Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time

From Sanctuary Woods and Presto Studios

Brief Description

You are Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 of the Temporal Security Agency. The opening sequence of the game reveals that in a few years time, you will be framed for changing history at your research locations. The older Gage jumps backward in time, gives the younger Gage the jumpsuit and a brief explanation. He is then arrested and you must find the true culprit. You had been assigned to do research in four time zones and you will have to explore those time zones carefully to find your clues.

The jumpsuit is the key to playing the game. You have a number of biochips which act as the interface. The booklet that comes in the CD case has a good explanation of how the basic interface works. Follow the instructions and it should be easy enough.

You can also pick up some items and carry them with you. Unlike some games, there aren't very many items that you will ever need to carry. This avoids one of those annoying adventure game problems, "Which of the many items that I have now will work in this situation?" Well, mostly, though there may be a few times when you still find yourself trying most of the inventory to solve a problem.

If you dislike dying in a game, you should avoid this one. Death is fairly common and easily achieved. Getting through the game without dying would be almost impossible.

Game play and hints

Two puzzles which must be solved early. The first is to find the information that the older Gage has left in the house. To succeed, you should explore the house thoroughly and look at everything. Before you start jumping to other time zones, you may wish to check out some of those ads you've seen on INN. There is a way for you to order those items...

The second major puzzle is to find the hints! The hints won't be available until you solve at least part of one of the other time zones... You won't be able to do that until you've used at least two items in Gage's apartment.

There are items that need to be found in one time zone and transported to others to solve puzzles. If you can't solve the puzzle, try doing something else for awhile. I hadn't quite realise this and almost went mad in da Vinci's workshop. Also, you can pick up one item multiple times, if you return to the original time zone without that item. I don't think it is necessary to do so, unless the item is destroyed and you need it again. But there is only one place where items are destroyed.

Remember, every time you jump to a time zone, you go back to *one time and location*. This is because the jump location is preset in the jumpsuit. So every time you go, you may need to redo certain actions before you can proceed. The best example is Chicken Itza, where not performing the correct actions can lead to a quick death.

Sometimes timing is important. It took me quite some time to realise how to get down from the ramparts of the castle. The problem was that I needed to wait for one event, and until that has occurred, you can't proceed. Well, you can but it leads to a messy death.

Once hints are available to you, always save before you get a hint. Then restore the saved game. This will save you 50 points per hint. Also, they are gentle pushes in the right direction. They won't help much if you are missing an item or don't understand what the hint is about.

Gripes about the game

The only time I ever seem to be able to get a score is by dying. Why is there no obvious score facility, since it does so carefully track the score? You do get a score when you finish the game also, but when playing, you have to die.

The music in Gage's place is annoying. Pity, since it is usually quite good.

It is easy to miss an object because you have failed to look everywhere. I missed two items this way, one of which was easy to miss when you are getting worried about how long you have left to operate in the environment. The other was just a bit careless.

Conclusion

This is a great game. The puzzles are well-integrated into the overall game, the solutions to the puzzles are logical, and the music is good. Each time zone has an individual feel to it which gives the game a lot of character. I like the hint system, and the other information that you can get that way gives you a lot of real information about the time zone. Frightening, you may learn a bit playing this game. I recommend this highly.

Some final thoughts on the game.

The sequel to this game Journeyman 3: Legacy of Time is even better. Do not miss that game.

I missed 300 points of research on the final total. It's difficult to know what was missed and where.

The end of the game is quite satisfying. If you can work out how to avoid being killed or captured and get out of the alien world, you really do feel that you've accomplished something.

I like Arthur. I was quite sad when he left me again.

I think I've been dealing with computers too long. The funniest line I hit in this game was "I believe the room behind this door was neither modelled or rendered. Whatever that means." This cracked me up more than any other line, I happened to have heard. Though unless you go through all the hints, you won't hear all the possible phrases.

I'm going to have to buy a new monitor soon. Frankenstein, this game and 11th Hour (just started) are all so dark, I must sit in a room with no lights. This makes writing down clues difficult, to say the least.


Last updated 6 August 1996.

For more game reviews, either read the full list of games reviewed on this site or the main game page which includes brief descriptions of all the games reviewed.

This review is copyright © by Lynn J. Alford (more about the author). Send mail lynn.alford@deletethis.gmail.com.


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