broken.
What happened here?
I believe that if players were given actual control of their movement instead of the auto running here this could have been a much better game. I guess that wouldn’t have felt fresh compared to Ravenous Games other tried and true platformers. But fresh only works, if it works. What we have here is a badly implemented gimmick that holds back the player experience. Permanent progression would have been a godsend here. With the accumulated power ups in the right order you actually have a chance to enjoy the game. Why not put the gold that players needlessly pick up in game to proper use in an in game store? I dunno. I just don’t know. Sometimes when everything is going your way and the power ups are coming right as they should, you actually feel progress and a little bit of that Ravenous Games and Wobblyware magic. I start having fun and getting into the experience. The you get railroaded by horribly designed instadeath areas and it all goes away. I guess this is part of roguelike games appeal, but it’s just not right for me. Here it’s less about skill and 99.9999999999999999999999999% luck.
Journey Below is another woulda coulda shoulda broken experience that never lives up to it’s potential and fails. The fact that it cost $2.99 and is from Ravenous Games is infuriating as it is heartbreaking.
- $2.99 on iTunes
- I’m not promoting this mess.