EVIL was abroad and the land was suffering. The crops had failed three years in a row, then the water had become foul. Many people moved away to the north in the hope of escaping the pestilence, but to no avail.
It was decided to seek the help of a wizard, so a party of four departed. They were never seen again. The situation is getting more desperate, so another party must go in search of a solution.
You play the part of Tag, the apprentice food merchant who has been chosen to accompany Bergon the carpenter, Praxis the wizard and Esther the physician on a journey to discover what is happening to the land. Hopefully they will be able to put things right again.
Journey is the story of their travels and their encounters with elves, trolls, dwarves, nymphs, wizards and many other creatures.
The aim of the first part of the adventure is to reach the castle of the wizard Astrix. Here you will learn of the amulets of power which need to be collected and returned to Astrix so that he can battle with the Dark Lord and free the land.
Playing Journey is like taking part in a book. Decisions that you make from time to time lead the story to different directions. Along the way there are many problems to solve, decisions about what direction to take and how best to fight enemies without getting yourself or your companions killed.
The story can proceed in many different ways and has many endings, but only one is correct. Can you make the right decisions or will your party meet the same fate as your predecessors?
You are presented with a screen which is split into three parts. One displays a picture of the current scene and another the story text. At the bottom is a list of currently available commands. Click the mouse on one to execute it.
The pictures, drawn by artist Donald Langosy, are very pretty but do not seem to offer any clues. They appear to be just so much window dressing. The story, written by Marc Blank who co-authored the original mainframe version of Zork, is quite an interesting read in its own right. The game is entirely mouse driven so there is no need to type a single word, although you can use the keyboard if you wish.
Packaging is, as always with Infocom games, very good. There is a map which is needed to complete the game and a little bag containing a strange crystalline object - its purpose remains obscure, but I think it is something to do with magic.
As the packaging is essential to complete the game, it means the disc can be left unprotected for easy backups or transfer to a hard drive.
If you do not like reading much, then you probably will not like Journey. On the other had, if you like settling down with a good book and would love to be able influence events in the story, this style of adventure will suit you down to the ground.