Sometimes you just need a simple game to sit down to and enjoy. No need for complicated controls, a skills tree to spend experience points on or crafting stations to put together the flamethrower chainsaw. Cue VideoKid!
As the VideoKid you need to skateboard down a typical American suburb delivering videos while trying to get to your date in the park before 8pm! And that is all there is to it. Well, of course, there is the mass of 80’s references to both admire and avoid on the way. This is a single level game that depending on your skill level and desire to unlock everything can take 5 minutes to complete or 5 hours.
All you need to know is X throws a tape, O is jump and the d-pad changes your ‘lane’. Despite the simple introduction, VideoKid takes no prisoners and I found myself having to restart the level a number of times. You will start to learn the level layout as it remains the same throughout with the only real difference each time is where you might see certain 80’s characters.
You will get frustrated with this game as you know it should be easy, but it is somehow not. There are no checkpoints to hit, health bars to top up or shortcuts. If you are going to complete this level it will have to be in one go. Factor in that you are always one wrong timed move away from starting all over again and you can quickly see why this game isn’t as simple as it may look. You get shown how far you are from the finish each time you mess up so the motivation to jump right back in and do better is always there.
This game is a great take on the runner genre but adds a modern-day polish to it. The world is built with a blocky look to it but is great. Everything is bright, colorful and simple which reflects the era this game is based on. The third person perspective allows you to take in the world is all its beauty as you try and figure out what every reference is.
The audios for this game are just fantastic. I never got tired of hearing “I have the power” as I passed He-Man or seeing the A-Team van screech across the road to avoid the police. The level is full of clear nods to a whole host of 80’s TV shows, films and characters. Which considering you are meant to be avoiding skating into them sometimes got the better of me.
Each run will give you more cash which will let you buy new VideoKid looks. None have any bonus stats to them but being able to skate along as the cookie monster or the karate kid is enough for me. This is pretty much the only reason you might replay the game, to unlock all the outfits.
The VideoKid experience might end up being quick but it is worth it. This game is challenging while keeping the controls simple enough for a beginner to pick up. The 80’s nostalgia throughout this game will put a smile on many faces as they attempt to deliver those videotapes. Well worth a few tries!
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*