(Is it me or do those snakes look like something that would fertilize an egg?)

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 game.


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Tomorrow's Heroes
Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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