At first glance, the 2D pixel art of Reventure might look like a typical puzzle platformer, possibly with some Metroidvania gameplay, but includes something entirely unique. Instead of simply trying to save a princess, the ultimate goal is to unlock all 100 different endings. This might sound tedious, or even confusing, but just about every death or action can create a conclusion to the story, some much more ridiculous than others. Encouraging numerous play throughs, Reventure is loaded with creative replayability (hence the name “Reventure”) and some of the most humorous, 4th wall breaking meta gameplay you’ll ever find
When the quest first begins, the player is tasked with finding the King’s daughter but a sword and shield must first be found before the exiting drawbridge can be lowered. After a few jumps and screens away, the player finds a sword next to an old man speaking the famous Zelda line “it is dangerous to go alone.” Once obtaining the sword, it is only natural to take a couple test swings. Ooops, you stabbed the old man as you were just messing around, the game provides an ending, and it is now game over where the player needs to start again. After a hilarious conclusion to the story not thinking this NPC was assigned collision detection, the player wakes up in bed a few seconds later and makes another attempt. This time, after obtaining the sword, the player is careful not to accidentally stab the old man and makes his way back to the King’s throne room. Oh darn, you accidentally killed the King because you pressed the wrong button in front of him, murdering him in a similar manor as the old man. Here is another hilarious ending and the player starts over again as a new avatar, continuing the story.
Finding these endings might take a few seconds or they can be much more involved taking many minutes. Finding endings often isn’t as easy as killing an NPC through. For example, after obtaining the sword, the player can sneak around a dungeon to kill a dragon. There are even items and Metroidvania-type level traversal to allow the player to venture deeper into the quest. The grapple hook, for example, let’s player reach higher ledges, the shovel can open new areas below, and bombs can open new paths. For players that really like to explore, secret hints can be found and accessed from the pause menu. One hint I found simply said “watch you step.” While good words to live by in general, I wasn’t quite sure what the game was fully trying to say. That is, until I literally tripped on a one pixel high rock right outside the starting point, resulting in me falling over and earning one ending about 3 seconds after starting a quest. Control is also very simple, with one button to jump and other to attack or use items. Graphically, Reventure is composed of pixelated characters akin to something you might find on the Atari 2600 but is animated with staggering fluidity. The soundtrack is also lighthearted and fits the mood of the visuals and gameplay to near perfection.
Although leaking with charm and fulfilling completionists dreams, there are a few housekeeping flaws that start to get in the way after a couple dozen endings have been found. It would have been nice if a map or tracking system was implemented as it can be difficult to monitor every place you been, where you need to go, where certain items are, or what you did before. The amount of invisible walls can make certain locations seem a bit unfair or tedious too. There are times, especially later in the quest, when it would have been nice to continue if the player accidentally re-triggers an ending that was already obtained without having to start over.
Reventure is one of those rare and unexpected treats. Blowing away expectations and conventional gameplay tropes, this is one humorous eShop title that substitutes the norms for creativity and replayability while rewarding exploration and experimentation.
Also Try: Rogue Legacy
Don’t Forget About: Half Minute Hero (PSP)
Wait For It: a Chrono Trigger port on modern consoles