Journey Below – Does It Come In Below The Competition?

2.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 2.5/5
Design: 3/5
Duration: 2/5

Quick auto-runner action | Focused level set with random elements

Attack mechanic often hurts you more than the enemy | Relatively bland challenge




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Get ready to descend into the depths in the new auto running platformer Journey Below, from the makers of League of Evil, Tiny Rogue, Random Heroes, and more. Journey Below lets you play as a knight who runs automatically, and you simply tap the left side of the screen to jump, and the right side to attack. There are 12 levels to go through to complete the game, and unlock harder difficulties. Each level is randomly generated each time you play, and you get access to one upgrade after you complete each level.
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The core game revolves around beating enemies during your descent to increase your multiplier. The problem is that the set-up doesn’t always work as you expect it to. When you attack, your knight dashes in a straight line. That means, you need to be lined up with the enemy. If you come across an enemy directly below you, there’s no way to attack that enemy unless you leap over it, go to the entire end of the row to bounce off the wall, and return to attack. You will lose a lot of hearts because you can only attack in a straight line. Your attack also only lasts for a set duration that can lead you to pressing attack, the attack concluding, and then you taking damage from an enemy. The upgrade offers double jump, double attack, and extended attack, but that makes the outset that much more annoying. The main problem is that so many other action platformer games either offer an attack that allows you to jump on enemies, or use a sword that swipes 180 degrees in front of you.

Journey Below has a promising set-up, but the attack system makes it more frustrating than fun. You can deal with the set-up, but it’s tough to truly enjoy. The other problem is that the game is relatively bland and repetitive. The levels blend together even with their random layouts as enemies either lay in front of you, or fly towards you in similar patterns. The game isn’t really challenging beyond dealing with the rudimentary attack system. Once you deliberately choose to frantically tap the attack button, and focus on attack upgrades between levels, you’re just going through the motions. Also, the game doesn’t let you save your upgrades between rounds, so there’s no real sense of progress.

Journey Below ($2.99, Universal) has a promising outlook that comes in below standard, making it one to skip.

$2.99, Universal



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