Raccoo Venture


It may look innocent but you won't have an easy time playing some of Raccoo's more difficult platforming and puzzle sections!


Raccoo Venture is a 3D action platformer/collectathon to rival those of ‘90s. But despite its innocent looks you shouldn't be fooled into thinking you or your children will have an easy time playing some of Raccoo's more difficult platforming and puzzle sections. So if you're up for the challenge, strap in for a 6-10 hour single-player platforming campaign to whisk you away into the heyday of platforming… Well… sort of.

Raccoo Venture starts by explaining the backstory of Verta, a land once plagued by the chaos caused by the battle between light and darkness, until the Guardians forged powerful relics that brought balance to the land. This allowed creatures of both light and darkness to prosper under an uneasy peace, so long as the relics were kept safe…

It is here we are introduced to our hero Raccoo, a descendant of one of the guardians, who is having a nice nap by a stream. When he awakens he finds that a group of creatures–known as the Tattooed Tatus–have stolen the relics, influenced by the darkness. They mean trouble and hope to return the land to anarchy and chaos. Raccoo must embark on an adventure (or “venture”) to re-acquire the relics–which just happen to be a chess set left to him by his grandfather.

This is where you come in, it's up to you to take control of Raccoo and guide him through this harrowing adventure. The controls are quite easy to learn in the first area of level 1 via on-screen prompts. ‘A’ is jump and if you tap ‘X’ when in the air then Raccoo performs his only physical attack, which is very similar to a classic “ground pound” where he jumps into the air then slams down onto enemies below him. This is my first complaint, I would have loved it if he had more abilities to attack or defend himself with.

So far as I can tell only a few of the weaker enemies are affected by the ground pound move. The rest are tougher and will need to either be blown up with exploding mushrooms (obviously) or distracted and lured away with truffles. Bear in mind exploding mushrooms and truffles are not always readily available or near to these tougher enemies and may require that you simply avoid them.

There are various keys and checkpoint crates to find, and a host of collectibles: Each level has 4 chessboard tiles and 2 chess pieces scattered somewhere within, and a bunch of coins to collect. You need to collect coins, as every time you die it costs 50 coins to respawn, and if you run out of coins it's game over. Levels may also contain costumes for Raccoo to wear, breath bubbles that boost Raccoo’s underwater breath-hold time, Grandfather's diary pages (which will add a bit to the story), and hidden Saci Statuettes.

Raccoo may be the title hero of the adventure but he is not alone, eventually you will meet Pru the Pigeon and he (or is it a “she”?) will... assist and infuriate you on some levels. This is my second complaint: Pru. As you progress you will reach some levels with a barrier Raccoo can not cross alone, requiring you to call upon Pru. Sounds well and good, however Pru can only fly as long as he has some stamina in his stamina meter, once this is depleted he will fall from the sky like he's been shot dead! This stamina feature only adds to the difficulty/frustration of portions of this game, and there is little room for error.

Like many 3D platformers, Raccoo Venture features a fixed camera. This may have worked, if not for some of the narrow platforms you will encounter. I had an extremely difficult time in level 1-2 at the Ancient Temple of the Visgo Vesgo Tribe jumping from pillar top to pillar top with the fixed camera angle, and would have preferred a top-down view for this section. There are other sections where the camera angle/view is a detriment to the game and only adds frustration, but I will leave those for you to discover and not spoil your “fun”...

Now with all that said, let me also say that Raccoo Venture is an impressively solid game, coming as it does from the talented solo developer Diego Ras. I had a decent amount of fun playing as Raccoo, a game that is very reasonably priced at only £12.49. Yes, occasionally there were frustrating puzzles and platform sections as well as difficulty added by the fixed camera, but as an adult I've come to enjoy a bit of a challenge in my games, it adds a sense of "I overcame that!" once I have completed a game. For those reasons I give Raccoo Venture a 7/10

Thanks to QUByte Interactive and PressEngine for the review code