A couple of games come to mind when I was picturing what Venture could be, based on the little I'd read. Of course the name shares all of its letters with Adventure, so there's dungeoning and, well, adventuring to be had. Rogue is perhaps the closer game in terms of gameplay, however. Either way, I've not played it, so I ought not to second guess what it is at all, and should dive right into it.
Maybe though I should have watched the little demo beforehand, because I'm dying an awful lot here...
Venture isn't hard, per se. It's not out to get you and ruin you day with difficulty. There are an awful lot of Hallmonsters that would rather you not be in their vicinity, hunting you down if you get too close, but they can be avoided somewhat easily enough.
Darting into the nearest door seems to do the trick, where you'll encounter all manner of fantasy creatures just milling about the place, really.
So you shoot them, if they're in your way, and proceed to grab the treasure.
Only you don't, because every single creature that can get in your way can kill you even after you kill it. The corpses that litter the floor slowly degrade, but walking over them before they've disappeared will end your life. Just like that. Think about that, next time you find yourself in a situation like that above.
That bowl of noodles (if that's what it is), will sit there until those Goblins fade from view (actually, that screenshot was taken a split second before the red screen of failure and a restart, but go with me here). That's all well and good, but the Hallmonsters outside don't particularly like you waiting around to come out of a room, so eventually they'll just float in and hunt you down.
You better have nimble fingers, because they won't stop, you won't hurt them, and one touch and your life is theirs.
But I kept going back to try again. You're in one dungeon with four rooms, a treasure and obstacles in each. Avoid what you can, shoot what you can, and be as quick as you can. Once you claim a treasure and get out of the room it was in, that room is checked off. Check them all off and you progress to the next dungeon.
So I'm told...
This was the closest I got. This bastard Hallmonster would not have it. I was seconds away from seeing what happens next, from seeing the next dungeon, but noooo. No, God, please no. Nooo. I had to be caught, didn't I?
Persistence is key with Venture. To think quick, to move quick, they're useful skills. Timing your shots, knowing when to even bother shooting, they're handy skills too. But you're going to make a stupid mistake or two. You're probably going to forget that corpses are really, really dangerous. You're going to misjudge the distance between you and the door, and you and a Hallmonster, and the Hallmonster will win.
But if you're willing to persist, one by one those rooms will get checked off. Your lives will last longer and longer, you'll get better with each run and will have some hectic moments along the way.
It's not much to look at, though there's a simple little zoom animation when you travel from dungeon to room that I've not remembered seeing before. Once again I've forgotten what it sounds like, so either really good and not at all distracting, or so uninspiring it's forgettable. You're not playing Venture for the sound, anyway.
It's a simple little game to test yourself with, easily recommended for an hour.
Your character is called Winky. Mine was probably more used to frowning than winking.
Venture, developed by Exidy, first released in 1981.
Version played: Arcade, 1981, via emulation.