Retro Coin Op Synopsis
Venture sent a lone treasure seeker into the depths of a monster-filled dungeon, with only a bow and arrow to defend himself. He was swift, courageous and persistent, and his name was Winky. Okay, so it wasn’t as awe-inspiring as “Gandalf,” “Indiana Jones” or “Thor, God of Thunder,” but when your character is a red “Have a Nice Day” smiley face, the cool names just don’t fit.
But don’t let Winky’s looks deceive you. The happy little fellow was as adventurous as they come, entering room after deadly room, firing arrows at his foes and sneaking toward the coveted treasures. The game began on a larger-scale map, as you guided Winky toward your room of choice, carefully avoiding the enormous “HallMonsters” that patrolled the corridors. Winky’s bow was useless in the hallways, so a quick jaunt from room to room was the safest bet for survival.
Inside each room, in a blown-up view, Winky had to shoot or dodge goblins, serpents, trolls, spiders, genies, bats and more, trying to grab the treasure and get out before a Winky-seeking HallMonster appeared. Other rooms lacked monsters, but deadly traps like moving walls would have kept Winky on his toes, had he been equipped with toes. Later levels brought even more surprises, as rooms changed in mid-quest (monsters appearing after the treasure was taken, walls vanishing, etc.)
Once a room was pilfered, Winky had to enter one of the other rooms on the map until the entire level was clear. There was no rest for the Winky, however, as new and more dangerous dungeon levels kept appearing until all 36 treasures were recovered.
Venture’s fantasy setting and constant danger made it a favorite of adventure gaming fans. The quest was difficult—monsters dodged Winky’s arrows, and their touch remained deadly even after they’d been shot—but the call of treasure and glory was too much for players to resist.