Journey, Arcade

This infamous 1983 arcade game from Bally Midway is a bizarre multi-stage action game where you play members of the prog rock band, Journey, trying to retrieve their instruments “from the dangers of the five galaxies”.

No, I don’t know what that means either – other than there being five different stages to the game. Thankfully – other than a few words in the intro – we’re spared other rambling prevarications.

What is funny about Journey (the arcade game) is that it was one of the first ever video games to feature digitised faces of real people – in this case actual members of the band.

Unfortunately their faces are black and white, but their bodies are in colour and made up of hand-drawn pixels, so the effect is unintentionally hilarious.

Journey (the arcade game) was obviously a tongue-in-cheek kind of project from the off. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. Which is good because the game is pretty laughable…

Controlling the individual members of Journey over the five stages of hazards is a dour challenge. You can choose any stage (represented as planets) at the start, by flying your ‘fly’ spacecraft into one. Each challenge is either a dodging game, a jumping game, or a shooter, and there’s even a gravity game (although it does leave a lot to be desired).

The best part of the game, in my opinion, is the sixth, final stage – the concert – whereby you take control of a bouncer trying to keep groupies from storming three doorways. If a single one gets through, Journey have their equipment stolen and the cycle begins once again…

The game was designed by Marvin Glass and Associates, who also made Tapper and Domino Man, among others.

More: Journey on Wikipedia

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