From Sanctuary Woods and Presto Studios. First published by Windowatch magazine.
You are once again Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 of the Temporal Security Agency. This time, your time is under threat of a huge time distortion that is passing through history. The agency has just been disbanded, and you must go on your own to find and stop the time distortion. Fortunately, though most of the time suits have been dismantled, an experimental "Chameleon" suit is still operational.
It turns out that the rogue Agent 3 has set off the time wave on purpose, because she wishes the agency to be aware of a set of events that occur in three different place in the world. These events are the distruction of some culturally advanced civilizations on earth. Once you have witnessed these events, you'll have some further time work to do.
The game has splendid graphics, nice music (though repeatative if you stay in one area too long) The interface is very easy to understand. And they've improved game play in one major way since the last game in the series, by inventing the chameleon jumpsuit.
If you enjoyed Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, you should fine this one equally enjoyable. If not, buy and play this game then work your way 'backwards' (so to speak) through time. Also, it turns out that Gage has had a memory wipe since the last game, so technically you do not have to have played the previous one before doing this one. You might remember more than the character if you have.
This game has a fairly simple and straightforward interface. There is a hidden bar at the top left that is the all-important 'save game, changes options' etc type bar. It activates when you get the cursor on the bar. Just above the main window of the game, there is a coloured bar which is actually your time jump menu. You have three preset locations in both parts of the game. A major advance from Journeyman 2 is that you no longer jump to one exact time and place. Your artificial intelligence (Arthur is back) will be able to bring you back to the room you left. This is *so* much nicer than jumping and needing to do the same steps several times to progress.
The bottom part of the screen has your inventory (far left), you in your current disguise (middle) and Arthur is on the far right. Click and drag an inventory item to the main screen to use it. It will be brighter if you can use it on something in the screen. Click once on the inventory to bring up all your items. You can then select a new item to have in hand, or drag one directly to the screen.
The Chameleon jumpsuit requires that you take a picture of someone, and after that, you may assume their face and garments. (Exactly how the jumpsuit can get someone's face right when they are facing another direction is a good question). You aren't allowed to change identities when someone is watching, and you must have someone's face to use before you can talk to the characters. This is a major improvement from the previous game, where you always had to avoid places with people in them. You will find that talking to different people using different faces does indeed get you some new information each time. Arthur also helps by making comments from time to time. Of course, he chatters a lot, so you must separate the useful information from the chatter.
Arthur has two icons that appear above his helmet. The first is a light bulb and that will lead you to a hint. The second is a thought balloon. This leads to general comments about your location, who/what you are looking at and sometimes jokes about whatever. The thought balloons keep appearing until Arthur is completely done with a topic. If you keep clicking them, you will get new comments until they disappear. Arthur was a lot of fun in the previous game and he still is fun in this one.
The major hint for this game is to look carefully and try talking to various characters using identities stored in your jumpsuit. There aren't many items that you'll be able to carry around, but those you can carry will be quite important.
None at this point, other than music sometimes grates on my nerves. It is working reasonably well on a 486, which is a good sign that it should work with most PC setups. And I have tried the CD's on a Macintosh, they worked fine there as well.
As far as I can tell, this game has removed a couple of things that I disliked in the previous game. Death isn't easy, there is no point system (a weird idea when you think about it) and you can jump directly to the point you left in each location. The puzzles in the game are easier than in the previous game, but it is *big* and takes a reasonable amount of time to work through.
This is another splendid effort and an improvement over the previous game. I'd highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to spend some time with an adventure game. The puzzles are fair. Unlike the previous game, death doesn't seem to be at all common, and you are expected to think, not to have fast reflexes (except in one circumstance where you do have to move quickly. But you won't die from being slow.) It seems to be suitable for anyone in the family, though young children would probably watch you solve the puzzles.
Final comment, stop reading the review and buy this game now.
I also rather enjoyed the previous game Buried in Time This one has more sophicated graphics, and a lot of embedded videos so you can talk to the characters. Still, I'd recommend playing Buried in time, if you have so far managed to miss this splendid game. Buried in Time does have a lot of deaths lurking in the game, and the puzzles seem harder. But it is still a good game.