Friday, July 1, 2011

Don't Stop Believin' -- The Journey Video Game

1982.  Journey was everywhere.  You heard it at the mall.  It was on every radio station.  It was the music Rush fans used to get laid.  (That's an inside joke.  My friend once told me that all the girls he wanted to bed hated Rush, but he'd put on Journey and the next thing he knew he'd be looking at the top of their head and wishing camera phones had been invented.)  The only thing hotter than Journey was the Atari 2600.  Imagine when the two of them met.

Journey Escape was the outcome, someone's brilliant idea on the way to cash in on the sweet strains of Joe Perry.  Data Age, the developer and publisher, promised players they'd be guiding Journey past "love-crazed groupies, sneaky photographers, and shifty-eyed promoters" to the safety of the "Journey Escape Vehicle" so that the band could make it to the next concert.  Apparently Data Age missed the idea that bands love "love crazed groupies."  That's the best part of being in a band.  You don't dodge their three-pixel tall bodies, you dive right in.  Regardless, Data Age thought this would be a really cool game for twelve-year-olds to play.

I don't remember how well this game sold, and I never played it.  Avoiding hearts on legs (representing the groupies) never seemed like a fun idea to me, and I was not a huge Journey fan.  (I had the Heavy Metal soundtrack, and that was the extent of my Journey ownership.)  I imagine, however, that there were people who really, really liked this.  If you were a Journey fan who owned an Atari 2600, it was probably a must-buy.    It did well enough that an arcade game based on Journey came out soon after.

The '80s, a time when anything was possible ... and probable.  Journey Escape proves it.  If any of you have played the game, I'd love to hear about it.  Me?  I'm not going to go seek it out for research purposes.  Even I have my limits.

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