Mystery Box: The Journey Logo
Mystery Box: The Journey Icon
Mystery Box: The Journey

Developer: Ocean Media

  • Price: $9.99
  • Release Date: Dec 25, 2023
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    Another moderately decent, but ultimately pretty forgettable, puzzle box affair

    So here we are again, with another review for a Mystery Box title. For those who missed my last two, both written quite recently, these are an alternative and generally lower-quality take on The Room and its sequels. No doubt released more spaced out on their original platform, most likely mobile, it appears the Switch eShop got a bulk deal to have them all show up at once. Now, the question becomes not only how does this specific version measure up overall, but is there even a difference of significance between it and its brethren.

    On the more general front, the story is pretty well the same. Where the presentation level of The Room and its descendents is quite high, not only sporting a pretty gorgeous general look, but also some wonderful intricacy in different elements of its puzzles, this is decidedly a step or two behind. Similarly, in the realm of puzzle design and coherency, I’d say this series also doesn’t always live up to the same standard. Whether any given puzzle across this series makes sense in a logical way is a bit of a toss-up, as some are intuitive, some are tied to you simply being hyper-observant, and others simply feel like trial-and-error luck. I suppose that’s not bad as a whole, but it can make for some frustration at times, especially since the game’s hint system tends not to be terribly helpful when you actually choose to use it.

    With that general standard established the next step is to see how well The Journey seems to stack up against the others in the series. To be honest, for the most part I’m not really able to differentiate them in any way, as each has generally been decent enough, but there are always wrinkles in the experience, and I can’t say any one is far worse than the other. It just feels like once the core engine for the series was put together they began cranking them out a bit, with the focus just on setting up new challenges and not really messing with the fundamental guts to improve them in a meaningful way.

    What that leaves you with is sort of a shrug when it comes to the overall picture. The game is playable, and probably for the casual crowd it should be a relatively decent experience, you can also just expect there to be some hiccups along the way where you may need to look for a guide to help. This isn’t terribly unusual for puzzle games of this type, so that statement isn’t meant as a major indictment, but I would note that there are casual games of this kind out there that simply do a better overall job of making the experience more exciting, helpful, and intuitive. There’s still a set of challenges to be had here, you just may want to be sure to hit some of its contemporaries first.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.5]

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