An on-the-rise archaeologist/tomb raider, a knack for running into trouble, famous archaeologist father, puzzle-solving extraordinaire…who could this be? Indiana Jones? Lara Croft? Nathan Drake? All good guesses, but here the man being spoken of is none other than…Adam Venture? Yes, Adam Venture, son of NotSoGreatAnAd Venture, is the terribly executed play on words character being discussed here and, yes, he does have his own video game series. In fact, that is what this article is all about. Adam’s Venture is an episodic look at the epic tales of this heroic man who courageously…ahh, just stop! Let’s be real; this guy is no Indy and this series is no Uncharted. The game doesn’t stack up to the best, but is it ANY good?
In an effort to not bore readers with the details of the story, it will be kept short: the story is not very good. Starting with episode 1, of three, or Adam’s Venture: The Search for the Lost Garden, players will discover Adam is not the cool hero or heroine people are used to in this genre. His goofy antics and mild manner are somewhat entertaining at first, but this quickly wears off. The overall story arc is put together poorly and the character development is non-existent. The main enemy is actually intriguing at first, but that also quickly goes away as delve further into the game. The next two “episodes” are no better, in fact, it only gets worse. Episode 2 and 3 introduce more poorly developed characters and plot lines, making just finishing this series a struggle.
Not to be outdone, the gameplay of the Adam Venture series is equally bad. As with the story, it starts off fairly amusing with your typical adventure-type puzzle-solving and, honestly, the lack of any type of fighting mechanics is a welcome change; though, this gets old fast. The monotony of going from one puzzle to the other on a linear, set path is hard to get past and it only becomes more apparent the more that you play. The puzzles are actually quite varied, but their quality varies just as much, from game to game. Math-based, matching, and memory adventure-style puzzles make up the majority of the game, but some of them are just awfully implemented, especially in the last episode. Aside from the puzzles, their just is not much else to talk about. Exploring is limited by the linear model and, as mentioned earlier, combat simply does not occur. This really hurts the series’ two later installments as players find themselves wondering why they cannot just knock this guard out or chase that guy down.
The visuals for this game are actually not half bad. Running on Unreal Engine 3, the game looks pretty good and OnLive handles it smoothly. With that said, players might want to just play this game on mute, as the sound work is just terrible. The voice acting is horrendous and the dialogue does not help. This, of course, makes the story hard to follow and just contributes to the badness of this series. Adam’s chauvinistic remarks to his female assistant/partner are a bit comical at first, but, like with most things about this game, the quips quickly grow tiresome. The music score is not even worth mentioning and the game controls are shoddy, at best.
Just getting it over with, Adam’s Venture is a nice attempt at an adventure title, but it falls way short in almost every category. The story is bad, the gameplay is worse, and listening to this game play out is like murder to one’s ears. Luckily, collectively, the series gives you no more than 6 hours of gameplay, but it is still difficult to make it all the way through. All three episodes are in the PlayPack, but, if looking for an honest opinion, steer clear of Mr. Venture and his adventure.