Review by Ofisil

"Are we there yet?"

Journey To The Center Of The Earth is an Adventure game developed by Micro Application. It is a pure point & click adventure game like The Longest Journey but the only think that is similar between these 2 games is the word “Journey” in the title. It has an original plot based in the novel of Jules Verne, but if the old man knew about this game, he would never write his book, believe you me…

Story: 1/10
Presentation: -2/10

Bad, bad, bad. You are a reporter who had an accident near a mountain in Island and ended up in something that looks like The Center Of The Earth. What's different now? Well we have “sunlight” all the time, dinosaurs and extremely boring people. Our heroine is even more boring and never gets, (convincingly), excited, even when see looks straight at a T-REX, a giant mushroom kingdom, or when she finds out what is really going on in this place. Yes, yes, there is some sort of mystery in our game, but is not something great and the presentation kills it. I've talked with approximately 30 characters I think and each one was more boring and non-informative from the previous one. For example a question you ask to every single one is, “Is there a way out?” and 99% of them just say, “No, there isn't”, ooohhh, MYSTERY!!! Bad, plot…

Gameplay: 2/10
Replay Value: -5/10

I've played many an Adventure games and there are only a couple of them that where TRULY boring and one of them is this. It is a simple point & click game, so it can't be that bad you say? Well yes it is a simple game but some of its aspects are truly irritating. The game is extremely glitchy, crashes at certain areas and most of all it is extremely hard to navigate your character. You tell her to go there and she starts running but stops at the edge of the screen like an idiot, so you click on random areas in the screen in order to find the exact pixel needed to move on. It is also difficult to find and use certain hotspots in the game since most of them aren't exactly obvious, so you end up pixel hunting the whole screen at random areas you think something is hiding! Another bad aspect of the game is the time consuming moving from place to place and the backtrack logic that is abundant here. You are told that you need to go in a certain area and retrieve a key, you slowwwly walk through 4-5 screens passing by objects that you can't yet pick up, find the key, go back and now you are told that you need to get the items mentioned before, now activated and ready to be picked up and that goes on and on in the game. I can remember a certain puzzle, (that for me was the hardest in terms of patience), which required to walk between certain key spots in a large area experimenting until you do find the solution. Finally Inventory puzzles where bad too with some having absolutely no logic at all. The only good part of the game are 2-3 puzzles that where actually very good and didn't require from you to run like stupid, but these few puzzles aren't enough to save the game from going in my never-to-be-played-again-basket!

Graphics: 7/10
Design: 4/10

Okay I guess the graphics of the game are good, compared to other low budget Adventure games of course. Backgrounds have good resolution and models aren't low polygon ones. But you know that's not enough, especially for an Adventure game, this game has no… magic. The landscapes are bit too simple and have nothing special in terms of design. Buildings have simple architecture and interior areas are just rooms with some simple textures and props used. Another thing is the sky. In this game there is always day, (it is explained in the game), and I don't have a problem with that, its just the fact that it looks so… boring. A blue space with some thin clouds… the end. Overall the graphic quality here is ok but the design is too simple, especially since I've seen Freeware games look better.

Sound: 4/10
Music: 6/10

The sound effects are simple, both special effects and ambient sounds like the wind, water etc. What is absolutely torturing though is the voice acting. Everyone including your character have simple to bad voice acting making them forgettable or in some occasions too weird and irritating. Music is rarely heard in the game. Music is usually a small, (about 30 seconds), theme that is heard when solving a puzzle, watching a cutscene, or arriving at a new area. Its good but nothing special.

Positives:
-2-3 good puzzles

Negatives:
-Boring plot and characters
-Too glitchy, hard to navigate
-Bad pixel hunting in some parts of the game
-Way too much walking and backtracking
-Bad voice acting
-Simple design

Also Play:
Syberia (PC)
Syberia 2 (PC)
The Longest Journey (PC)

Overall: 2.1/10

Here's a riddle for you. Rearrange the letters in here to find out my opinion:
Dnot you drae paly tihs bronig gmae!
I guarantee that solving this riddle was more fun than playing Journey To The Center Of The Earth…


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 09/09/09

Game Release: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (EU, 02/27/04)


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