“Journey” – Nintendo Switch Game Review
Travel is a beautifully hand-painted whimsical and colorful adventure spanning different worlds of earthly magic with a narrative that leaves you wondering “what happened here?”
I received a free digital copy of Travel on the Nintendo Switch. The opinions I have shared are my own.
The adventure in the game comes in a seemingly endless ocean of different interpretations and each time there is a story to be told that takes us on a journey to unknown worlds across vast lands. I had the pleasure of playing Travel ahead of the title’s next release on August 12, 2022 on the Nintendo Switch and other platforms. The game was developed by adventurous (a very appropriate name) and published by Ratalaika Games. I have to start this review by praising Travel to be a beautiful game in concept, sound, and art style.
You play two silent protagonists. The game is completely stripped of any dialogue and replaced with expressive character movement and a beautifully placed natural ambience of wind, rain and soft piano with soothing bells and chimes that feel so incredibly cathartic. It made me think of the way breath of the wild layers its sound seamlessly to give you an almost ASMR experience as you explore. Psychologically speaking, Travel does his best to help you escape and I have to say he does it successfully.
As mentioned before, our main duo are quiet and their identities are so vague that it really lets you interpret the game however you want. From what I can understand and interpret from my playing is that the duo is a boy and a girl. They try to find their way home and find themselves lost in the pull of those worlds untouched by humanity. You explore beautifully painted forests with vines and giant trees with branches you can walk through, scorching desserts with sand obscuring your view, dark and lonely caverns filled with strange plants that seem to be aware, curious and alive, mystical prismatic radiant stones of power, star fields with ancient ruins that seem to tell a story just beyond my comprehension. Everything was so wonderful and mystifying.
Travel I felt like I was given ten puzzle pieces out of a set of one hundred and asked what kind of story can I make out of them. I wanted to learn more about these worlds and meet the wandering spirits who have traveled the same path as me. Trying to figure out a lost world with no answers is oddly part of the charm of this game. You have to experience it for yourself.
On the gameplay side, Travel is simplistic with minimal button presses. You can explore, switch between the two characters, call and stop your other half and also kiss them for a hug, and interact with your surroundings by pushing stone statues or tearing cobwebs. And finally, an invocation of light to guide you to points of interest to progress in your adventure. The puzzles never felt frustrating or too difficult. Characters also move at a pace that allows players to really soak up the environment.
Now for the big question. Who is this game for? If you are looking for a title with combat and violence, Travel is completely free of both, you may need to look elsewhere. But if you’re a casual gamer or a fan of soothing soundscapes, strange new worlds, or maybe just the power of friendship, I’d say Travel is the game for you.
I say with sweet sincerity that this game is perfect before bed to fall asleep or even decompress after a long day. And I think there must be a bigger market for games belonging to such a genre. With all the madness going on, it’s nice to slip into unknown realms and have the ability to escape somewhere else, if only for a little while.
Congratulations to everyone who helped bring this to life. Travel and share it with the world.
Be sure to make the trip to play Travel wherever you buy your games from. You will not regret it !
Author: Micah Carrillo
Micah is studying English and digital design. His love of geek culture spans across various mediums and genres. Comics, anime, movies, etc. He enjoys video games on Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
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