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VistaVenus is an all-new mobile online multiplayer experience featuring cartoonish design principles and a healthy catalogue of customisation options and minigames that act as a gateway to an entertaining world of exploration. Behind every puzzle and NPC is a lesson to learn and a skill to train. Rising to the challenge, I decided to embark on an adventure to explore this brave new world, and I’m here to report back and give you the lowdown on what I’ve found.
After my avatar (The Visitor) was smuggled into the realm via an oversized guitar amp, VistaVenus wasted no time in teaching me the controls. Within minutes I was jumping, ducking and climbing my way through its back-of-a-theatre-stage tutorial environment, smashing crates and looking for loot as I would in any typical action platformer. My cartoon form threw itself around the opening area, collecting goodies as they went, and thanks to my energetic roaming, it wasn’t long before I found my way to the exit and entered the wider world of VistaVenus in all of its neon glory. After emerging at the top of the Viewpoint Tower, I could finally take in the vista and see just how far the map could stretch.
Venturing past such a sight, I was guided by green arrows and drawn to my first NPC, whose leather jacket and ginger beard befit their quirky name, Voomph V Venus, the Roadie. After a quick chat and a new assignment, Voomph was ready to send me down into the world to find my next target and explore. No holds barred, I leapt down a mysterious hole and slid onto a stunning stage, surrounded by fanfare and confetti. An unlikely rockstar, I was now in the thick of the game and ready to survey its plentiful landscape.
The sheer size of VistaVenus can feel overwhelming at first, but once you start to work your way around it and find comfort in the controls, you’ll start to feel more at home. A stamina wheel evocative of Breath of the Wild is a key part of the VistaVenus gameplay experience and limits how far you can push your Vistors’ physicality as they platform their way through the environment. It’s much more forgiving than I expected, though, allowing me to keep rolling along with little to no idling as it recharged quickly and propelled my capers further.
As well as along its rivers and in its alleys, many of the collectables in VistaVenus are hidden up high across the vibrant, rich landscape – and not being penalised by the stamina system meant that multiple attempts at a platforming prize were easy to repeat. If at first you don’t succeed, jump, double-jump or double-jump & twist again!
Oil slicks and curbs proved to be my undoing at first, leading to some embarrassing falls that had me losing coins like Sonic the Hedgehog on a rough day at the office. Even so, the relaxed steering of the protagonist allowed me to quickly get up and try again, motoring through the city streets at speed eventually. Thankfully, each suburb in VistaVenus features a handy checkpoint that activates as you approach, so you’re never too far away if you do end up biting the dust. Once I was done exploring and climbing as high as I could, I progressed the narrative by encountering another NPC, Verify V Venus, the Coordinator. Signified by a bright ‘blue tick’ brooch and a maroon outfit, Verify quickly introduced me to the game’s accountability systems. Like everything I’d encountered in the world so far, Verify had their own sense of style that felt fun and quirky. In addition to a lesson on the world’s rules, I was also pointed to a welcome pack (free t-shirt included!), which offered some extra details on the game’s underlying lore.
Not wasting any time, my in-game phone buzzed suddenly, alerting me to a new ‘Vistavenian’ citizen needing assistance. This time it was Vinyl, a friend of the ginger bearded roady-biker Voomph, whose musical name gave me some hints about what kind of character I should expect. After a quick run through Vista’s multicoloured cartoon streets, dodging speeding cars as I went, I found the turntable-inspired venue, Music Matters, where Vinyl V Venus, the DJ, was bopping their head and hanging out.
In exchange for some help completing a musical minigame, Vinyl offered me some tickets to the hottest show in town, The Ventricles. While I didn’t have a clue who they were at the time, I was hardly going to turn down a free concert, so I headed up to the location on the map and got to work. After unscrambling a few records in the moreish puzzle-based minigame, I returned to Vinyl to claim my reward. While excited to head to the concert right away, I had some time to kill before early doors, and there’s really no better way to spend an afternoon than shopping.
Making my way through a luxe terracotta-coloured district, I was guided to the Vendor Centre – The Brand Emporium, where I was welcome to kit myself out. While all the characters in the world were dripping in gear, I had been feeling left out, and so this shopping trip was the perfect opportunity to take my inner self and turn it digital. From hoodies to hairdos, I revelled in the colour schemes, spending a good chunk of my time fixing up the perfect fit. The aesthetic choices available to your avatar in VistaVenus feel like an extension of the game’s desire for self-expression, with players being offered a versatile wardrobe that isn’t broken up by gender.
Just when I thought I was ready to take a break, I was lured by the promise of a platforming workout at Body Boost, the local gym run by Fitness Instructor Vigour V Venus, my fast friend and fitness auteur, whose abs and optimistic outlook were hard to argue with. Inside the gym, I was tempted by an assault course built out of bright gym mats and rotating dumbbells that would put all my previous attempts at climbing and jumping to the test. After a few frustratingly clumsy attempts, I bested the playground beast and collected some currency along the way.
Emerging victorious, I was ready to take to the streets in search of some fresh air, and nestled in the distance, I spied Unwind, a cloud-covered wellness venue beckoning me towards it. Entering this new area, I was pleasantly surprised to find meditative content akin to what you’d see when you activate the Breath app on an Apple Watch. Where other venues were more game focused, the inclusion of something tranquil and meaningful felt like a thoughtful, purposeful touch.
After an energising 2 minute colour-driven meditation, I was refreshed, and ready to rock out with The Ventricles, so I made my way over to Equall, the gig venue. Here I was surprised to be refused entry by club bouncer Vengeance V Venus, an Intimidator – my first ‘Vile baddie’ – whose tyre tutu and cranky disposition instantly alerted me to trouble ahead.
As it turned out, the tickets I had rightly earned earlier in my day were a highly coveted item, so Vengeance was keen on nabbing them for himself! After a shocking burp to the face, I was sent flying into a chainlink arena and left fighting for my right to jam. At this moment, I felt prepared, ready to use all the skills I had learned so far to take down this oversized bully swiftly. With some careful dashing and double jumps, I chipped away at the brute, eventually showing him who was boss.
Finally, I was free to enjoy the concert, which filled my screen, the bass booming from my phone’s speakers. While I may not have known who they were earlier in the day, the unique sound and out-of-the-box dance moves of The Ventricles made me giggle, and I soon found myself bouncing along to the beat. What a way to finish a long day of exploring the charming universe of VistaVenus.
If spending some time in a world full of wacky characters and games is what you’re looking for, the team at VistaVenus is giving you the opportunity to get amongst the magic in an Alpha Test. Find the details at https://vistavenus.com to register; there are only limited spaces, so if you’re interested, don’t wait long. You can also find extra footage and get a sneak peek behind the scenes at the @VistaVenus TikTok account.