You are an unassuming adventurer, tasked by the king to find the legendary sword and save the kidnapped princess from the Dark Lord. A fairly typical quest, right? Well, that’s where the typical-ness of the game ends. Though the context of your adventure is simple. However, how it will progress, and more importantly how it will end, will vary greatly. Explore the kingdom to find 100 different endings. Finding each ending ranges from simple to complex. Perhaps you’ll slay the dragon. Perhaps you’ll try to romance the dragon. Maybe the dragon would like some food? It’s up to you to explore all these timelines in Reventure!
Reventure is available on Steam for $7.99.
You play a blonde hero in a green tunic, called to adventure by the king. Your quest is simple: rescue the princess. However, as this hero will find, this quest will be anything but simple (or maybe it will be). That’s really all the context there is for the story, and really that’s all there needs to be. The rest will come in the form of the 100 endings you can achieve in the game. Any action that could theoretically end your quest, either by killing you, killing someone else, or quitting the quest for some reason, is available. You can kill the shopkeeper, marry a boulder, fall off a mountain, or usurp the king. While many games say you can “do anything,” Reventure is one of the few that lives up to that boast.
Reventure is primarily a comedy. A gory, silly, and referential comedy, at that. Each ending is given a short description of what happened. After that, the game gives a explanation to how your hero woke up in his home later, or how his lineage carried on through offspring, natural and unnatural alike. Reventure delights in taking jabs at video game tropes and making joke references. Generally speaking, referential humor is not high quality. However, because Reventure rarely basks in the joke for long, any groaners are quickly forgotten. The writing plays directly into the gameplay. Every ending is a punch line to the set up that was your adventure. Though the game doesn’t always have the best writing, every ending is worth at least a chuckle.
The game plays out with very simple controls. You have a button for jumping and one for attacking, as well as the stick to move. Different items you find also use the attack button, but are context sensitive. For example, the hook claw won’t latch onto anything unless you’re standing under something it can attach to. Bombs won’t be planted unless there’s something to be blown up. Though there are plenty of items in the game to help you traverse the world and get endings, you won’t want to get them all at once. As part of its subversion of video game logic, Reventure makes it so with every item held, you become heavier. Therefore, your jump becomes smaller and smaller. Eventually, you’ll learn which areas can be accessed by what tier jump you have available, and what items and shortcuts exist to help get you over anyway.
Although Reventure plays like a 2D side scrolling action game, it is, at its core, a puzzle game. Many of the early endings you’ll achieve are simple enough. Kill this guy, die to this thing, etc. However, the further into the game you get, the more complex the endings become. Not necessarily because they require multiple steps, but because of how you get to them with the right items. As stated, items weigh you down, so how to get to point A from point B, with item X, becomes a puzzle. As long as you have item X, you don’t have enough jump to get to point A the normal route. So maybe you need to find an alternate path. Even later endings require more analytical thinking.
“Reventure… is, at its core, a puzzle game.”
Not to revisit the item weight mechanic too much, but it really is central to how Reventure is played. The world is relatively small (and for good reason since you’ll be traversing it a lot). Areas become accessible or inaccessible based on your jump height. Again, your jump height is based on how many items you’re carrying. Soon enough, you’ll be figuring out which endings exist, but deducing how to accomplish them. It really comes down to bringing along only the bare essential items needed to A) get to the place you need to go to, and B) have the items you need, if any, to get an ending.
Every time you get an ending, your adventurer is sent back to his home, ready to start again. This is assuming he survived whatever ending you got. Sometimes, you’ll switch over to a new character who will take up the quest. Many of the endings do unlock a “skin” of some kind. If you fall in lava, you’ll wake up with horrible burns. If you get crushed under an elevator, you’ll wake up as a boneless monstrosity, flopping about. None of the different skins affect gameplay or endings, they’re just fun unlockables. There are also plenty of skins found on the Steam Workshop to download.
“Soon enough, you’ll be figuring out which endings exist, but deducing how to accomplish them.”
A new skin isn’t the only change that might happen from an ending. In Reventure, certain endings will change the world, permanently. Since you’re not just going back in time or a new world (well it happens once or twice), the world bares the effects of your actions. Some of these changes are cosmetic, while others are functional. A portal might open up to make travel to a far location easier. New items may appear to help you find new endings. Short cuts can open up that make previously unobtainable endings obtainable.
Finally, special mention goes to Reventure’s Twitch integration. By linking the game to your channel, you can have your viewers interact with the game in slight, but amusing ways. Viewers names are entered into a pool of names that can be selected for each new incarnation of the adventurer. Additionally, anything that viewer says in chat will appear in game. A minor, but still fun, interaction.
Graphics & Music
While Reventure does have simple mechanics that inform deceptively complex puzzles, its audio-visual presentation is just simple. As with most indie games, Reventure is pixel-based. Certainly understandable given the studio’s smaller size and the game’s wealth of skins to use. However, there is something lost in the simplicity of its character designs. While most read just fine for what they are, others are indecipherable blobs. The art style is simply too basic, and the pixel count too low, to effectively convey what the character looks like, most of the time. Of course, Reventure doesn’t have to look like a AAA, realistic, game; no one would (or should) demand that. Yet, if the graphics were a little better, the pixel count a little higher, the world and its characters would be much better realized. The style isn’t bad, it’s just lacking.
Musically the game is quite charming. Though it won’t be setting anyone’s music players on fire, the music is certainly catchy. During my adventures, I found myself humming along to the different zone themes. There is one track in particular, for ending #100, that really impressed me. Reventure’s music is quite clearly inspired by those found in The Legend of Zelda series. Of course, many things within the game are clearly inspired by Nintendo’s fabled fantasy hero. The rest of the audio, and arguably the music too, is rather basic. Like the graphics, this doesn’t necessarily act as a point against the game.