Venusian Vengeance on PC
Ever since the days of the Smash TV NES port, top-down multi-directional shooters have held a special place for me. A retro-themed title that would fit right in with older games, Venusian Vengeance is a classic arcade-style action game packed with just about everything you’d expect from a game seeking to emulate 1980s action titles. Soviets, ninjas, and bizarre life forms stand between American Jon Dagger and his goal of destroying enemy technology on the surface of Venus. Rife with old-school pixelated graphics and a shrill chiptune soundtrack, is there something that makes Venusian Vengeance stand out?
Venusian Vengeance is set in the year 196X, after Soviets won the space race against their rival Americans. Having set up a military facility amidst the wilds of Venus, the Soviets are seeking to develop powerful technology to conquer Earth. A single American agent, Sargent Jon Dagger, is sent in to investigate and eliminate the Russian threat. Players must guide this solitary soldier on his mission, cutting through ranks of Soviet soldiers, bizarre alien life forms, and powerful bosses to reach the end goal and disable the facility permanently. With some powerful weapons to aid along the way, Sgt. Dagger still has his work cut out for him if he wants to preserve the American way — and survive.
Venusian Vengeance‘s gameplay is straightforward, arcade-style action. Movement is controlled by keyboard, while the mouse handles aiming and firing. The controls are simple, relatively responsive, and easy to get the hang of. Players have a four-hit health bar that’s augmented by a character avatar that loses more and more of its flesh as damage stacks up. Defeated enemies have a chance of leaving behind health-restoring items, and frequent checkpoints throughout the game fully replenish Jon’s vitality. Most of the game is spent with our intrepid hero’s basic weapon, but time-limited pickups along the way add to the potency of the player’s arsenal.
Venusian Vengeance doesn’t offer a particularly broad variety of weapons, but those that you can gather along the way certainly have ways of clearing out the opposition. A powerful rocket launcher, rapid-fire machine gun, and strange bouncing-projectile weapon round out the selection, with the machine gun being probably the best bang for your buck. Although it lacks the punch the rockets offer, the added bonus of not blowing yourself up makes up the difference and the wide spread of bullets cuts down scores of foes like they’re nothing. The game offers two difficulty modes, as well, upping the challenge for experienced players who prefer to go up against longer odds in their quests for glory.
Taken as a whole, Venusian Vengeance is a pretty short title, though not without plenty of enemies to lay the smack down on along the way. Ten punishing levels filled with deadly enemies can be replayed as many times as players like, with a simple level select feature making returning to any desired chapter easy. While the gameplay isn’t especially varied, it works well enough and there’s certainly enough content to pull the low $3.99 price on Steam. The story, such as it is, doesn’t offer much for those looking for depth, but perfectly captures the essence of the era of gaming that Renegade Sector Games seems to be trying to emulate. While it may not offer a lot for the dedicated, hardcore gamer, those looking for a quick, easy to pick up addition to their Steam library could do a lot worse. If you’re on the fence, check out the free browser-based demo on the game’s official site.