The Journeyman Project

1992 Presto Studios
Designed by David Flanagan
Reviewed 1996 July 1

Rating -3 Linearity straight
Reasonability deductive Connectivity minimal
Difficulty easy Relevance weak
Interface 1st paned simple Real-time occasional

You are Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 of the Temporal Security Agency. You police history, preventing changes to the present by unscrupulous time travellers. Just as Earth is about to receive an important alien delegation, the past is changed to start war with the aliens. You must repair history and capture the persons responsible.

The Journeyman Project has a solid story background. The Temporal Security Agency, the Symbiotry of Peaceful Being, and all the properties and locales are well conceived. Combined with the nice graphics (cutting-edge for its day) and sound you are presented with a great setting for an adventure.

Unfortunately, you're all dressed up with nowhere to go. Play is as close to linear as a game is likely to get. A linear game can be fun if the line is not too obvious and the linearity is used to aid a developing plot. Here, there is almost no developing plot -- you just travel to each locale, defeat a robot, and move on to the next. This is further impaired by the irrelevent and/or disconnected nature of many of the challenges. E.g., one of the challenges is a game of Mastermind.

There are a few real-time challenges that are close to arcade level. I also found it difficult to grab biochips from defeated robots before they disintegrated. There are also several instances of minor time constraints: e.g., the aforementioned Mastermind game, and a maze. You also gain points for completing an epoch quickly.

A major drawback of the game is its small size. I'm normally a plodding, methodical adventurer, and I surprisingly found myself at the end of the game less than three hours after installation. A couple of the challenges might slow some people down (I'm good at Mastermind, and I have a good knowledge of world geography, needed in another challenge), but there's still very little to do in this game.

I can't recommend buying this game, but the story and eye-candy are worth an installation if you get it as part of a collection or as an OEM offering.

Beware! Here are some spoiler-ridden notes on the game. They're only recommended for people who have played the game and want to see some of my rationale for my evaluations.

Related reviews:

  • Buried in Time
  • Legacy of Time
    David Tanguay's Game Reviews
    Here's a description of all the gobbledygook in these reviews. It's also a bit of an essay on the nature of adventure games.