Journey To Hell (v.1.2)

Started by Romeo, Mon 30/07/2012 09:17:52

Previous topic - Next topic


Guys, don't fill the thread with hints and tips, there's a special forum for that.


I finished the game after playing for 2 weeks. I am taking the liberty of posting my comments/review:

(Caution: may include mild hints or spoilers)

Journey to Hell is a dark game involving demons, witchcraft and evil where the hero travels several continents in a mission to save the world from the impending Apocalypse. Dazzling art combined with appropriate music create an enjoyable and immersive game environment. A well-designed plot and some really good puzzles show that a lot of effort and artful creativity went into this game. The game is about 2/3 of a full-length adventure game.

Caution: This game contains nudity and sexual content and as such may not be suitable for all players.

- As I said in the intro, one of the strongest aspects of the game was the background art. I don't know how much was taken from stock images and how much hand drawn but the art created a great environment. I am not usually crazy about looping music scores but the music was very well chosen to fit the different regions and times of day. The sound effects were very appropriate as well
(Am I the only one who thinks the winged horse sounds like a helicopter? ;) )
- The world is quite extensive with lots to explore and do. That made the game quite fun.
- The plot was detailed enough to keep wanting to play yet not so full of detail that it just got out of hand. The "problem" that the player faced and the steps to solve it were quite clear as the story unfolded. I would consider this one of the strengths of the game.
- Some of the puzzles were very clever and struck a perfect balance between a challenge and providing just enough hints to solve the challenge which really makes adventure gaming what it's supposed to be.
- The gameplay system combining standard puzzles with object puzzles with a bit of arcade-style challenges kept things interesting.

Clearly a lot of creativity, planning and skill went into this game.

Unfortunately, I had a very difficult time playing this game. Please consider this section more of advice as to how to make a sequel (or totally different game) better by capitalizing on the strengths of JTH rather than criticism.

- I said that the art was beautiful and it really was. However, some of the animation was good but some of the sprites really weren't done well. I pointed out an example of the motion of the innkeeper. Another example is the unarticulated motion of Susan the cook which really looks inconsistent with the overall feel of the game. Many of the characters looked like they were just painted into the background (archduke or people in the inn) and that detracts from an otherwise excellent environment.
- I pointed out that the fonts in parts of the game was almost impossible to read.
- The biggest weakness in the game in my opinion was many of the puzzles. While I did say that some of them were perfect and very clever and enjoyable, unfortunately many of them seemed to have random/illogical solutions and made the game very frustrating. The general problems with the puzzles were:

  • Too many too fast. There was almost literally another puzzle in every room you enter. The game starts with a multi-stage solution puzzle even before leaving the house
  • Red herrings are ok sometimes but in my opinion, there are far too many in this game. There are many hotspots that tell you "you can't use this at the moment" or something that never become used in the game. Considering that you have to guess as much as you do to solve the puzzles, that type of misleading was overboard
  • Similarly, I personally don't care for the "stare at a wall and move the objects while trying to figure out what they do or represent" puzzles. I really was not enjoying it when I hit three of those in three consecutive rooms
  • Moreover, many of the puzzles had technical problems, such as a cipher puzzle with overlapping mappings and characters that didn't exist on the key. People playing the game had to resort to German Wikipedia to solve that one... (wtf)
I came very close to just deleting the game on one of those puzzles, which is something I've never done (with the exception of one game that was impossible to complete where the author couldn't figure out how to solve the glitch). My final statement on this topic: I usually solve about 85-95% of puzzles in games on my own with the rest requiring help from the forum. In this game the number is closer to 40%....
- I pointed out that the arcade areas gave variety to the game. However, as one poster kindly put it "the game mechanics aren't perfect". I'm happy to play those games but they really didn't work well. Perhaps some more testing would have helped.
- If you include nudity and sexual content, please consider posting a warning in the description so the player can exercise discretion.

- I pointed out that it's possible to be stuck in the game with no way to complete it if you did not take one specific action early in the game
- People pointed out the game halting when you use the wind
- The game crashed repeatedly when fighting the minotaur

As I've said, it's clear that a lot of work and planning went into this game. The author has a lot to be proud of for creativity and skill in designing the gameplay, environment, and art. The concerns I have relate to the technical aspects of the execution of the plan. Perhaps with more testing this game could have some of the glitches cleaned up and been a masterpiece.

Thank you for your hard work and I hope this gives you some areas to consider for your next game!

It goes without saying that all the foregoing is simply my own opinion and anyone is free to agree or disagree. I am curious to hear if other players (preferably those who have completed the game) shared this experience.



Thank you Shadow for this complete review:
There are 9 bugs reported and I've just started fixing them (actually just one until now). It's going to be a hard work...
Anyway, I'd like to know your opinion on how I could improve the game (I mean what hints exactly I could give the players to avoid them to be frustrated while playing). So, if you want you can send me a pm with some advices. I'll try to change what I can.
Cheers and thanks again.



I'm glad you found the review to be helpful and not unfairly critical. Because I enjoyed the game so much I felt I wanted to contribute my opinion as to how it could be improved if you are revising it.

I'd be more than happy to send you examples of areas that I think require more hints and direction. I'll leave the actual hints up to you and Tabatha :)

My general approach will essentially be: when I was almost spoon-fed the answer, did I say "ohhhh! I should have thought of that!" OR did I say "What?? that makes sense? how was anyone supposed to guess." I'll send you a list of the latter and explain where the weakness is and you can either provide more hints or you can leave it as is. Up to you :)

Thank you for the game!



Thank you very much, Romeo, for this outstanding, creative game.

Some of the puzzles were really difficult, somehow I liked that, so it took me some long evenings to find out the solutions. Imo, some games have much too easy puzzles nowadays, so you are through them pretty too fast! Although sometimes it wasn't too obvious what the game wanted from me, but the longer I played it, the more I understod the way these puzzles are constructed.

Really nice game, with a very unique style and atmosphere, afar from the mainstream, although with some little bugs and flaws - most of them already mentioned in this forum. Perhaps you can eliminate those in an updated version of your game.

Be careful, spoiler ahead for those, who didn't complete the game so far:

Some examples:
1.) I felt completely lost concerning the several use of candle wax, the keyhole in the crypt an so on, a few hints would have been appreciated.
2.) It was difficult to find out what to do in the egyptian desert, that I first have to follow the meteorite to find the bedouine, who gave me the stones which, with help of the fortune teller, finally led me the way through the paths corresponding to the star signs. 
3.) The possible crashes of the game mentioned before: in the side room of the pyramid, when producing an earthquake while your horse is in the shed next to your house, during the fight with the minotaur or when using the wind power at the wrong place.
4.) The game mechanics during the fight with the minotaur are unbalanced, it is difficult to find the correct timing when to attack.
5.) Overall, there are too many possible dead ends and red herrings.

In spite of this criticism, overall a great game and work of art, I had a good time playing it.

Romeo, hope to see and play more from you in the future, you really made a god job!!   8-)


Excellent game!

About Partydocs comments:

For (1) and (2) I agree that it was difficult to find out what to do, but with some persistence it was finally possible. The same also for the very last puzzle

use the ice ball only on some of the craters

Strangely enough, I had no crashes and everything went on smoothly (used Wine on Debian 6, I have no chance to get anything with DirectDraw, DirectX or OpenGL running on my Windows 7 Pro installation on a really expensive Lenovo, crashes right at start). Perhaps you should try with Windows XP?


Thanks guys for your kind words:
sthomannch: thank you for "excellent game". I'm glad to read that the game went on smoothly.
partydoc: thanks for "great game" and "work of art" and for your comment in the AGS database (thanks Tabata for asking the players to post a comment   :wink: ).
Making games with AGS is amusing but it also requires great efforts and a lot of free time. So, it's a reward for me to read your opinions.
About the bugs: I've already fixed all the bugs reported in the forum so the game works fine now (version 1.1), but I don't know if there are more bugs that haven't been reported.
I know that the puzzles were difficult but I think that when the game's atmosphere is nice, the player can take his time to think while listening to some good music. 
Kind regards.


@BleedingRomeo I love your games (I even emailed you my appreciation), but like Raindog Story I'm finding this frustratingly hard! I know it's often something glaringly obvious, and that it's nice to have some tough puzzles, but I'm sensing a repeat of some of the raindog puzzles which basically had me performing the old 'use everything on everything else, in every order' routine, and I find myself wanting to get through this game because I love the artwork and story already, but despite this difficulty.

Please please please write a walkthrough for this game for people like me who don't play adventure games so much anymore, and who play them more for the story and design than puzzles. I do give it my best, but I'm just not that good at them anymore!


Hi 9cupsoftea,
thank you very much for your appreciation. The game is hard, I know it, but I think the puzzles have a logic so you just have to think for a while to the right move. Anyway there's already a walkthrough available if you need it:

I'd really appreciate if you could post a comment and rate the game after playing it.


This game's getting really great feedback (especially what Shadow wrote- I thought it was very well put together) so I think I'll give it a try!:) Loving the artwork by the way!


Thanks Grim,
I hope the game won't disappoint you. In any case please let me know your opinion about it.


Quote from: Grim on Fri 07/09/2012 23:01:39
This game's getting really great feedback (especially what Shadow wrote- I thought it was very well put together) so I think I'll give it a try!:) Loving the artwork by the way!

Thank you! I try to be balanced and fair. My goal is for authors to have detailed feedback from players so they can know what the audience is looking for. Of course I am just one guy but I try to include enough detail so others can either agree or disagree.

Enjoy the game



SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk