Voyage is a side-scrolling adventure game developed by Venturous and published by Ratalaika Games. It tells the story of two unnamed individuals stranded on a mysterious planet as they embark on an adventure to discover where they are and how they ended up here. Through exploration, puzzle-solving, and self-discovery, our unsung heroes will experience the trip of a lifetime and hopefully gain a better understanding of what brought them to this colorful, strange world.
I’ll start very blunt; the gameplay of Voyage is rather barebones being it’s a side-scrolling walking simulator with minor puzzle-solving elements throughout. Now, I know what you are saying, “Brett, don’t you talk highly of walking simulators all the time” and while the answer to that is a resounding “Yes”, don’t get ahead of yourself just yet. In my opinion, the elements that make up a good walking simulator are having impeccable visuals and a well-versed narrative, while gameplay seems to always fall behind a bit. Let’s be honest, there is only so much that can be done with the genre. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Voyage occasionally feels like you aren’t doing anything but walking from scene to scene without any reward.
By no surprise, the main parts of Voyage that drew me in were the visuals and the soundtrack. I already mentioned how colorful and intrinsic the background landscapes were, but they may be the most crucial part of the entire game. I fell in love with the designs that make up this mysterious world and can’t imagine how I would have felt if the creators missed the mark. The soundtrack pairs perfectly with every aspect. Soothing, peaceful sounds ring loudly from start to finish only to be interrupted It is apparent early on that the developers took a lot of inspiration from Journey when crafting their adventure. The beautiful environments, the unique co-op experience, but especially the silent world. Voyage presents you with an experience completely devoid of written narrative leaving only visual storytelling to aid in the players' understanding of this evolving mystery. For me, this could have pushed my feelings either way. Normally, I love having a deep understanding of the world around me when all I am doing is simply existing in an environment with little to do. However, I felt that the hand-drawn landscapes and storybook visuals presented an amazing element to progress through. It felt like I was walking through a child’s fairytale, and I couldn’t wait to get to the next part.
Unfortunately, the co-op wasn’t something I was able to experience throughout the whole story as I had nobody to play with due to being the only local co-op. However, the use of two characters with one controller was very smooth for solving the puzzles and exploring the landscape. Traversing comes easy as the other character will follow seamlessly behind you and even interact with objects when you do. When it is needed to use both, a simple push of a button moves between the two to allow for precise interactions. I could only imagine the level of depth that would come with playing this with another person.
by echoes of exuberant fanfare after solving the next step of this cryptic tale.
Sometimes, all you need is an experience. Not every game needs to be an expansive RPG or detailed strategy title. Not all games need to have ultra-realistic graphics or bring something new to the table. It’s ok if you find a niche and execute it to the best of your ability. Voyage may seem slow or barren of things to do, but the beautiful visuals and distinctive approach to telling its story make it unique and deserves a chance.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7.5/10
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