Video Game / The Journey Down

Journey Down is an Episodic Adventure Game by the Swedish indie developer SkyGoblin. Drawning inspiration from Film Noir and Afro-Caribbean culture, the game is best described as Grim Fandango meets the Western Pacific Ocean.

In a shady corner of Kingsport Bay, at the outskirts of St Armando, Bwana and his trusted sidekick Kito struggle to make ends meet at their run-down gas station. Little do they know that they are about to be thrown into a spine-tingling adventure that will take them far from home and right into a twisting plot of corruption and danger.

The plot catalyst is a young woman named Lina, assistant to a university professor who was investigating the Underland, a realm underneath the edge of the world. Her search has led her to look for a journal written by Kaonandodo, Bwana and Kito's foster father, and thereby to the Gas and Charter. Offering enough money for Bwana and Kito to pay off their debts to the electric company, she entices the duo to fly her down to the Underland.

But there's a problem. Kaonandodo's old seaplane is missing its engines. And a propeller. And a steering wheel. Cue Bwana going on a kleptomaniacal spree.

So far, chapters 1 and 2 have been released. Chapter 3 has successfully been founded through Kickstarter.

Trope Examples:

  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Sky Pirates have one. It not only has multiple hangar bays and a runway but is also armed to the teeth.
  • Camera Spoofing: Bwana tries to spoof the monitor-watching security guard at Club Temba by recording the camera video on a tape he got from a sailor and then playing it back. Naturally, he ends up messing it up and playing the tape. But it's ok, because it's a porn tape, and the guard is too busy watching it to care what else is going on.
  • Cardboard Prison: The prison at Port Artue holds Bwana and Kito for no more than a few hours. All the guards go home for the night, and the walls turn out to be easy to break.
  • Cool Plane: Sort of. Bwana and Kito's seaplane hasn't been used in years, but they manage to fix it back up using parts retrieved from various sources. For example, the engines were "borrowed" from a yacht. It's wrecked at the end of chapter 2, but Kito manages to salvage the floats and turns them into a raft.
  • Dirty Cop: Chief Barlow is in charge of the Port Artue police and is as corrupt as they come. However, as Bwana finds out, he wasn't always like that. He used to be friends with Kaonandodo, Bwana and Kito's foster father, but they went their separate ways after coming back from the Underland. Barlow sold his soul to the power company, and they made him the new police chief of Port Artue, after murdering the old one. After the power company CEO arrives and occupies the town, he explains that Barlow is nothing but a puppet. Barlow ends up holding off the power company's Mooks while the heroes escape, giving his life for his old friend's adopted sons.
  • Flat World: Part of the premise. St. Armando isn't very far from the infamous and feared "Edge."
  • Fog of Doom: The mist surrounding Port Artue has been there as long as anyone can remember. It's home to various kinds of eel, catching which is the main task of the misters, who go out on specially-designed misttrawlers (with an enormous keel) and use the Port Artue lighthouse to return (in fact, the lighthouse is so reliable that most captains don't bother installing standard navigational equipment, which bites them in the ass when the lighthouse is damaged by the Sky Pirates). The Hungries are the worst kind of eel, who swarm ships that run out of power and rip the crew to shreds.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Police chief Barlow holds off the Armando Power Company goons, while the heroes get away. He manages to shoot most of them, but ends up getting shot anyway.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: Averted, for the most part. Ships that are designed to prowl the sea cannot sail the mist past the Edge. Ships designed to sail the mist have a huge draft (may times the length of the ship) and cannot navigate the sea. Some ships are specially designed to do both but still need to go through the locks.
  • Jive Turkey: Ride Reynolds, the cab driver. R is for Real.
  • Mega Corp.: The Armando Power Company appears to run everything and has a private army to boot.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Barlow.
  • Shout-Out: The random ingredients in the yacht's kitchen refrigerator include shout-outs to Nelly Cootalot and Gemini Rue.
  • Safecracking: Bwana has to do this several times. Subverted with the massive vault at Club Temba, where Bwana goes in through the unprotected outside wall, ignoring the massive vault door.
  • Sky Pirate: The Sisulus are one of the great dangers of the mist. Led by Madam Sisulu, they are the ones responsible for breaking the lighthouse at Port Artue, stranding many trawlers in the mist. They are also after the riches of the Underland.
  • The Three Trials: True to form, most of chapter 1 involves finding 3 missing components for the seaplane.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss: The Edge looks like this. If you go over and survive, you may end up in Port Artue. Go deeper, and you might find yourself in the mythical Underland. In fact, it's possible to navigate down the waterfall to the locks, which can be done by special ships designed to sail both the water and the mist.
  • Welcome to the Caribbean, Mon!: Interspersed with the rest of the Black African cultural references in this game. Bwana and Kito in particular have outstanding accents.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Bwana has a severe fear of heights, which is problematic as he's a pilot. He can fly just fine, though- as long as he keeps his eyes closed. Naturally, in the course of his adventure he repeatedly has to deal with heights.
  • Wretched Hive: Port Artue is a cesspool run by a corrupt mayor and a corrupt police chief. They take their orders from the Armando Power Company and spend most of their time in the VIP lounge of Club Temba. There are very few decent people in the city.