Genre: Arcade, Action, Adventure, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows & macOS))
Developer|Publisher: Nighthouse Games | Versus Evil
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $19.99 | UK £17.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: April 14th, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to Plan of Attack PR.
Pull Your Socks Up
Sockventure is a 2D challenging platformer that has a sparkle of child-like innocence to it. The game follows a familiar formula of games in this genre by presenting a difficulty that some may find will cause the stress levels to rise a little bit too high. But if you’re hungry for a new challenge then Sockventure ticks a lot of the right boxes without smelling too bad.
The Imagination of Children
You begin the game by playing a young boy who has been tasked by his mother to collect all his smelly socks and throw them in the washing machine located in the basement. But the little boy’s imagination runs away with him and he soon fantasizes about the washing machine turning into a monster and eating his socks including his favourite pair.
All is not lost as a hero sock is ready to jump into the jaws of the dreaded washing machine and go on a sock rescue mission. It’s a pretty cute premise for a game. Kinda reminded me of when I was little how I would turn mundane tasks like tidying my bedroom into a fun adventure. Whether you are a child or young at heart this game is suitable for absolutely all ages.
Jump and Exit
Sockventure follows a familiar path for a challenging 2D platformer. Your goal is to collect socks. Some are obtained by following the game’s main path and some are discovered by finding secret challenge rooms. When you find a new sock you can wear it, changing your appearance. Level design is straightforward. Simply move and jump your way to the exit while doing your best not to die on the many hazards on display. Levels are pretty short and snappy making this a pretty good game to dip in and out of in short bursts.
I really liked the flow of the game. Rather than starting off too hard, it does a pretty good job breaking you into the experience with a steady increase to the challenge. As you progress you’ll unlock new moves like wall jump, double jump and dashing. Each is pretty well drip-fed to avoid the gameplay becoming too stale.
Controls for the most part are pretty tight with your sock fella initially walking and jumping about at a comfortable pace. I really enjoyed my time with this game until the very end when things take a turn for the absurd. In the last hurdle, you learn a move where you need to dash and jump. For me, this just didn’t click at all and in the final section, you’re required to be pretty proficient with it under a heated time limit.
There are some other features that also didn’t quite gel, like these weird dash orbs which zip you forward but give you very little time to angle the path you take. When the levels speed along I found it pretty tricky to remember what move to use later in the game when you have quite a few under your belt. But if you like your challenging platforms you’ll probably thoroughly enjoy yourself. With each death it’s right back to the start of the level. In the options, you are able to turn on the games only accessibility option which plops a checkpoint within the level. If you’re prone to getting frustrated with the challenge I highly recommend switching this feature on.
The graphics are simple but quite appealing thanks to a vibrant colorful art style. Considering the entire game is set in an evil washing machine I was pretty impressed by the varied level of design and colour on display. For fans of my reviews I can confirm Sockventure does contain buzzsaws. How and why a washing machine requires buzzsaws is something that clearly requires further research by myself.
Anyway usually the buzzsaws thing will roll my eyes but I have to say this game has some rather pretty buzzsaws with an eye-catching neon flavour to them. So good job Sockventure, you are totally buzzsaw approved. The game also has a pretty good techno-inspired soundtrack. If my washing machine came out with beats like this I would probably do washing more often.
Your first run through the game will take around four hours depending on your skill level. If you want to collect everything this will take significantly longer. There is also an incentive to replay by collecting all the coins in the level, finishing under a certain time and finishing the level without dying. The latter being a feat I had absolutely no interest accomplishing. For speed run fans you can switch on a mode that will unlock all the abilities at the start as you try to beat the game as quickly as possible. If hard platformers are not your thing you may prefer to watch someone else master this than play.
Conclusion – Comfy Socks
Sockventure is one of the better hardcore platformers I have played. When I was in the flow of things and somehow magically weaving through all the hazards I was having a terrific time. But I really didn’t like the difficulty spike at the end of this game. It felt a bit like a washing machine cycle where everything is going so well only for the darn thing to break down at the end and leak onto the floor. Sockventure thankfully is not that disastrous and if you like your hard games this will absolutely gel with you. It’s a solid game that feels like a pair of socks I have worn before. But sometimes comfy is enough and Sockventure will certainly entertain.
Final Verdict: I Like It