The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time

1998 Presto Studios
Designed by Eric Dallaire; David Flanagan
Reviewed 1999 March 3

Rating +4 Linearity wide, branching
Reasonability deductive Connectivity high
Difficulty pedestrian Relevance strong
Interface 1st 360 simple Real-time minor

Once again you are Gage Blackwood, Temporal Security agent. Rather than save the world from people who would meddle with history, this time you must save the world from an alien invasion by going back in time to retrieve three objects hidden on earth by other super-advanced aliens.

The three locales are Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-la. Unlike the previous Journeyman games, these locales are populated and you must interact with these people. You do so by wearing an image of other people that you meet in those locales. Atlantis has a solid and interesting background story, but the other two are just used as thematic settings. The framing story of the alien invasion is played out in cutscenes between these historical locales.

Once again you are accompanied by Arthur, an artificial intelligence that piggy-backs along in your time-travel suit. As before, Arthur provides the fun in what is otherwise a serious story. Arthur also provides information on the background, so you might learn something if you're not careful. Arthur will also supply you with hints if you get stuck. Arthur is the only well developed personality, but the other characters are solidly grounded in their locales.

The challenges are almost all inventory based and dialogue based. There is a logic puzzle in the end-game sequence. There is also one minor time-based challenge, very easy and repeatable until you succeed. There's a good mix of challenges, and they are nicely structured to advance both the story and the gameplay. Unfortunately, they are a bit too easy. The endgame puzzle is not so easy, but because it is a "large" problem rather than a clever one. While it's not very relevant to the game-world, it fits into the gameplay very nicely since a grand challenge is required for the finale -- much better than an arcade sequence.

The Legacy of Time uses a 360 degree location view, also with full up and down viewing at each location. On balance this is nice, but it has some drawbacks. The view from each location seems blurry, not as clear as in the earlier slide-show games. Sometimes I wasn't sure what some on-screen items were, although it never became a problem in the gameplay. My other very idiosyncratic problem was motion sickness. Looking around at each location was almost like playing a first person shooter in that respect.

A lot of walking back and forth is required. There are speed-ups for this, but they are only partially successful. I would have liked an automap facility to allow me to go to any previously visited, accessible location in the time zone.

While it is not a very challenging game, it is well designed and, thanks to Arthur, fun. It's even a little bit educational. Although fairly simple, it is not too short. This is an excellent game for the novice adventurer.

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:

  • The Journeyman Project
  • Buried in 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.