Venture (video game)

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Promotional artwork for Venture, showcasing the arcade cabinet
Platform(s)Arcade (original)
Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Intellivision
Mode(s)Single player

Venture is a 1981 fantasy-themed arcade game by Exidy. It was released as a launch title for the ColecoVision in 1982, then later ported to the Atari 2600 and Intellivision.


The goal of Venture is to collect treasure from a dungeon. Winky is equipped with a bow and arrow and explores a dungeon with rooms and hallways. The hallways are patrolled by large, tentacled monsters named Hallmonsters, which cannot be killed, injured, or stopped in any way. Once in a room, Winky may kill monsters, avoid traps and gather treasures. If they stay in any room too long, a Hallmonster will enter the room, chase and kill them. In this way, the Hallmonsters serve the same role as "Evil Otto" in the arcade game Berzerk. The more quickly the player finishes each level, the higher their score.

The goal of each room is only to steal the room's treasure. In most rooms, it is possible (though difficult) to steal the treasure without defeating the monsters within. Some rooms have traps that are only sprung when the player picks up the treasure. For instance, in "The Two-Headed Room", two 2-headed ettins appear the moment the player picks up the prize.

Winky dies if he touches a monster or Hallmonster. Dead monsters decay over time and their corpses may block room exits, delaying Winky and possibly allowing the Hallmonster to enter. Shooting a corpse causes it to regress back to its initial death phase. The monsters themselves move in specific patterns but may deviate to chase the player, and the game's AI allows them to dodge the player's shots with varying degrees of "intelligence" (for example, the snakes of "The Serpent Room" are relatively slow to dodge arrows, the trolls of "The Troll Room" are quite adept at evasion).

The game consists of three different dungeon levels with different rooms. After clearing all the rooms in a level the player advances to the next. After three levels the room pattern and monsters repeat, but at a higher speed and with a different set of treasures.

The different dungeons in each level are as follows:

  • Level 1 - The Wall Room, The Serpent Room, The Skeleton Room, The Goblin Room
  • Level 2 - The Two-Headed Room, The Dragon Room, The Spider Room, The Troll Room
  • Level 3 - The Genie Room, The Demon Room, The Cyclops Room, The Bat Room

The highest score on the original game was set in 1982 by 15-year-old Randy Kuntz of Fairview, Alberta.[1]


The ColecoVision version of Venture was reviewed in Video magazine in its "Arcade Alley" column where its graphics and background music were praised. Reviewers predicted that the game's "complex play routine and strategies" which had made the game seem "out of place" in the arcade would guarantee the home release's popularity.[2]:112 It would go on to receive a Certificate of Merit in the category of "Best Arcade-to-Home Video Game Translation" at the 4th annual Arkie Awards.[3]:108 Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games in 1983 complained of the repetition of the first three levels after completing them, but said that otherwise "ColecoVision Venture is just as enjoyable as the arcade version".[4]

Jan Yarnot reviewed the Coleco version of Venture in The Space Gamer No. 58.[5] Yarnot commented that "I wish the designer were credited. He deserves it. The cartridge is a lot of fun and should remain one of our favorites for years. I recommend it."[5]


  1. ^ Greg Michetti (May 18, 1982). "Captain Video". Edmonton Journal.
  2. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (December 1982). "Arcade Alley: ColecoVision–The New State of the Art". Video. Reese Communications. 6 (9): 26, 112. ISSN 0147-8907.
  3. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (February 1983). "Arcade Alley: The Fourth Annual Arcade Awards". Video. Reese Communications. 6 (11): 30, 108. ISSN 0147-8907.
  4. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (Spring 1983). "Home Video Games: Colecovision: Alive With Five". Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games. p. 50.
  5. ^ a b Yarnot, Jan (December 1982). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer. Steve Jackson Games (58): 49.

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