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Jules Verne: Journey to the Moon (PC)

Journey To The Moon

Reviewer: Bill Hartley
Developer: Adventure Company
Publisher: Dreamcatcher
Platform: PC
Genre: Adventure
UK Release: 03rd Mar 2006
Article Date: 11th Mar 2006
Difficulty: Hard
Price: 19.99

Score Breakdown
Game Play:

Overall Score: 60%
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  • Entertaining game. Varied puzzles
  • May be too difficult for some.

    4 of 5

  • Journey To The Moon is another offering from The Adventure Company designed to tax the puzzle solving parts of your brain.

    The story centres on a 19th century adventurer called Michel Arden. The President of the gun club, Barbicane, has proposed an ambitious project. He plans to build a giant cannon to blast a shell, complete with passengers, to the Moon. Captain Nicholl, an artillery expert, ridicules the idea and is challenged to a duel by Barbicane. Arden reconciles the two men and volunteers to go with them. The cannon is built and the shell blasted off on its journey, knocking the three men out.

    The game starts with Arden waking up in the shell and finding Barbicane and Nicholls dead. It seems one has been poisoned and the other has a gunshot wound, a piece of paper found suggests both men had some affection to a lady called Diana. Arden determines to find out what really happened to Barbicane and Nicholl but first he must deal with fact that he is in a shell hurtling towards the Moon and try and land safely. The puzzles in this part of the game are quite easy, dealing with Oxygen levels and weightlessness etc and fairly soon we arrive and land on the Moon.

    This Moon is a little different than the one we all know and love, as daylight approaches ‘frozen air’ begins to melt and there is soon an atmosphere and plants begin to grow very rapidly. Arden decides he must go outside and explore this strange new world. The shell has rolled down a precipice and has stopped at the edge of ravine; there is an island across this ravine that is covered with strange colourful plants. Because of the low gravity, Arden realises he can jump across and do some exploring and this is where the puzzles get much more difficult and involved.

    The island has five areas of different coloured plants all bordering each other and an area in the centre. Different areas can be jumped to but the jump has to be measured against a swinging meter like device, too far or not far enough and he will fall. The game resets instantly to the same point however so there is no tedious back tracking if you do manage to tumble down the ravine. In the centre he finds various devices and machines which need investigating and/or repairing. Some machines have buttons with symbols; information to deal with these must be discovered elsewhere. Through a telescope he spots a strange Alien creature, he must deal with a number of these in order to get to new areas up among the surrounding cliffs.

    As he visits different areas he finds various items which are stored in the inventory for later use. The inventory system is what we have come to expect from The Adventure Company, it holds everything you pick up, although you are only allowed three of any one item. It has ‘Tabs’ for information and the story so far as well as areas that store the meanings of the symbols you have decoded and another for combining different items in order to make other objects or even to prepare meals. The inventory is very simple to use and is at the heart of the game and it works very well.

    The puzzles in the game, at least after reaching the Moon, are quite complicated and involve colours, symbols and machine parts. One or two solutions seemed a little obscure and they would require a either a good deal of luck or a very determined player to solve them, this is a challenging game. Due to time constrains we confess to using a walkthrough for some parts of the puzzles in order to progress.

    The game is played as a point and click; you can look round in all directions though which makes it more enjoyable than the ‘static view’ type of puzzler, and much more fun.

    The graphics are very nice with quite a lot of animation and the Audio is also very good with Arden offering advice and filling the gaps in the story as you go. The ease of navigating the game map and inventory all add up to an entertaining game. Ardent puzzlers will love the complexity and variety of the puzzles; others may find them a little too difficult and frustrating at times.

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