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|Rating:||1.5 out of 5|
I never Played Venture in the arcades since I was much more of a FPS space-battle sort of player. Even Dragon's Lair didin't entice me although I later became an ardent laser-disc fan before DVD came along and fuckin' ruined it. So, anyway... The arcade controls for Venture are identical to the 2600 - a joystick and fire button.
Currently, I'm embarrassed to admit how much fun I had with Coleco's home version of Venture for the Atari 2600. It wasn't a challenging game, nor difficult. It was actually pretty lame, but I think the allure was the idea of traveling from room-to-room and having each one fill the screen upon entry. Yeah, I'm as lame as this game :)
For unknown reasons I did like Atari's Adventure, despite a general hatred of RPG-ish titles. When I found Coleco's Venture, I assumed it would be of the same ilk and I'd dig it. Well, I did dig it, but it sucked ass by comparison. there were times when I'd have bought anything that was compatible with my beloved Atari 2600.
In the 4-room maze you are a dot (a pixel for you techie types). You're dot's name is Winky and he's deep inside a dungeon trying to collect treasure without being overpowered by monsters. All good dungeons have monsters, right? Winky becomes a smiley-face when you enter a room and it fills the screen. Armed with a bow & Arrow, you can shoot the monsters in the rooms, but avoid contact - even with the dead ones - or lose a life.
You begin by wandering the hallways as the erratic Hall Monsters close in. Actually, I'm not sure if they "close in" as much as scurry around in some sort of pattern. Drinking less prior to game-play should reveal the answer. Prior to entring a room, Winky can't shoot the Hall Monsters. His only option is to avoid them.
Inside each room your bow & arrow (coincidentally, represented by a dot) aims in the direction you're traveling. Shooting a monster kills him, but his carcass lingers and is deadly upon contact and oddly you can't shoot through a fallen monster. Anyone who sports a bow & arrow naturally wants to put it in full-auto mode and waste everything in sight, but shooting monsters before securing the treasure results in no points. Winky's high score rests in the ability to dodge the monsters until the treasure is scooped up. Once you get the treasure and leave a room, you can not go back into that room.
The four "A" and "B" combos give you 4 skill levels to choose from. They range from bordom to idiotic, but each one will push the challenge a bit farther.
Hall Monsters exist in the "map view" of each of the 4 room scenarios and can't be shot at - which means they won't go away or die either. Monsters inside the rooms are fair game and should be shot after snagging the treasure (more points, remember?). Hanging out or chilling in a room will only attract more despair. If Winky stops to wonder why this game lacks any sort of real detail, a vicious Hall Monster will appear and head straight for Winky. Like Evil Otto, this monster can't be killed - RUN!!
In the Wall Room, electrified moving walls will try to do you in, but the path through them is ridiculously simple. this is where adding beer can make the challenge more interesting than fidgeting with the Difficulty Switches.
Once you have cleared treasure from the 4 rooms, you'll be presented with 4 more rooms. After this the scenario repeats with the 2 sets of 4 rooms. This game would be much more tolerable if there were more rooms.
Venture II was created by Tim Snider as a sequel to the classic game Venture. He added more wall and stashed treasure in more remote areas that makes you scramble to avoid the final Monster who rages right at you. Additionally, he changed the monsters which gives a nice face-lift to the Venture concept.
Batari's hack of Venture looks much like the original until you clear the 2nd lvel and discover that he has restored the missing 3rd level! Yay!
I still can't explain why I liked this game so much as a kid or why it still makes me smile when I play it. Make no mistake - it's not a very good game and I wonder how well the arcade version fared quarter-wise. In fact, 2600 Venture sucks ass - but if you're into a giddy treasure-fest with smiling Winky, load this baby up and keep a stocked cooler nearby.