Venture Kid (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 03.10.2019 1

Review for Venture Kid on Nintendo Switch

Developed by FDG Entertainment, Venture Kid wears its inspirations proudly on its sleeve, and in many respects delivers a tight, enjoyable adventure. Scrape away the nostalgia value in this Megaman love letter, however, and its clear there is very little to make this a standout purchase over any of the hundreds of titles doing this better and more creatively. With very few moments of delight, it's probably better to shelve this one under enjoyable but forgettable.

Main protagonist Andy, for no real reason, takes it upon himself to stop the evil Dr. Teklov from unleashing his ultimate super-weapon on the world (sounds familiar?) by making his way through nine levels that, given 10 minutes and any person who has even thought about playing a game, could rattle off the names and general design of. Stages are bright, matching the theme perfectly, and firing off the synapses as soon as you see the stage title.

Ice Mine? Easy. Be prepared for Glaciers restricting progression, Floors of ice sliding Andy into oblivion and dodging Icicles dropping from the ceiling. Jungle? Wooded areas, navigating rocky caverns, and avoiding traps set by a long forgotten civilisation. Although each level offers multiple paths, there is little reason to take them due to the lack of reward given from exploring. Stages are also filled with forgettable, uninspired enemies that continue onto the final stage boss. Fought your way through street biker gangs? Expect the same once that boss theme kicks in. Monkeys dominating the Jungle stage? Look forward to the Gorilla on the last screen.

Screenshot for Venture Kid on Nintendo Switch

Each stage ends with a short scene imbuing Andy with a new weapon to wield. Initially, this feels rewarding and exciting - how this is going to be implemented, will traversal be impossible without clever use of the new abilities bestowed, and so on, and forth. It quickly becomes apparent that anything given serves no purpose, though, as any obstacle can be navigated or killed with the standard blaster from the outset. In a lot of cases using additional items can be a major hindrance, as rockets fire pointlessly into the air at obtuse angles, and double jumps more often than not result in bouncing off the ceiling or misjudging a gap entirely. With all these frustrations the desire to swap out the default pellet gun for any item earned quickly wanes.

That is not to say Venture Kid is without its plus points. Controls are tight and responsive, although jumping can often feel a bit floaty and unfair in the later stages. In-game actions are often rewarded with trophies that scratch the itch of any would-be completionists looking to squeeze any extra juice out of the hour or two worth of gameplay here. Replay modes are also welcome with the option of stage selection in Adventure mode and Boss rush unlocked after completion. Collecting all coins (yellow spots?) will also allow upgrading Andy in the item shop. Again this isn't necessary considering the challenge presented, but a nice touch to allow for an easier, more relaxed play-through.

The chiptune soundtrack stands out as the biggest draw, with compositions by Matt Creamer of Retro City Rampage fame. These elevate the basic level, and boss battles and would seamlessly stand tall alongside classic themes from the likes of DuckTales and a personal favourite Blue Shadow.

Screenshot for Venture Kid on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

For short, nostalgic blasts of fun Venture Kid succeeds in almost every respect. While there's fun to be had here, it's painfully clear that, just like playing the game itself, everything is just going through the motions. The excellent soundtrack may even be enough to warrant a dabble, but with nothing new brought to the table, there's no reason to spend your hard earned cash, when the games that this owes so much to its design and creation can be purchased. There are a lot worse than this, sure, but be aware that once completed the first time, multiple revisits are unlikely. Fun? Certainly, but with little variation in gameplay or level design there is not enough for this to stay interesting in the long term. With a little more risk-taking in development, a craving of individuality, and a creative spark, Venture Kid could have gone far.

Developer

Snikkabo

Publisher

FDG Entertainment

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Its fun reading 'bad' reviews like this, though that being said I was surprised it got a 5 and not lower.

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