Adventure was released in April 1978. It was issued in standard black vinyl in the US, but in red vinyl (matching the cover and inner sleeve) in the UK. Upon its release it fared worse in the charts than its predecessor in the United States but entered the charts at No. 7 in the United Kingdom.
Ken Emerson of Rolling Stone wrote "By daring to be different, Adventure lives up to its title, but it also comes as something of a disappointment because it lacks the jagged tension and mysterious drama that imbued last year's Marquee Moon with such dark but lucid power."Robert Christgau was favourable, writing "I agree that it's not as urgent, or as satisfying, but that's only to say that Marquee Moon was a great album while Adventure is a very good one. The difference is more a function of material than of the new album's relatively clean, calm, reflective mood. The lyrics on Marquee Moon were shot through with visionary surprises that never let up. These are comparatively songlike, their apercus concentrated in hook lines that are surrounded by more quotidian stuff."
On the album's sound Mark Deming of AllMusic writes "Where Marquee Moon was direct and straightforward in its approach, with the subtleties clearly in the performance and not in the production, Adventure is a decidedly softer and less aggressive disc, and while John Jansen's production isn't intrusive, it does round off the edges of the band's sound in a way Andy Johns' work on the first album did not."