It's interesting to see how nostalgia has seeped into gaming in recent years. Sometimes it feels like you can't move for games that are aping days gone by.
Venture Kid is another one of them. Its part Alex Kidd, part Megaman, and trades on the cruelty of old-school gaming with a wicked grin on its pixel face.
This is a super tough slice of platforming, but it just about manages to walk the line between frustrated rage and glorious success. Just about.So it's kicking it old school then?
Yes indeed. The game wouldn't look that out of place on a Master System. Simple colours, simple sprites, and a couple of buttons at the bottom of the screen that let you jump and fire your weapon.
The controls work reasonably well. The longer you press on the jump button the higher you go, but as soon as you lift your finger off you reach the apex of your leap. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it never feels unfair.
You get new weapons as you finish levels. These give you new powers, but they have a set amount of charge, and once it's used up they're duds unless you top them up with a potion.
There's a huge variety of enemies to leap over and shoot, from skittering spiders to fat rats, deadly fish to bobbing UFOs. Then the usual array of spikes and hazards to try not to put your face into.
And it all gels together pretty well. As you might imagine from a game that wears its nostalgia on its sleeve, it's not the most original experience, but it scratches all the right hardcore itches.So it's worth a play then?
Yes. But with a proviso. When I say the game is hard, I mean it. If you're not prepared to pull your hair out every now and then, you should probably give this one a miss.
It doesn't hold your hand, and if it did it'd probably drag you into a well and throw you down it.
But if you don't mind your mobile gaming to be venomous and spiteful, then you should definitely pick this one up.
It's sharp in all the right places, old fashioned in all the right ways, and an awful lot of hateful fun.