Released during 2009-12 as a three-part episodic game, developer Vertigo Games have reworked the episodic content of Adam’s Venture: Chronicles, and released the game as Adam’s Venture: Origins for current gen consoles.
Set in the 1920s, Adam’s Venture: Origins is a blend of the adventure and puzzle genre, that’s ultimately marred by some clumsy character animations and poor voice acting that’s tarnished further by some of the worst one-liners you’ll hear. You play as Adam Venture, the son of an accomplished adventurer whose days of creeping around tombs are long gone – this challenge he has passed to you and his new assistant, Evelyn Appleby.
While Lara brings the action, Tomb Raider lacks the puzzles – Adam has the opposite problem – lacking in action. You won’t fire a single bullet during the seven hour campaign, and while the backdrop fits the adventure angle, it’s limited to a linear path that offers little exploration. At times you’ll need to use Adam’s grappling hook to swing over chasms, or mantle up, over and around ledges – but it’s all rather clunky – sometimes Adam won’t even mantle an object or will miss an easy ledge grab, plummeting to his death.
Luckily, Adam’s Venture is first and foremost a puzzle game delivered in adventurers clothing, and the puzzles work really well. While there are some inevitably easy puzzles to solve, there are one or two head scratchers, depending on your ability to solve mathematical or logic puzzles – not wanting to brag – I found them all to be a little too easy, and while fun to solve, I didn’t feel like they were enough of a challenge.
There is a story linking the puzzles together, but it’s all rather forgettable. During Adam’s adventures you get to visit King Solomon’s Palace and the Garden of Eden but they aren’t well explored, both in terms of story and location. Instead, the story moves on briskly and the characters don’t seem one bit bothered by the situation they have found themselves in – even when a mysterious black cloud stalks Adam, he doesn’t seem to be fazed by the supernatural nature of his predicament.
Adam’s Venture is an entertaining distraction and while it might not win any awards for its artistic direction or storytelling, it offers up some fun puzzles and even though I found them to be a little too easy – there just aren’t enough of them to warrant the asking price.
There’s a lot of potential in this series, if the Vertigo Games can develop a robust story, mix in some exciting adventuring and develop the direction of puzzles, then a sequel could be quite an exciting prospect.