On April 7th, the band Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Journey created hits like “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Any Way You Want it” which were perfect tunes to play in the background during long summer days of gaming. It was especially perfect if you were playing the game that actually included the band.
Journey Escape was released in 1982 by Data Age for the Atari 2600. The game draws its inspiration from the band’s 1981 album of the same name. In it, the player must protect members of the band from promoters, photographers, and (inexplicably) groupies.
Gameplay is vertical scrolling in which you must avoid running into hilariously animated sprites of literal shifty-eyed promoters, photographers that appear out of nowhere, and love-crazed groupies represented by hearts with legs. Occasionally, a loyal roadie will appear and touching them will give you a brief period of invincibility. If playing as a member of one of the greatest ’80s bands of all time isn’t enough nostalgia for you, the Kool-Aid man (who happens to be the band’s mighty manger in this game) will show up and escort you through an entire level without losing any money. Once you successfully escort all five band members to the scarab escape vehicle, the band heads to the next gig and the game resets.
The sound is typical Atari fare with the exception of a great chiptune version of the song “Don’t Stop Believing”.
Overall, the game is a fun tribute to one of the greatest rock bands of all time.