It seemed this day would never come, but Drew’s and Callie’s journey has finally come to an end.
Between Elden Ring, Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, and Batman, it seemed that Drew and Callie would never complete their episode about Marc Blank’s Journey. It’s one of Infocom’s least-played (and perhaps least-liked) games. Will D&C jump on the hate train? Yes and no! Tune in and find out for yourself. As always, the ‘cast is hosted at Anchor, but you can find it on your platform of choice (Apple, Spotify, Amazon, etc.).
Next up: Zork I.
Links and Resources:
» Journey The Digital Antiquarian (filfre.net)
The CRPG Addict: Game 51: Journey: the Quest Begins (1988)–[1/3]
Journey – Details (ifdb.org)
Arcade Idea (wordpress.com)
In the episode, we asked for recommendations for essential choice (Twine, etc.) game. What are your faves? Have something else on your mind? We love hearing from listeners. You have many options for getting in touch:
Drew Cook: Gold Machine (@GolmacB) / Twitter
Callie Smith: Gold Microphone (@golmac_callie) / Twitter
Gold Machine: Interactive Fiction | Facebook
3 thoughts on “Gold Microphone Episode 4: Journey”
I would say that the concept of Journey, aside of a banal Lord of the Rings ripp off, is very worthy. You know, a choice based game, that contains some world modeled problems, and a narrative that always go fordward… is quite innovative for digital games.
The problem arise when the need of the genre obligues the author to insert puzzles inside, and puzzles that put you in a dead man walking state of the game.
I think a similar game, with a modern design where loops of farming needed reagents (like in Elden Ring, or Dark Souls) are strategically placed; or bad endigs that are more satisfactory, like the proper ones in CYOA and gamebooks; could be a really good design and a really good game.
Of course, that is not the current case of the game.
You touch on an important point here. While the decline of Infocom has traditionally attributed (along with Cornerstone) to the increasing graphics capacity of personal computers, a less visible factor has been working in tandem: shorter attention spans. Users have far less disposable time than in the past. USC researchers found that in 2007 the average person consumed the equivalent of 187 newspapers of information per day, up from a daily equivalent of 40 newspapers in 1986. And with so many cheat codes and walkthroughs freely available online, gamers do not have as much patience for many of these earlier puzzles.
Since you asked for recommendations for non-parser-based interactive games, here are three: “Return to Zork,” “Zork Nemesis,” and “Zork: Grand Inquisitor,” all of which use a point-and-click interface, and all released by Activision in the ’90s. While none of these games was as memorable to me as the original “Zork” trilogy, I do think they show a clear progression of the framework Marc Blank developed for “Journey.”