Journey Escape (Atari 2600) review
"Run into the Kool-Aid man (who supposedly represents your manager, but the dudes in the band were probably on so much blow they couldn't tell the difference) and you'll get money and be invulnerable to anything with that band member, making it child's play to run right to the vehicle."
Turning on the Atari 2600, I was greeted by the melodic chords of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin". Well, actually, it was a poorly synched rendition of, at most, a dozen notes of that song. Back when I was young, that actually didn't drive me to automatically shut off my Atari -- instead, it would cause me to spend a good couple hours playing Journey Escape. I did this fairly often in one of those things that I file into the "WTF WAS I THINKING?" category.
Journey Escape puts you DIRECTLY in control of each of the five members of the rock band as they each have 60 seconds to sneak to their escape vehicle after a concert with all the money they supposedly got for playing the show. However, the boys won't have an easy time with this vertically-scrolling trek. Standing in their way are hordes of groupies, crooked promoters and those accused paparazzi. Running into them takes away some of the $50,000 you start the game with. Run out of money or time before the member you're controlling makes it to the vehicle and the game ends. If you get all five members to the vehicle, you get to do the whole thing again....and again.....and again. And since this might be as easy of a game as there was on the Atari 2600, it's very possible to do so until you've flipped the score thanks to accumulating so much money.
Not only do all three of the assorted money leeches simple descend straight down the screen (as do walls, which don't take money, but can waste your time), so dodging them is pretty easy; but the band members have allies. Run into a roadie and, for a limited time, no one can rob you of money. Run into the Kool-Aid man (who supposedly represents your manager, but the dudes in the band were probably on so much blow they couldn't tell the difference) and you'll get money and be invulnerable to anything with that band member, making it child's play to run right to the vehicle.
Honestly, the toughest thing about Journey Escape is not accidentally running past the vehicle. If it scrolls off the screen, it will never appear again and that band member will just keep running into the night, completely oblivious to the fact his complete ineptitude prevented the group from making their next show.
Journey Escape is a really bad game, but one I have a soft spot for in my heart. Before I'd ever even experimented with drugs, this game provided a psychedelic mindtrip for me. Controlling members of a band while they dodge obstacles such as hearts with legs (the groupies) while trying to run into the Kool-Aid Man as horribly rendered music plays in the background just has a way of becoming addictive. It might be a poor game, but it did provide me with a good number of "dumb fun" hours.
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (July 31, 2008)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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