TechnoVenture is a fun and innovative platformer with strong puzzle elements, similar to classic Apogee games of yore. First released as shareware for the Amiga, the game was converted to IBM PCs in 1997, and later released into the public domain in 2001. The thorough review at Amiga Games Database explains the game's merits: |
"Here's one of those games very few people know of, but for those who have it, it's one of the best games of its type. I found this game on Aminet about five years ago, and thought it was so good I even registered it with the author. At first TechnoVenture might look like just another Sci-Fi themed platformer, but closer inspection reveals it's actually much more.
The game begins with an advertisement for registration and the "Playfield" newsletter, which are quickly dismissed. You're not given any sort of introduction, but instead dumped right in the middle of the action. The "story", what little there is of it, tells you that you suddenly find yourself being a brand new XED-2000 robot, and your quest is to rid the land of the evil mutants.
On the surface, TechnoVenture does indeed play like a platformer. Your XED-2000 robot is subject to gravity, and can run on horizontal surfaces, or jump in the air. The physics model, while not entirely realistic, has quite nice touches, such as being able to change your direction mid-jump. While most of the action relies on well-aimed jumps, there are also items you can pick up and use, such as keys of three different colours, weapons, and shields. These come in handy when you're trying to kill the mutants or get past an obstacle. You can also collect money and purchase keys from the vending automats found in strategic places.
TechnoVenture isn't set on a series of levels or stages like conventional platform games, instead it has a big map made up of a hundred fully interconnected "rooms", each taking up one screen. You can traverse these rooms in any way you please, providing the landscape lets you pass. There are also one-directional gateways and message boxes to help you on your way. This "map" system is similar to the one used in the Commodore 64 classic Jet Set Willy.
If all TechnoVenture had was one single map with one single quest, it would be quickly forgettable. Thankfully, this isn't the case. In TechnoVenture, the map is actually separate from the game engine, and other maps can be loaded from the disk, or even designed yourself.
There is very little to fault with TechnoVenture. The gameplay is very simple – perhaps too simple, making it look very 1980s like Jet Set Willy instead of a cutting-edge modern action game... This is definitely one of the games I'll always treasure as one of the better ShareWare innovations."
If you enjoy platformers with good puzzle elements, TechnoVenture fits the bill. The freeware version has many new objects and maps not present in the Amiga release, and you can also design your own maps with the included editor. Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs