Art Perspective: The Best Journey Alternatives

The latest Art Perspective column takes in the best alternatives to arty modern classic Journey...

As much as I would like to write an in-depth critique on the arty game of the moment; Journey, which is filled with references to the band who peeked in popularity in the early 80€™s, I made the mistake of not owning a PS3. Alas, because of thatgamecompany€™s exclusive deal with Sony, (which I€™m not sure why they exist anymore), we€™ll have to wait. But anyway, there must be loads of other arty gaming things happening at the moment. No, not really. Oh well then, let's try a comprehensive list of alternatives to Journey for people that own other gaming devices. Braid. If you haven€™t played it yet, then what are you doing with your life? You don€™t really have any excuses, it€™s been out for ages and it€™s awesome. In this time bending adventure (or some might call it a journey), you side-scroll your way through levels like a classic Mario, but there is a twist. The game has various time based tools at your disposal. This makes for some very memorable and brain aching gameplay all topped of with a high quality soundtrack and story as well as a graphically beautiful gameworld. It€™s available for every modern platform apart from the Wii, and I assume Nintendo have given up on that by now. Portal: Still Alive is an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive (that€™s right Playstation, none for you this time) version of Valves ingenious physics based puzzler. This title includes the original game and a bunch of extra stuff. It is ideal for those who are somehow new to the concept of portals, and it€™s cheaper than buying the whole Orange Box. It€™s witty, clever and requires some hard thinking at times. Limbo is an afterlife condition hypothesised by Medieval Roman Catholic theologians, oh no wrong one. LIMBO is a downloadable game in which you control a small boy who wakes up in a forest. With no weapons or powers, you must guide the child through a dark, gloomy and unforgiving world as he searches for an illusive girl. A brilliant side-scrolling journey drenched in atmosphere makes it hard not to be effected by.
Super Meat Boy is a super fast pace platformer that isn€™t available on the PS3. This highly praised game lets you take control of a meaty square and guide him around a hazardous world full of saws, drops and walls. It is very much like a trial and error style of gameplay that instantly restarts with each failure. Failure is constant, but this makes the win mean even more. You also get a replay of all your failed tries at the same time- meaty fun if ever there was some! If all of these games sound a little too fast paced or aggressive, why not try The Graveyard? It€™s a cheap, short experience in which the player controls an old lady as she hobbles through a graveyard. Firmly set at the arty end of the gaming table, this is an emotional game that puts the player on a less expansive journey than many other games.
All of this proves that there are alternatives to playing Journey. Owners of other platforms can stop crying, uncurl from the fetal position on the floor and play one of these titles. There is light at the end of thatgamecompany€™s exclusive tunnel though; the deal was to create three exclusive games and since Flow, Flower and now we have Journey that makes three, and freedom for games everywhere.