Back in 1981 when this game came
out at the arcades, it was about as close as you would get to
playing Dungeons and Dragons in a video game. It featured
multiple levels, different rooms, treasure and lots of
monsters. Sure, there was no magic and you could not go up
levels, but those were simpler times. It was nice to play
something similar to Dungeons and Dragons.
The game has you
controlling Winky, an adventurer who looks like a relative of
Evil Otto of Berzerk fame. Your weapon of choice is a bow and
arrow. It must be one of those Hollywood bows as it never runs
out of arrows. That or Winky is carrying around a huge quiver
full of arrows. Your job is to go into each of the four rooms
per level and get the treasure. Simple enough. But the problem
is that each room either has monsters in your way or traps. And
if this wasn't enough, there are these big creatures that look
like something from Space Invaders that roam the halls and if
you linger too long in a room, will come in and kill you.
Unlike the room monsters, these creatures are invincible.
The first thing I
noticed when playing the arcade version was it was alot more
difficult than the Colecovision version. The arcade near my
house as a youth never had a Venture arcade machine, so I was
not too familiar with it. The first version I played was the
Colecovision and I mastered it. I could beat the game without
too much problem and I would never lose a guy on the first
level. Well, the arcade version was a whole different story.
To start off with, the hall monsters were faster, more plentiful
and came into the rooms quicker. In the rooms, some of the
monsters were quite good at dodging your arrows, where on the
Colecovision, they were slow moving targets.
(This is where I learned the meaning of being teased.)
What is nice is that
there are multiple levels. Each level has four rooms and once
you complete all the rooms, you move to the next level. It is
also nice that they show you how many of the treasures you have
found and how many are left out there. One thing I must warn
you about. When you first look at the large screen that shows
all the treasures (it only shows the ones you found, the others
are just question marks), it gives you the illusion that there
are a bunch of levels and a bunch of different treasures to
find. The truth is that after three levels, if I am correct,
you go through the same levels again. And once you get through
all the levels and find all the treasures, you start over
again. I was bummed when I found this out. I was hoping for a
screen saying great job or something. Oh well, such is life.
Venture is a fun
game and while it was a shock to find out how much harder the
arcade version is over the Colecovision version (you think I
would have learned from Tapper or Up n Down), I still enjoy it.
While better dungeon games have come, it is still nice to go
back to a time when we dreamed of what could be.
This is just a review of the arcade machine.
If you are looking for the actual arcade machine, you may want
to check out ebay. Click below to see if you can find this