The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time

12While The Journeyman Project was hardly a masterpiece when it came out, it was an ambitious attempt to blend a first-person perspective, impressive graphics, and a hard-edged sci-fi story line into a Windows-based multimedia experience. But as anyone who played Journeyman can tell you, the drawback to all this ambition was the slow transitions gamers had to endure due to the demanding nature of the graphics. This, fortunately, was a problem that was largely fixed with the better optimized Journeyman Project 2.

A few years after the events of The Journeyman Project, Earth has entered the Symbiotry of Peaceful Beings, and the Temporal Security Agency (TSA) has turned its attention from policing time to researching Earth’s history with the time travel technology of the Biosuits. But something’s gone horribly wrong. Your character, Gage, has been accused of altering history during his explorations, and the TSA has put Gage under house-arrest. In a last-ditch effort to prove his innocence, Gage travels back in time nine years to pay a visit to his younger self and convince him to find the real cause of the time distortions and clear his name. From here, it’s up to you to travel back to the four historical locations your future self has visited and begin searching for clues.

The player travels to various points through time and space — from Mayan temples to the studio of Leonardo Da Vinci — with the aid of a TSA Biosuit. You view your surroundings in first-person perspective via the suit’s built-in video display. This appears on screen as small graphic window alongside the movement interface, menu, and inventory selection screen, all of which have been updated somewhat from the first game to be more intuitive and attractive.

The movement interface shows noticeable improvement over Journeyman’s. But it, too, is not for the impatient. To successfully get your bearings and search for clues, you need to take your time and explore each environment thoroughly. That often means taking a step forward, then turning to look in all directions before taking another step. It just compounds the already frustrating delay problem; the handful of puzzles that require you to move your character along a specific pattern in order to find an object or enter a room should’ve been canned in the planning stages of Journeyman Project 2.

15With the exception of those movement puzzles, though, the challenges in Journeyman Project 2 are well balanced and laced with plenty of the strange leaps in logic that are always welcome in an adventure game. Early in the game, when you attempt a journey to a space station only to materialize in the cold vacuum of space, you find you can’t quite make it to the station because your Biosuit doesn’t come equipped with propulsion. But if you watched a certain commercial in the future, you should know the solution. Order one up on the electronic shopping node that you require, and you have the needed extra propulsion.

Despite the problems with access times and the slow, tedious nature of exploring Buried in Time, the puzzles are ultimately what keep the game from falling flat on its face. It’s not a perfect game by any means, but it is a novel attempt at adventure gaming.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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