Just about every week I see a new game from indie publisher Ratalaika Games release and every week it is usually a visual novel or a pixel art platformer of sorts. Every now and then though they release something a little bit different and that is exactly what Voyage from developer Venturous is. Described as a 2D hand painted cinematic adventure game, I played through the PlayStation 5 version and here is my review.
Voyage isn’t just different from Ratalaika’s usual output when it comes to graphics but also the gameplay as Voyage is fully playable solo or in two player local co-op. In co-op each player controls one of the two characters while when playing solo the AI moves the other character. Voyage doesn’t have much of a story or at least a spoken one as you are simply two characters on the planet of Voyage who have to explore its mysteries. Just like the story the controls are left for you to figure out as well but they are rather basic. You can move your character, interact with things in the environment with the X button and highlight things using the Triangle button which is useful when you’re not quite sure what to do.
There are no enemies in this game nor combat so most of it is just moving through the environments and solving some rather easy puzzles. None of these requite much thought as you’ll mostly always be using the X button to interact, pull, or move something. A complaint of mine would be that the character movement speed could’ve been increased some to speed some sections up. With the gameplay being so basic and the story really being left up to you to interpret this is clearly a game meant for those who are looking for a relaxing experience as you really won’t have to put much effort in. The game is relatively short too so you’ll be done with it in a couple hours at the most.
The presentation in the game is really well done with many of the locations looking quite stunning in this hand-drawn art style. There is a lot of variety too with ruins, deserts, forests, and all of them benefit from some great lighting. The soundtrack, composed by Calum Bowen who also did Snipperclips, is both relaxing and eerie and perfectly matches the vibe of this alien world. Sound effects are minimal but I had no complaints with what was there. Trophy hunters will find 14 trophies in the game including a Platinum. It’s a very easy list and you’ll more than likely have them all by the time you reach the end.
Voyage is a beautiful cinematic adventure game and a good first start for developer Venturous. While I enjoyed my short time with it I wish it had a bit more variety to the gameplay, lasted a bit longer, and let the characters move a bit faster. You should also be prepared to figure out everything on your own whether it be the story or how to play. If you’re OK with all that then you’ll find an enjoyable world to explore in Voyage either alone or with a local friend.
*Voyage is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.