JOURNEY: The Hottest Band in the Country?

I was never a super huge JOURNEY fan (they had their moments), but I was a big-time arcade freak as a child! I do not however, remember an arcade game in 1983 that featured the band.

The hottest band in the country is about to take over the planet…as stated in the Bally/Midway promo arcade flyer from way back in 1983.


I am showing my age now.

Evidently since their Escape and Frontiers albums were so successful, Bally/Midway jumped on this opportunity to brand an arcade game that was based on the band.

Although they have cartoon bodies, the faces of the members are shown as black-and-white photographs, taken of the band while on tour.

The game’s theme is pretty primitive (by today’s standards). The game starts out with the player choosing one of five planets to travel to. Each planet features a mini-game starring one of the Journey band members, with the goal of collecting his musical instrument (with Steve Perry, it’s a microphone).

Once the instruments are collected Journey performs a concert!

Get this:

During the concert sequence, an edited, looped version of “Separate Ways” is played through an on board cassette player inside the machine. That’s right I said “cassette”….haha!

While the concert sequence is being performed, the player takes control of Journey‘s roadie, a large man (sic) whose object is to keep the fans from rushing the stage by placing himself in front of one of three entrances to the stage. Once the fans do rush the stage they run off with the band’s instruments (little bastards)…then the game simply starts at the beginning again.



Given the nature of the game’s build out, it’s probably safe to say that very few of the original arcade cabinets are still in good working order, which could also explain why the game is pretty darn scarce these days.

I guess the game was pulled from arcade’s and was not so popular as the Journey game was voted number nine of the Top 10 Worst Licensed Game Ideas (ever) in the “Connect” section of the June 2007 issue of Game Informer magazine.

Perhaps this was just another companies attempt at cashing in on the band since the band had previously appeared in a video game for the Atari 2600, titled Journey Escape two years earlier in 1981.

*info + game facts from Wiki




One thought on “JOURNEY: The Hottest Band in the Country?

  1. Very cool find here Kinger! Excellent write-up about an arcade game I “vaguely” remember seeing “back in the day”. I was always heading to the pool tables and pin-ball machines, yet that “sliver of memory” seeing this Journey machine being “there” has been dug up from this post.

    Yes, I would love to own this Journey arcade machine now. I will not tell a Metal lie. Only the KISS pin-ball machine would be my dream arcade collectible to own. 🙂

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