Nintendad

[Review] Venture Kid – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Snikkabo
  • Publisher: FDG Entertainment
  • Release Date: 02/05/2019
  • Price: $10.00 / £8.99
  • Review code provided by FDG Entertainment

GOAT

As a massive fan of the vigour and challenge of a well made platformer, when Venture kid was announced, I was excited to check it out. It also goes without saying that I’m a purveyor of the finer things in life. When you get to a certain age tastes develop and you establish a unique sense of style. As such, I’m a bit of an FDG fan boy. They are up there with the very best, potential GOATS in the indie scene. The games they choose to publish are always exceptional offerings. Oceanhorn, Blossom Tales and Monster Boy remain three of my favourite indie games on the Nintendo Switch.

So, my mad digressions about the senility of age aside, let’s get to the reason you’re likely all here – just how does Venture Kid hold up on Nintendo’s hybrid console?

Ready for adVenture?

Venture Kid is a throwback to the 8Bit era of, certainly this simple scribes childhood. The 2D platforming mechanics are exactly what you would expect from an NES title such as Bionic Comando, or Mega Man. To progress you must guide the titular Venture Kid from left to right, navigating perils and pitfulls along the way before defeating the level’s boss and moving on to the next, unique area. The challenge that the game provides starts at a nice tranquil pace but soon enough turns the difficulty all the way up to 75, offering some truly stress inducing moments along the way. The levels are incredibly well designed and after completing each of the games 8 stages, you receive a new unique ability that further adds variety to the way you approach successfully traversing the stages.

Whilst Venture Kid is a very short game, providing 2-3 hours of pure platforming, it’s more than enough. Any more would likely make you need a short break at an all inclusive resort, simply to relieve the stress.

I kid you not!

There are a few basic modes in Venture Kid. The games main campaign is a short and sweet offering. I say sweet, whilst being a nicely, well made and presented affair it’s anything but sweet. It’s big and nasty and it will take your favourite Pokemon card if you leave it unattended. Next up is Adventure mode which offers a less linear approach to completing the game as you can choose any of the games eight worlds in whichever order tickles your pickle. Finally, there is Survival mode which sees you trying to, um survive. The general idea is to run through random areas until you inevitably die. The amount of sections you successfully navigate will be your score for that particular survival run.

Great, kid! Don’t get cocky

Venture Kid’s elegance lies in its apparent simplicity. As aforementioned, the game is very minimalist in appearance. That’s not to take anything away from the work of the games developer though. Au contraire!! If the NES games on my Online NES app looked even half as good as his (SMB3 aside, obviously) I would spend more time revisiting them, rather than longing for Nintendo’s inevitable E3 announcement of the SNES online service. The pixel art is perfect, the sprites all incandescent and illuminated, and the backgrounds and environments are all varied and offer something a little bit different to their counterparts.

Much like a good piece of cheese needing a fine wine to pair with it, no self respecting pixel art would be complete without an opulent chip tune soundtrack. Luckily for Venture Kid, the sound track on offer is, as the kids would say, a proper banger. The tunes are catchy, upbeat and lively, never growing stale.

Conclusion

Venture Kid feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch and offers a hard as nails 2D platforming adventure that harks back to days of yore, offering nostalgia by the truckload. This adventure might be brief, but I kid you not, if you’re a fan of well made platforming decadence, look no further than this love letter to a time when games were equal parts fun and frustrating, in the best possible way.

Pros

  • Gorgeous Pixel art, paired with a fantastic chip tune soundtrack
  • Creative level design
  • At times, very challenging

Cons

  • Feels like an overture
  • At times, very challenging

Verdict
Venture Kid delivers a massive dose of throwback platforming goodness, albeit an incredibly bite sized portion.
3.5/5
Fifield

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