Gamedev diary: June’s Journey (iOS)

I first heard of June’s Journey (wooga) when looking for articles about HOPA asset creation. It is a very pretty game with a nice little mystery, a comment that I reserve the right to withdraw later if it turns out to be not so nice. I’m only just starting chapter 2, and not sure yet whether I’ll see the game through.

The need to constantly replay scenes is a bit tedious, though I do enjoy how the scenes get harder with each star level. It’s the need to labour over them so often in order to progress the story that wears me down. For more dedicated players, this long-term engagement strategy may be quite satisfying, along with the “build an estate” and “visit your friends’ estates” elements. I doubt I’d want elements like that for Project H, as I’d rather it have a storyline with a beginning, middle and end.

The rush mechanic is kind of crap. It does nothing for my immersion in the game or story, as it is applied indiscriminately for the sake of scoring points that then determine how quickly you progress through that scene. It induces stress for not much payoff, however, it could be forgiven if the intent is to encourage repetition and memory. It may be a useful memory and response time training device.

For storytelling, though, I’d rather that mechanic be used in the same way it’s used in Adam Wolfe, where the intent is to drive urgency and tension. Great emotional engagement there.