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RACCOO VENTURE
Platform: PC
65

Raccoo Venture Review

Knight of the Raccoon

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Platformers can appear incredibly carefree and even whimsical at first glance. And even though this is undoubtedly true for some games in the genre, others are deceptively deceiving. It's easy to fall down into the rabbit hole of initially picking one up, thinking it will be a laidback experience – and the next thing you know, you've been stuck on the same level for the past hour, running around in circles trying to find all the meticulously hidden collectables so that you can proceed to the next part. Raccoo Venture will bring you back to the halcyon days of the nineties, as the title is clearly inspired by the classics of that time, including Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot, but it never reaches the dazzling heights of those games.

Raccoo Venture game

The plot in Raccoo Venture is somewhat decent and has a lot of references to the board game chess. The land of Verta was once plagued by darkness until the Guardians created magical relics that brought balance and harmony. Prosperity ruled the land until this fragile peace is put in jeopardy when Raccoo, the last living descendant of the Guardians, discovers his grandfather's beloved chessboard and the magical relics, which happen to be chess pieces, are taken by the Tattooed Tatus, in hopes of returning the land into pure anarchy. From here, Raccoo wastes no time embarking on a quest to retrieve his grandfather's chessboard and rescue the relics.

One of the first things you'll notice is that the graphical style looks highly similar to New Super Lucky's Tale, as the 3D environment has a bright and colourful look that is visually striking and draws you in, however the similarities end there. The landscape of the levels can sometimes lean on the generic side, as it has very basic backdrops, like grassy terrain or a desert wasteland. The soundtrack is not too memorable either, but there is some good use of audio sounds when platforming through the environments. Each level is very linear and does not have a big open environment to explore, and instead has you travelling from one point to another until you reach the end of the level, very much like the original trilogy of Crash Bandicoot games.

The premise is to collect the four pieces of the chessboard tiles scattered across the level, which will, in turn, reveal where the two chess pieces are hiding - so it's one big collectathon extravaganza. But obviously, it's not as simple as that, as you will usually have to overcome platforming segments and solve environmental puzzles that involve a lot of backtracking. This will require you to think ahead, like a grandmaster at chess, as you must keep your eyes peeled when exploring for clues on how to progress. Some are simplistic, like pressing on the floor panels to raise or lower platforms, allowing you to access different parts of the stage, but other environmental puzzles are more tricky to navigate, which might isolate younger players, like having to run on an interweaving platform cylinder so that you can line up jumps perfectly.

Raccoo Venture game

Many of these puzzling and platform sections are fun brain teasers, but are incredibly short. One that really stands out in my mind was at the beginning of a stage called Foggy Flowerbed (3-1); there is a part where you have to utilise platforms to climb up a wall, which gave serious Stormy Ascent vibes from Crash Bandicoot. I was thoroughly enjoying it, but it abruptly ended, and the rest of the level never matched up. I would have preferred that portion to be extended, as the rest of the level never hooked me back in the same way.

The controls are simple to grasp and feel nice, as you can move, jump, and ground pound, Super Mario 64 style, to defeat weak enemies or break objects. However, the ground pound is the only physical attack that Raccoo can execute, leaving the little guy vulnerable to attacks and unable to touch more powerful foes. As Raccoo is no buff gym rat, he will often rely on environmental objects, like throwing exploding mushrooms, to take down tougher opponents. But this will not knock out everyone, and at other times, you will have to use other tactics like truffles that release an appealing scent, which will lure enemies to a specific location. Apparently, the moustached hero is not the only one using shrooms to get an edge. I did crave some more fighting action over the course of the game, and would have liked it if Raccoo had more moves within his arsenal to spice up the gameplay. Moreover, throughout the 6-8 hour campaign, you will see the same recurring enemies, making dealing with them laborious.

Raccoo may be the last heir to the power of the guardians, but that does not mean he is alone on the adventure, although this is not necessarily a good thing. At various points, you will encounter a barrier and will need to call upon the help of a feathered friend, Pru the pigeon, to help get past it. In these portions, you will need to switch between the two characters and perform various tasks, like pressing a button or defeating an enemy to make the other side of the platform available for your partner to access. In true pigeon fashion, Pru can only fly for short bursts, and once their stamina meter runs out, he will drop in mid-air like a dead turkey onto the ground. This short flight is frustrating as it gives you little room for error, and the margins are very narrow. Pru would also sometimes inexplicably fall off a platform, and this nosedive would often lead to deaths. Whenever Pru turns up, which is usually every other level, it completely slows down the whole tempo of the gameplay, and safe to say, I would have much preferred if Pru had been entirely absent from the game.

Raccoo Venture game

Alongside collecting the chess pieces, there are other collectable goodies to gather, like your grandfather's diary pages, saci statuettes and different outfits for Raccoo to wear, which adds replay value. During the levels, it's also paramount that you collect coins placed all over, as they are essentially extra lives. Every time you die, you will lose fifty coins and be revived at the latest checkpoint, which appear quite frequently throughout the level, but if you lose all your hard-earned cash, it's game over. The level of challenge is not too bad, but you could face death perhaps 3-6 times on a level, and maybe even more on the last few stages of the game.

Raccoo Venture harbours the fixed isometric camera angle you would expect to see in 3D platformers back in the day, which is perfectly fine on paper. But this is absolutely detrimental when there is a recurring bug that if you die, the camera angle will move in an awkward direction, so it's nearly impossible to see what you are doing unless you die once again, in the hopes that the camera angle will then reset in the original position. This might not sound like a big deal, but with the number of times you die naturally on a level, it will eat through your coins, and this did eventually lead to me getting a game over and losing progress.

Some aspects of Raccoo Venture are thoroughly fun to play, and the environmental puzzles are so well-designed that even the most veteran players in the platformer genre will have to think for a moment. When considering the relatively low price of $14.99/£12.79, there is a lot of replay value here from the sheer amount of collectables alone. Sadly, some of the puzzles are relatively short, and the annoying secondary character gameplay mechanics prevent the experience from reaching stardom. Seeing a raccoon in some cultures may be a good omen, but little magic was available for this four-legged friend.

Our ratings for Raccoo Venture on PC out of 100 (Ratings FAQ)
Presentation
65
The game aesthetics look similar to New Super Lucky's Tale, but the landscapes Raccoo travels through can be bland-looking.
Gameplay
78
The environmental puzzles are well-designed and are fun brain teasers. Although some puzzles are superior to others, that will make you wish they lasted longer.
Single Player
65
The story is decent for a platformer game and is centred around the theme of chess. Platforming as Raccoo is good fun, but the second character, Pru, slows down the tempo of the gameplay.
Multiplayer
NR
None
Performance
(Show PC Specs)
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: RTX 2060
RAM: 16GB DDR4
OS: Windows 10
PC Specs

73
No issues with the framerate. If you die, the camera angle will sometimes move, so you cannot navigate your character through the environment, which interrupts gameplay and causes unnecessary gameovers where you lose progress.
Overall
65
Raccoo Venture is highly inspired by the classic 3D platformers of yesteryear but does not implement enough unique ideas to stand out from the crowd. There are some fantastic environmental puzzles that are thoroughly fun to solve, but they are far too short. The uneven difficulty, annoying secondary character mechanics, and a few bugs ultimately dilute the experience.
Comments
Raccoo Venture
Raccoo Venture box art Platform:
PC
Our Review of Raccoo Venture
65%
Adequate
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Raccoo Venture is ranked #1484 out of 1971 total reviewed games. It is ranked #75 out of 101 games reviewed in 2023.
1483. NHL 24
PlayStation 5
1484. Raccoo Venture
1485. Ready or Not
PC
Screenshots

Raccoo Venture
8 images added 113 days ago
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