Reventure

A game by Pixelatto for PC, not yet released.
Reventure - originally titled Lonk’s Adventure - is a humorous open-world platformer that plays on a number of video gaming tropes and borrows a number of design elements from The Legend of Zelda, as evidenced by the game’s original title. The entire experience is based around the fact that the game offers 100 individual endings and encourages players to experiment extensively to find them all. On its surface, this sounds like one big gimmick (which, to be fair, it is), but there's actually quite a lot of strategy involved in reaching many of these endings.



Things start out in a straightforward manner reminiscent of many classic video games: Evil forces have abducted the fair princess, and you – a lone adventurer – have been chosen by the king to rescue her and bring peace back to the land… except this is no ordinary adventure. In fact, you might walk out your front door, trip over a rock, and faceplant before you ever set foot in the castle, thus ending your adventure and achieving one of the 100 endings.


You begin the game with a very high floaty jump, which lets you jump onto 3-high stacks of blocks stacked. When you get out of bed in your humble home, you have no offensive capabilities or equipment, but you can explore the environment to find a sword, shield, hookshot, shovel, bombs, and other equipment to aid you on your quest. However, each piece of equipment you pick up further encumbers you, reducing your jump height and therefore the reducing paths that are available to you, so you need to think about what equipment you truly need to move forward.


Early on, it’s easy to reach several endings in just a matter of seconds. For instance, travelling west from your house lets you enter a cave where an old man issues the now-trite statement “It’s dangerous to go alone!”. Behind the old man is a sword jutting up from a stone all Excalibur-like, and pulling it out grants you a short-range melee weapon… which you can use to kill whomever you like, with humorous results.


Kill the old man and you’ll get Ending #1 which jokes about how you were so eager to try out your new sword that you just jammed into the first guy you saw. The game begins anew, four years later, and explains that you spent that time in prison for murder, and you get to try again. Go collect the sword once more and kill a guard for another ending, dice an enemy into tiny pieces for another, and murder the king for another. A gallery keeps track of all of the endings you have uncovered up to that point, with a little picture representing each one.


Some of the endings result in your death, but the game goes on, spawning a new character who picks up where the other left off, so don’t expect to play as Lonk for very long. Often these characters are related to previous character in some way, and they have silly names like Tink, Lump, Lonkmaninoff. On the other hand, sometimes you’ll survive what should have been your certain death, only to return home with severe burns or bandages covering your body… or an old character will return to the adventure after years in a coma. This is all in service to the game’s silly atmosphere in which nothing can be taken seriously.


In nice touch, the game keeps track of how much time has passed (in years and days) based on all of your setbacks, and there are certain elements in the world that are persistent. For instance, if you jump off a cliff and splatter on the rocks below, future runs will have you encountering the bloodstain. Some endings are only achievable once, allowing safe passage on future attempts, but more often than not, you’ll be trying to actively avoid seeing the same ending twice, as doing so returns you home to try again. Adding to the humor, any repeated endings are described as memories of past events or dreams, and there are lots of variations on these to add a bit more humor when you mess up.


Sometimes your actions create permanent changes in the world, such as adopting a bunch of cats which then sit around the castle on future runs. Reaching a certain ending allows you to grab a sword from a chest inside your house (instead of the nearby cave), and one ending has you ending up naked, whereupon you gain a wardrobe in your house that lets you dress in previously-unlocked outfits. Outfits are obtained by completing various endings as well. For instance, entering a chimney and delivering presents – consisting of copies of Lonk’s Adventure, which everyone loves – sees you return home to start your next run in a Santa suit.


Other objects change over time. For instance, there is an empty ledge above the cave where you find the sword. In later runs, a bird’s next appears, followed by an egg, and eventually a bird which apparently hatched from the egg. If you climb up onto the ledge, you can grab the bird (it’s a chicken) and use it to glide slowly to the ground while jumping. This is similar to cucco gliding, which was introduced in Link's Awakening and has become a staple in The Legend of Zelda series.


There aren’t many enemies in the game, and most of them don’t pose much of a threat, but that’s because defeating enemies isn’t really the point of the game. You can bypass most enemies entirely, which is great because running around without a sword lets you jump a bit higher. Even so, you can only take three hits before being killed, although there are a few insta-death traps like lava and bottomless pits… but those lead to their own endings, so you’ll want to dive in at least once.


The sword lets you slice through enemies (or NPC’s, or animals), which perish in one hit, while a shield lets you avoid damage. The shovel lets you dig down through dirt, which is generally a different color than the surroundings, although there are a couple of areas where diggable dirt is purposely hidden, requiring you to pay attention to context clues to reach new areas and endings.


The hookshot lets you grapple on to special blocks in a straight line above you, allowing you to reach great heights, and this is one of the best tools for discovering hidden areas. Bombs let you clear certain obstructions, but you’re not able to use them except in designated areas. In fact, all controls are contextual, so you have one button to jump and another to perform all other actions. If you’re standing on diggable dirt and you have a shovel, you will dig instead of swinging your sword, and the same goes for grappling blocks above you or dropping bombs.


The goal of the game is to steadily push further out from your staring position to discover new areas and therefore new endings, and maybe even rescue the princess. You’ll quickly discover that you can’t just grab every piece of equipment and go, due to the aforementioned overencumbrance, but there are certain areas that you can’t reach based on the equipment you’re carrying.


For instance, the castle guard won’t let you go east of the castle without a sword, but without a sword, you can jump high enough to get on top of the castle and bypass this door. But if you’re carrying a shovel, you can’t make that jump. But you can also find a cannon that fires you into the air, blasting you huge distances across the map to overcome some of these situations. Since you’re going to be finishing and restarting the game over and over, usually very quickly, you can decide to make a dedicated sword run or hookshot run to reach areas you want to explore.


Aesthetically, the game offers very simple visuals, 2-frame animations, and a retro soundtrack. Sprites are chunky and appear to be super low resolution, but in actuality they are high resolution done up in a chunky style. As such, scaling and rotation is done very smoothly instead of through chunky animations typical of games in the 8-bit era. While inauthentic, the developers have gone out of their way to create something that isn’t meant to be taken seriously or even truly represent retro gaming, so it’s neither here nor there.



2D CRED
Reventure - originally titled Lonk’s Adventure - was developed by Pixelatto, a studio based in M├ílaga, Spain, and headed by Javi Cepa. The game got its start as Lonk’s Greedy Adventure as part of a 72-hour Ludum Dare competition, and featuring six individual endings. The game released as an early access title in 2018 with more than 50 endings before its final release of 100 endings.


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