Retro arcade-style gaming at its finest

You’ll find that The VIDEOKID throws in every nostalgic thing you loved about the 80s into an 8-bit fast-paced Paperboy-esque gaming experience. Plug in your walkman and lace up your Reebok Pumps, this is a review for The Video Kid.

The VideoKid is a fantastic experience coming from an 80s kid. I enjoyed the constant references while I dodged, grinded, and threw tapes into mailboxes.

Game starts off simple enough, you have tapes that need to be delivered and you’re the guy to do it. There are other challenges thrown in as well, which makes the gameplay somewhat diverse.

UI
The UI is clean. You have your cash earned in the top right, distance traveled in the middle, and your score to the top right. Bottom left is also a pause button and a close on the right. There is no menu screen, so to adjust the sound, you’d have to either end a level or die where the sound will be at the top of the score page. Score page shows your score, earned cash, movies delivered, and a way to spend that cash now.

Also to note, there isn’t a way to set the difficulty either. So, if you find yourself having a bad time, chances are your best bet is to keep trying and work at it until you got it down to a science.

Cash allows you to buy characters of which you’ll recognize immediately like Ferris Bueller and the Karate Kid as well as additional tricks to help boost your score on your routes. All of it costs money and quite a bit for the good stuff of course. So, get to landing sweet tricks on your board and these will be yours in no time.

Gameplay
Game starts with a goal and a route you’re to take. Unlike Paperboy, you don’t have a limit to videos you carry, you just have to land tricks, dodge obstacles, and throw videos into the red mailboxes. You can also pummel Care Bares, The Chipmunks, and dudes who need some chill with tapes that you’ll see on benches. I personally enjoyed hitting the Fraggles myself.

There are also characters wandering the sidewalks and familiar cars on the streets to land tricks on. Hitting targets and characters earns you points as well as landing tricks on cars. Stringing combos can be tricky as the setting needs to be exact for the trick to land. This was quite difficult at times since I found myself initiating the trick and then failing because of an unexpected obstacle or a Dalek.

There’s a lot going on on screen and it can sometimes become overwhelming trying to focus on hitting the correct mailboxes while simultaneously trying to dodge Scrooge McDuck and his damn grandkids. The are rewards for distance, number of correct mailboxes hit in a row, tricks and combos landed as well as targets and coins gathered.

There is also a moment where you see 4 familiar green turtle open the sewers. What happens when you fall in? Yep, you skate the sewers. These little touches make the game fun and challenging.

Gameplay can become quite repetitive quickly, but I found myself enjoying it regardless of this. Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve, you may find the gameplay lacking with this in mind.

I also found it strange there are no Steam Achievements or Trading Cards to earn for your deeds in game. Perhaps this may be changed in the future.

Controls
The game uses WAD to move with A and D for left and W to jump. Spacebar is to throw tapes. The controls are responsive and the Video Kid jukes, jumps, and throws videos. Hitting mailboxes can take a few tries to get right, but once you get the mechanic down, it’s relatively simple to hit the mailboxes each time.

There is partial controller support as well if you prefer. Left thumbstick to move and jump, A to throw tapes and Y to jump. I used a wired XBox 360.

Music
Music is fantastic and by DJ Savant. It’s upbeat enough to keep you interested, but not repetitive to the point you end up focusing more on its annoyance than the game.

Overall
The Video Kid is a cute blast from the past and I thoroughly enjoyed all the retro references. I definitely feel my age creeping up when I can name pretty much every reference in the game. 🙂 The addictive fast-paced gameplay, the snappy controls on both KnM and controller, awesome flashbacks all work together in tandem in creating a damn good experience and a retro roller coaster. If you can look past the lack of a way to adjust the sound and difficulty if you find yourself having trouble, then Video Kid is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

Pros

  • Simple to pick up, tough to master
  • Different characters and moves to unlock
  • 80s retro vibe and so much nostalgia
  • Responsive controls

Cons

  • No menu to adjust settings (Sound, difficulty etc.)
  • Gameplay can become monotonous over time, especially if the difficulty is giving you a hard time
  • No Steam Achievements or Trading Cards

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