PAX West 2017: First Impressions – Original Journey (Nintendo Switch)

This game is… weird. You want a first impression? Okay, here it is: it looks weird. The heroes are “space-faring vegetation.” And if you haven’t already clicked away from this article, I commend you.

If you’re still here, let’s continue… space-faring vegetation wearing mech suits.

Are you still here? Hmm. Okay. Well, let’s talk about the game, then.

Original Journey is a hand-drawn shmup with a highly unique art style and some rogue elements. It carves its own place into the lineup of indies on Nintendo Switch with its sketch-like animation—black and sepia, really—that’s surprising in its complexity. It’s not easily forgotten, that’s for darn sure.

The game is also narrative-heavy, as the vegetable people—potatoes, I guess, they’re called the Ato—search for a power source to save their home world. The story takes place on the Shadow planet, where they’ve come to find the power source, and the theming is actually quite strongly focused on exploring a heavy topic: colonization, and the issues, dangers, and realities that arise from it.

It’s not all potato stories, however. There’s combat in your mech suit, wherein your character uses two weapons at a time which are interchangeable as you progress through the game. The demo gave players a shotgun and a gatling gun, but a blade and sniper rifle were available along the way. The capacity of certain abilities increases—ie. your ammo carry limits—as you progress, but it’s definitely an “every shot counts” type of game even within the waves and waves of enemies you’re taking out.

Fight the baddies, go upgrade, fight more, enjoy the narrative, beat the boss. It’s a formula that’s well known because it works, but unlike a lot of shmups, Original Journey has a compelling plot and one-of-a-kind art to accompany it.

Will the rest of the game provide as much enjoyment and continue to impress? That remains to be seen, but it’s certainly promising. It can be played on Steam right now, but will come to the Switch in the near future (so we’ll hold off on playing more until that time, as usual).


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Digg
Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

Leave A Response