Friends, when Journey Escape for the Atari 2600 was released back in 1982, by the California based Data Age, it managed to fly under my radar. However at the very least by the time I picked up the cartridge at a garage sale in 1983, I was quite familiar with the band’s arcade game – thanks to my local Showbiz Pizza. In addition I’m not sure how back in ’82, considering I was reading the likes of Electronic Games that I missed magazine ads for the game. At that time I was most assuredly watching Starcade on TBS – which means I also somehow missed this rather excellent television commercial. Not only is it imaginative, capturing elements of the game itself – but it has the added bonus of having none other than Casey Kasem (Scooby-Doo, The Transformers) as narrator too!
In the light of having missed the Television commercial and magazine advertisements for Journey Escape – It’s probably not too hard to imagine that I also missed this MTV interview with Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, and Steve Smith of Journey discussing the new Atari 2600 title.
I realize you might be curious as to the goal of Journey Escape for the Atari 2600. It would seem you are traveling with Journey and they have just finished a performance that has netted them $50,000 in cold hard cash. It is up to the Player to escort all five members of Journey with their money to the safety of their escape vehicle – the Scarab naturally!
The obstacles in your path to accomplish this particular feat are many – for one thing you have to guide the band members past “Love-Crazed Groupies” who are represented on the screen as hearts with legs. If a Player comes in contact with one of these they lose time and $300 bucks from that net starting total of $50,000 dollars. You will know which member of the band you are currently escorting by way of their initials to the right of the remaining time for the level.
In Journey Escape a Player must also be wary of the paparazzi. The likes of the “Sneaky Photographers” which look like cameras with flashbulbs will cost you $600 dollars upon contact. Why so much you might ask? To pay for the film negatives of course!
There are also the “Shifty-Eyed Promoters” – these slightly gangster looking hucksters will cost you a whopping $2,000 dollars if they manage to make contact with you. There are yellow stage barriers left over from after the big concert that the Player has to try and avoid – while it won’t deduct any money if you make contact, they do cost precious time by slowing you down.
Having said all that though, not everything in Journey Escape is designed to hinder your game. Case in point there are the “Loyal Roadies”… who actually look like blue-grey old science fiction robots. If you manage to make contact with one of these allies you will be granted a temporary invulnerability and can rush forward in an attempt to locate the Scarab escape vehicle. Last but certainly not least is none other than the “Mighty Manager”. This jovial character who just so happens to look like the Kool-Aid Man allows a Player to run all the way to the Scarab without being stopped as well as adding $9,900 to the band’s purse (Score).
If you would like to see Journey Escape in action for yourself you are in luck, thanks to this video uploaded by Viddy O’James!