“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

-Samuel Beckett

The goal of Reventure, from Pixelatto Games, is to fail. Presented as a side scrolling platformer mashed with a choose your own adventure game, your challenge is to discover all 100 of the increasingly creative ways in which you’ll fail. And it turns out, failing is fun.

The first thing I noticed was the pixelated visuals. They’re functional, but extremely basic. There were times when I struggled to see how an object on the screen was the same thing described to me in the text. I would have appreciated a little more detail in those moments, but I adjusted to it eventually.

I started my journey when I left my house, walked forward, and instantly tripped over a rock. The guard who saw this was the same one tasked with giving me my big quest (to rescue the princess of course). He began to doubt my abilities to complete it, and that was it. This scene was the first ending, and an introduction to the humor in the game. I find the humor in some games cringe worthy and a bit lame (Undertale wasn’t for me), but here it gave me a few silent chuckles, and I didn’t mind it being the basis for the game.

I can’t say much else about the plot because the fun of the game is tied directly to finding all the different endings and secrets. It’s not about saving the princess, defeating bad guys, or collecting the loot. To end your journey in either death, embarrassment, or even going to jail, is the real progress.

Sure, I could do the “right” thing and try to save that princess. And I thought I was actually close to doing that, but… what does that lever do? How about the door over there? And where does this pipe lead? My curiosity often got the better of me and I’d end up losing all my progress because of one wrong (or right) move. This is where Reventure really shines: it knows how to pull you in and make you play by its rules. No matter what you’re doing, you’re making progress.

Controls are simplistic and predictable for an 8bit style platformer. And that’s good because there’s no tutorial. This is only bad when picking up the different items that help you traverse the world. I was wanting at least a pop-up of text letting me know which button and context activates the new gear, but I just had to figure it out myself.

The sound effects do enhance the humor and storytelling at points, but the music isn’t anything you haven’t already heard in a retro or throwback style game like this. I prefer to play my switch in bed so I found myself muting it and not missing much overall. 

I recommend playing Reventure in bursts, Constantly restarting from the beginning will get tiresome for most. But looking past the simplicity of the visuals and sound, I appreciate the creativity behind the gameplay, and I think most people will if they approach it this way. It’s just too original to ignore.

~R. J. McCarthy

DFAT was provided a review code for this game