The Game: Trapped in a maze full of HallMonsters (TM, pat. pend.), you are adventurer Winky (TM, pat. pend.), on a mission to snatch incredible treasures (TM, pat. pend.) from hazardous underground rooms inhabited by lesser beasts such as re-animated skeletons, goblins, serpents, and so on (TM, pat. pend.). Sometimes even the walls move, threatening to squish Winky (TM, pat. pend.) or trap him, helpless to run from the HallMonsters (TM, pat. pend.). The deeper into the dungeons you go, the more treacherous the danger – and the greater the rewards. Just remember two things – the decomposing corpses of the smaller enemies are just as deadly as the live creatures. And there is no defense – and almost never any means of escape – from the HallMonsters (TM, pat. pend.). (Exidy, 1981)
Memories: Okay, maybe I went a little too far making fun of Exidy’s hopes that Venture would become a Major Video Game Franchise (TM, pat. pend.), but this game is peppered with trademark symbols – a sure sign that Exidy was banking on this game being the kind of breakthrough licensing windfall that Pac-Man was for Bally/Midway and Namco.
Actually, Venture is a very fun and challenging game, easy to learn and sometimes very hard to win. In its day, Venture was indeed an arcade mainstay – but the exploits of our boy Winky (TM, pat. pend.) never entered the realm of viable franchises.
As part of an overall licensing arrangement with Exidy, Coleco produced the home video game editions of Venture along with its contemporary by the same manufacturers, Mouse Trap. Given Venture‘s simple graphics, it was easy to translate to every platform, from the excellent ColecoVision cartridge to the Atari 2600 version. No matter which hardware is used, Coleco did an excellent job of preserving the basic game play.