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Most games give you the illusion of choice. Even those that purport to give you multiple narrative threads will always tie them all up into one tidy knot at the end.
Reventure tries something a little different. It offers you 100 possible endings to your story.
In practice, it plays like a classic adventure-platformer with a dusting of old-school text adventure sprinkled on top. The core action is a solid case of running, jumping, and slashing, with a string of context-sensitive items (swords, bombs, grapple hooks) bound to the use button.
But while you’ll immediately find yourself bounding around a semi-open fantasy world, your progress will soon be curtailed by one of multiple endings. That might sound like a rather frustrating prospect, but it really isn’t. Indeed, the creative, humorous way Reventure deals with death or failure is one of its highlights.
Your pixel-art adventurer (named Tinku by default) essentially finds themselves in a recurring Groundhog Day-style time loop, where coming to a sticky end at the mouth of a dragon or a pool of lava is merely a chance to try something different in a few seconds time. Amusingly, your next spawn may bear the scars of your previous life, or else take the form of a direct descendent, and each new death will be another Polaroid on a gruesome corkboard.
And what deaths they are. If you can imagine it within Reventure’s limited pixel-art toolset, then you’ll probably be able to execute it. Try embedding that freshly discovered sword into a friendly guard’s head, or the King’s, or any other NPC for that matter. Have you noticed that you get heavier with each item collected? What happens if you collect too much stuff? Try it!
The world doesn’t stay exactly the same between lives either. Despite the looping action, time moves forward in a linear fashion (until a certain point, anyway, which we won’t spoil). Giant bird eggs will hatch, items will change location, enemies will alter their behavior.
Now, just occasionally, when you’re on a run of consecutive ‘surprise’ endings, Reventure can come to seem a tad gimmicky and even tiresome. The joke can start to wear a little thin.
But then you’ll embark on a protracted run and uncover a whole heap of secret areas and bonus trinkets. At this point, Reventure reveals itself to be a whole lot deeper and more nuanced than it initially seems.
Reventure is a platform adventure with a lot to give, including an intriguing secondary purpose. Beyond the usual reason to stay alive in-game, it offers 100 reasons to die, and an incentive to discover them all. And that marks it out as something quite special.
- Ingenious time-loop mechanic
- Tight platformer gameplay
- Secret and humour-filled semi-open world
- Can feel a tad gimmicky at times