Voyage is visually stunning and imaginative. Although short in length, it makes up for it by delivering an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Genre: Walking Sim, Puzzle
Release date: 27 Feb, 2021
Voyage is certainly an unusual game.
If I had to describe Voyage I would call it a relaxing, interactive and immersive walking simulator.
The caveat is that Venturous have included light puzzle elements into the story which is different to most walking simulators.
If I’m honest most walking sims can be a bit boring, even if they are visually and audibly impressive.
With the inclusion of puzzles and the co-operative gameplay, Voyage is breaking boundaries in this genre.
Could this be the new benchmark for walking sims?
Voyage is a cinematic adventure game capturing the essence of shared exploration. Whether you decide to play by yourself or cooperatively, the journey will revolve around two survivors in search for answers of a long-forgotten past. Embark on a voyage, unravel a mystery and find a way home together.
The story has no verbal narrative; No voice acting; No text. The tale is told through interpretation of events happening as you travel through the various biomes searching for your way home.
Sometimes, it is evident what is happening and other times it floats over your head. These types of games always rely on personal interpretation, which is fine, but I haven’t played many that actually pull it off, and Voyage is no exception.
The game is a co-op voyage through lots of different environments and your goal is to try and find your way home.
Each environment offers obstacles for you to overcome like helping each other up high rock faces, moving rocks to key points and pressing buttons to activate teleports. You can knock over rocks to make bridges or pull objects to clear a path.
If you are stuck and don’t know what to do you can use the search button which highlights all active objects that you will need to interact with. Sometimes, a ghostly character will appear to show you which direction you need to travel.
There are about six different biomes each with unique puzzles that you must complete to proceed. In some environments you can even interact with the wildlife to help you.
Once you have completed that biome you are teleported to a dark and lonely place where you need to move pieces of a statue to form a ring which you can press to travel to the next biome.
The puzzles really aren’t that difficult, especially if you have played any kind of puzzle game before. The game recognizes that the voyage is the main focus and it tries everything to help you along. My main issue was that sometimes the environment seemed a little cluttered and interactable objects weren’t that obvious. The search button remedied this to a certain extent however.
The characters do move a little slow but not so slow to become annoying.
The visual elements to the game are stunning in places. It really looks good and you can tell a lot of time went into the story board and design of the voyage. The backgrounds come to life as you move through them. A bird flies off, a drip of water splashes into a pool, a pair of eyes appears from around a tree. The environments are so well drawn. Your characters look like they are in a vast cave or walking through a wheat field with the wind gently blowing through the grass. It is incredibly realistic for a two-dimensional game.
The characters animations are very well done. I never got tired watching them do something so mundane as climb ledges or slide down rock faces. It just made me smile. I need to get out more!
The weather effects were impressive too. It certainly shines in the graphics department.
The effect noises are realistic and plentiful. The soundtrack is very unusual. It provides the game with a unique feel and atmosphere. One minute it sounds French and then it sounds Bohemian. It is varied and certainly original.
Moments of tension, wonder and discovery are all awarded with a suitable tune or effect but apart from that there is no soundtrack running through the game. It feels quite minimalistic in places but accentuates moments when drama occurs.
Voyage really is a great game.
It is rather short at just over two hours but then again walking simulators often are. I have played some walking simulators that have only lasted twenty-five minutes.
Voyage is a lot more hands on than most walking simulators however. It is far more interesting than just walking through a forest. There are multiple environments from frozen wastelands to underground caverns. The voyage you take is visually spectacular. There are some realistic weather effects and the character animations are impressive.
There is a light puzzle element to the game but the vast majority of the time it isn’t very challenging. The main point of the game is to enjoy the voyage so it isn’t trying to trick you or stop you in its tracks.
The story is quite ambiguous as most silent tales are. There is no verbal communication at all, just suggestions for you to interpret. The visual clues are probably more convincing than some games I have played with this type of story telling in. The atmosphere is quite cooky and bizarre. I had the feeling I was being watched, as often you’ll see characters peeking around trees or hiding behind rocks. It’s quite charming.
The music is like a melting pot of jazz infused with jungle beats. Again, it is just weird but strangely effective.
Voyage is a relaxing, and visually impressive experience. It has many similarities to Journey but runs at a lower gear.
It is a remarkable game and stands out from its opposition. It is difficult to label the game as it is so original, but I would class this as a relaxing, interactive and immersive walking simulator.
If you enjoy a slower paced game and the lack of challenge doesn’t bother you then I would highly recommend this title.
Due to its short playtime it might be a little over priced but I could see myself playing this again in the future or perhaps with somebody else.