While adventure games have been coming in droves these days, there are a few that do look a bit more different than the rest. Red Johnson’s Chronicles is one of those that win out in aesthetics alone. The first game did have its appeal, and this sequel does the same thing. Maybe its that sameness that may be the folly of Red Johnson’s Chronicles: One Against All, but you’ll never know for sure until you partake in the adventure itself.
This game is a takes from the first game and features Red Johnson, a detective who works on cases in the dark and seedy parts of Metropolis. In this game, his brother goes missing. Soon enough, he is back to following the clues and getting into dangerous places to solve puzzles and get to the bottom of the case. To walk you through the story, there are black-and-white cutscenes to add in to the neo-noir atmosphere of the game.
The gameplay is not that bad at all. It does feature quite a few challenging puzzles that are well-designed and should keep you occupied for a time. While there is still quite a bit of pixel hunting going on, the art style make it an interesting experience. The visuals are done with a cool art style that uses high contrast to give the game that noir look and feel. The choice of using Soviet-like fonts adds a propaganda look to the presentation. If you’re stuck, then the hints will get you out of that jam. It seems that point-and-click adventure games these days have gotten that formula down, more or less.
Unfortunately, the foundation of this adventure game is shoddy at best. The story isn’t as strong as first expected, and the characters don’t hold enough weight to salvage it. The secondary characters don’t even have solid voice acting, so they don’t do well enough to support the main characters. Also, not being able to save when you get to a puzzle means that once you do get to one, then you have to finish it right then and there or you’ll have to go through all that trouble to get back to the puzzle again if you think of quitting the game and continuing some other time. The ending is quite a cliffhanger too, just like the first game, so perhaps they’re expecting players to continue it with the next Red Johnson game.
While the first Red Johnson game was not so bad, but this sequel is sadly riddled with faults. The bones of an adventure game is the story, and it being the main flaw does not give the game a vote of confidence, to say the least. Perhaps it’s just a sophomoric thing that made this sequel not look as good, even though it did have clever puzzles and a nice visual style that may be the only reasons why you should play this.
The game doesn’t seem to have enough replay value to hold its own weight though, which is a waste. It has the potential of being a solid adventure game that gamers would want to share with their friends. The game is not outright bad, but it’s lacking enough to be disappointing. Since it seems like there will be yet another sequel to this, here’s to hoping that it does do better than this one.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 6.5/10