A sleek game about finding hidden objects in pictures that lets you build up an ornate 1920’s mansion, June’s Journey has intrigue, mystery, and lots of neat bits of history.
June’s Journey is a game of hide and seek. The creators of the game have hidden numerous objects in the game’s almost painted visuals. Your goal is to find them.
These objects take the form of subtle ribbons, obvious people, and things that are much more in-between. Each level has several objects hidden in it, and you’re presented with a set of three at a time. The developers have deliberately attempted to modulate the difficulty of finding these items, so novice picture sleuths will still be able to make steady progress and familiarize themselves with the scene while ticking off the more obvious clues.
June’s Journey does not simply present a challenge. Instead, you’re scored on each level. Your evaluation determines the magnitude of your rewards at the end of each level. Find all of the objects quickly without tapping inaccurately and you might earn a “5-star” rating, giving you a special loot box with lots of rewards. This means that you’re incentivized to play each level more than once, familiarizing yourself with the background and the sorts of objects that the game will ask for.
As far as rewards go, June’s Journey has framed its hidden object gameplay in a frustratingly banal freemium home decoration sim. Playing levels earns you materials that you can use to purchase furniture, home upgrades, and more for June’s 1920’s villa. There’s a certain element of irony in pairing the rampant excess of The Great Gatsby with the rampant consumerism of today’s freemium games. June’s Journey has it all, from a limited energy system time gated upgrades and premium currency. Upgrading your house can take hours or days, but you can fork over a few dollars to get it right now.
Like its peers, June’s Journey complicates things with a complex web of interconnected resources. You can’t play levels willy-nilly, of course. Instead, you have to spend a familiar yellow lightning bolt “energy” resource that replenishes over time. The game becomes a task of resource management and optimization as you figure out how to milk the most resources possible out of your base and carefully plan out how and where to spend your energy. It’s less about finding clues for June and her journey and more about trying to squeeze out enough wood so you can start your upgrade before you log off for the day.
So why do you do these things? To solve a murder, of course. June’s Journey centers around a mysterious supposed suicide that June is in the process of investigating. The game offers visual novel chapters of June unraveling the grand tapestry of these murders in between bouts of you finding candlesticks and constructing tables. It’s a very eclectic mix that’s massively undermined by the fact that it’s 2022 and you can just watch the story on YouTube. There’s no reason to actually play the game if you care about the visual novel. Someone else has already done it for you, and without meaningful choices, you can simply watch the same scenes you would have seen yourself.
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June’s Journey gates a lot of its rewards behind getting good scores on the hidden object levels. In order to get these scores, you’ll need to quickly and accurately find everything hidden in each scene. Here’s a quick rundown on how you can do so without getting frustrated.
First, relax. It’s a lot harder to get good scores if you’re worried about getting a 5-star rating NOW. Instead, focus on familiarizing yourself with the scene, finding all of the objects slowly, and memorizing what they look like. You can play through each level again with this information to get a much higher score with much less effort. Treat your first playthrough as an investigative experience.
Second, consider the scene holistically. The game plays with perspective and object size a lot to throw off obvious guesses. If you’re looking for a paint can, for example, it’ll be really big in the foreground, medium-sized in the center of the frame, and tiny in the background. Think about the shape of each object and where it’s likely to be found. June’s Journey doesn’t usually put gramophones upside down on the roof, so survey tabletops for an old-fashioned record player and you’ve found your object.
Third, while you can play through each level more than once, expect a few curveballs. The game’s list of objects has a little bit of variance, meaning that you won’t find the exact set of things every time. This is fine. As you play the game, you’ll learn to recognize these curveballs and find them even faster than their more mundane counterparts. It’ll take some time, but you’ll quickly master the system.
Perhaps the biggest strength of June’s Journey is how simplistic the gameplay is. The game seems deliberately crafted to make a spectator sit in agony, wondering why the person playing has not spotted the obvious hidden object. “It’s right there!” you shout, silently. “I could do a better job than you!” And you can. Maybe. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter. Once you’ve started to find objects, you’ll start to get rewards, and you’ll start to wonder if you can 5-star levels. After that, it’s just a few more steps before you’re planning out June’s mansion and planning out your daily schedule so you can spend energy in June’s Journey in the most optimal way possible.
June’s Journey isn’t bad, but it’s not anything special. It’s like a compilation of the “best” features of other freemium mobile games, with no major innovations in terms of gameplay, presentation, or even polish. If you’re after something that’ll stretch your brain just a teeny bit once a day and you’re really into the 1920’s, it might be a good fit. Otherwise, it’s a game you should try out with a healthy dose of skepticism, if at all.
Are you a June’s Journey expert? How is your mansion looking? Have you five-starred every level? Let us know in the comments below!
it is so much fun to play.
ok den er perfakt