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Journey is one of several "experiments" in formatting that Infocom undertook around this time (some others being Nord & Bert, Beyond Zork, Border Zone, and of course the infamous Infocomics). This is one of their less successful attempts. The game is fairly enjoyable to play by itself, makes a nice change of pace, and presents the gamer with a new way of doing things to try to assimilate, but ultimately the reduced interaction, and the difficulty of doing challenging, interesting puzzles with this parser would have made a whole line of such games rather less interesting.
Gameplay is disappointingly shallow, from both RPG and adventure perspectives. Aside from some rudimentary party management, the RPG element has little depth and the puzzles are too easy to present any sort of meaningful challenge to most adventure gamers. As a choose-your-own-adventure game, Journey: The Quest Begins is quite good. But as a strict adventure game or RPG, it fails to take advantage of what a reactive computer can do that a non-reactive book cannot, and thus isn't very enjoyable.