I’ve had a thing for difficult platformers since I first started playing video games around the Super Mario Bros. era. Super Meat Boy ushered in a renaissance for the genre, and gave birth to the super difficult precision platformer. These games require twitch reflexes and lots of hand eye coordination. There have been a few high profile releases lately, notably Celeste. But there have been a number of lesser-known titles that can hold their own against the likes of Super Meat Boy et al. Sockventure is such a game.
Sockventure is a precision platformer where you play as a sock that has to brave an evil, toothed dryer to rescue its orphaned fellow socks. I love the premise, but the beginning was a little clumsy and set the impression that the rest of Sockventure was going to consist of floaty controls—I was wrong. While Sockventure doesn’t have the tightest controls I’ve experience in a 2D platformer, they’re definitely tight enough to get around Sockventure’s crazy levels, which are full of saws, lasers, and copious amounts of teeth that you can easily spike yourself on. Just one touch and you’re dead, so you’ll need precise and fast reflexes to easily coast through Sockventure’s challenges.
In Sockventure, you start off only being able to run and jump—but as you play, your self-named sock avatar eventually starts to acquire more abilities. Abilities like double jump and dash add to your sock person’s arsenal, and ironically, while the levels seem to get more complicated these added abilities make avoiding hazards easier. That’s not to say the levels get any easier as you go on, though, since the deviously clever level design ensures there’s always a tight set of obstacles to navigate through or around.
Sockventure is a pretty tight adventure, with only seven main chapters, and three “dark” chapters that can be unlocked by collecting coins in the main game. These dark chapters are the hardest levels Sockventure has to offer, and should give even veteran platformers some trouble. Not only are there coins to collect through the first seven chapters, but you can also get costume changes when you find new socks. These costumes are usually hidden in an out of the way place, and past a challenge that might be more difficult than the level it’s in. These different sock outfits do nothing but change the look of your sock avatar. But they’re also incentive to explore parts of levels that you might not otherwise dare to venture.
Sockventure is most likely destined for relative obscurity, but it’s a fun game that platforming fans would enjoy. Death will come often, but you can jump right back into the action quickly. It’s a somewhat short game, but with enough variety and challenge to stay interesting throughout. If you love precision platformers, you should check out Sockventure.
Sockventure is available now on Steam.
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