Normally, now’s about the time in the program where I go on and on about boob games and the fall of Indie civilization, but I suppose there’s no need to be so dire or rehash the past. Team Shuriken‘s oeurve is well-known already. It’s long and varied and full of tits. Venus Explorer ($1.00) continues that chesty trend without shame, this time out combining the animation work and the choose your own adventure-style graphic novella format with some interactive bits that you can actually control.
See that arcade cabinet? Press ‘A’ when you get there.
Venus Explorer‘s story is based in humorous sci-fi: one man with the fate of the Earth in his hands, aliens and spaceships and sidekicks and all that stuff. It’s the typical ‘Shuriken’ plot (read: an excuse to show some lovely ladies), albeit slightly meta. The game starts with a kid in the 1980s, heading home to play a game on floppy disk called… you guessed it, Venus Explorer. So you’re playing a game about a game within a game. Whoa. Enjoy that moment while you can, since you’ll never see or hear about it again1.
Once you’re ‘in game’, it’s all familiar ground. As you advance, you’re usually presented with a series of choices— forks in the road, where to hide, how to attack, etc.. These lead you to short snippets of animation, success or failure, as you carry out the move. While it’s still trial-and-error on which option you should choose in any given situation, there are a trio of checkpoints that should keep your frustration and replays to a minimum.
The game introduces a new gameplay wrinkle in the form of some simple platforming, allowing you to control the character in very short flight segments, like piloting a jetpack past very large floating heads(!), or in a ship making your escape. But don’t worry, Team Shuriken knows what you came for, and gives you a handful of ladies to ogle between your various ‘flights’ and navigational choices.
Not that you’ll need to set aside a huge amount of time to see it all. A half-hour of clicking through / guesswork, and you’ll arrive at the all-but-guaranteed setup for the sequel (er… an invitation to propagate the human race). I’ve said that Shuriken’s text adventure games have been approaching decent for some time, but Venus Explorer‘s brevity and hit-or-miss adventuring take that goodwill back a step. Even so, some of us can still appreciate the animation work and the effort. The rest will appreciate the boobs.
- Save for the first instance you encounter one of the ladies, when you’ll flashback to the kid at his desk going full-horndog. Team Shuriken knows its audience well. ↩