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Venture Review

Developer: Coleco Publisher: Coleco
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

After the success of Activision, companies began to catch on that they could make a significant amount of money by releasing games on the Atari 2600. As a result, in 1982 and 1983 a lot of games were released, both by Atari and by third parties. One of the third party titles released during this period was Venture by Coleco. But, with there being so many games on the Atari 2600, is Venture one that is worth playing? Read on to find out.

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The concept behind Venture is this: you control a dot. Yes, that’s right, you control a dot, at least for most of the game. This dot must dodge objects that look like aliens and wander around the screen. On the screen are a number of rooms, each of which have two small entrance points. The objective of this game is to enter each of these rooms, dodge the enemies inside, collect an object that is in the room, and leave. Obviously, if any of the enemies touch you, you die and have to start over at the starting point at the bottom of the screen. When you actually enter a room, the screen shifts to the room taking up the whole screen and your dot turns into some sort of triangle-shaped object.

Aesthetically, Venture is decent for a 1982 third-party game. The color scheme is reasonably diverse and the characters are animated with pixels which are quite small. Your dot on the main screen is very small as well, possibly hard to see if you’re playing on too small of a TV. The sound effects in this game aren’t anything overly exciting, but they’re reasonably varied and consistent, so they add a lot to the game.

I would hesitate to label this a Pac-man clone, because it isn’t, but I wouldn’t deny the possibility that some influence of Pac-man is felt in this game, especially since the things you’re dodging in the main room do bear a striking resemblance to Pac-man’s ghosts. Still, the game is sufficiently different to set it apart from Pac-man and make it a viable game in itself.

So, is Venture a game worth owning? Maybe, maybe not. It isn’t really that great for the most part, and it brings with it little in the way of lasting value in my opinion. Still, some Atari 2600 gamers might be able to get a decent amount of entertainment value out of the game. I’d say give the game a try if you can find it cheap, but be very hesitant to pay too much for it.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 6.5
Written by Martin Review Guide