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Venture to the Vile Review | Beautifully Burtonesque

Value for Money
$ 24
Clear Time:
12 Hours
Imagine a Metroidvania game crafted by the whimsical hands of Tim Burton, and you'll get Venture to the Vile. The narrative and visuals are reminiscent of his stop-motion films, spinning a tale that's both bizarre and captivating. Despite some notable gameplay bugs and performance issues, the game's standout features - its unforgettable boss battles and immersive, interactive world - are impossible to ignore.

Venture to the Vile is a 2.5D Metroidvania set in the strange and spooky town of Rainybrook. Read up on our review to see what makes it great, what it could still improve, and if you should get it for yourself.

Venture to the Vile Review Overview

What is Venture to the Vile?

Run and jump through the salt-sprayed streets of Rainybrook, now infested by monstrous minions of a mysterious entity called the "Vile". Uncover secrets about Rainybrook and figure out what the Vile did to your lost friend Ella. Will you lose your humanity in the process, or will Rainybrook finally be freed from the grip of the Vile?

Venture to the Vile features:
 ⚫︎ 2.5D Metroidvania
 ⚫︎ Day/Night and Weather Cycle
 ⚫︎ Mystery and Story Rich Tale
 ⚫︎ Unlockable Outfits
 ⚫︎ Interactive Puzzles and Platformer Segments
 ⚫︎ Challenging and Unique Boss Battles
 ⚫︎ Gotchic Victorian Aesthetic

For more gameplay details, read everything we know about Venture to the Vile's gameplay and story.

Digital Storefronts
Steam IconSteam
Price $24.99

Venture to the Vile Pros & Cons


Pros Cons
Checkmark Visually Unique and Dynamic World
Checkmark Memorable and Difficult Boss Fights
Checkmark Tim Burton-esque Story
Checkmark Starts Off Quite Slow
Checkmark Performance Issues and Bugs

Venture to the Vile Overall Score - 84/100

Imagine a Metroidvania game crafted by the whimsical hands of Tim Burton, and you'll get Venture to the Vile. The narrative and visuals are reminiscent of his stop-motion films, spinning a tale that's both bizarre and captivating. Despite some notable gameplay bugs and performance issues, the game's standout features - its unforgettable boss battles and immersive, interactive world - are impossible to ignore.

Venture to the Vile Story - 9/10

With its visually unique and odd aesthetics, dark yet whimsical atmosphere, and eccentric characters, Venture to the Vile could easily pass as a creation of Tim Burton. The storytelling captivates with its dark mysteries and gothic undertones, offset by bright and quirky elements. It's a delightfully simple yet entertaining tale that grips your imagination and keeps you engaged from start to finish.

Venture to the Vile Gameplay - 8/10

Venture to the Vile starts pretty slow, with pretty limited move sets typical of a Metroidvania. However, as you advance and enhance your abilities, the combat and exploration of its distinctive world become increasingly rewarding. The dynamic environment, featuring weather changes and day/night cycles that impact various areas, makes exploration especially enjoyable. Each boss fight is a unique, challenging experience, adding to the game's appeal. Despite encountering some bugs, the overall experience is engaging and satisfyingly challenging.

Venture to the Vile Visuals - 9/10

Although the graphics may not be cutting-edge per se, the game's visual style and aesthetic truly shine, evoking a sense of claymation-like charm reminiscent of iconic animated films, such as A Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, and A Corpse Bride. The game's gothic dark fantasy Victorian look is nothing short of stunning, with each set piece and area boasting a striking visual flair. The fact that these areas are brought to life in different lighting conditions and situations showcases the developers' dedication to crafting a visually stunning world.

Venture to the Vile Audio - 7/10

Venture to the Vile features a decent soundtrack that effectively sets the tone for its eerie, Victorian-inspired town. While it complements the strange atmosphere well, none of the tracks particularly stood out as memorable or something I'd listen to outside of the game. Additionally, the Animal Crossing-style voice-overs for the characters sometimes disrupted immersion because it felt weirdly out of place or even jarring to listen to.

Venture to the Vile Value for Money - 9/10

Venture to the Vile is a fun and memorable Metroidvania with a very unique vibe and overall atmosphere. Priced at $24.99, it offers solid value for what you get, featuring numerous side quests and very challenging yet rewarding boss fights that will provide plenty of hours of gameplay. Not to mention, if you’re a big fan of Tim Burton films or at least the aesthetics, then this just might be your cup of tea.

Venture to the Vile Review: Beautifully Burtonesque


As a fan of dark whimsical animated films such as Coraline, A Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride, I was eager to discover a game that would capture the essence of those beloved classics. While there have been games like Alice Madness Series, Prim, Whateverland, Don't Starve, and Harold Halibut that have attempted to evoke similar vibes, this game comes closest to replicating the overall atmosphere, story, and aesthetic of those iconic films. In fact, it's as if stepping into a Tim Burton movie, with its eerie charm and fantastical world-building.

Let’s get the stuff that I don’t like about this game right off the bat. One minor annoyance I experienced is the lack of a mouse cursor, which is rather strange given the game's support for keyboard controls. Without a mouse cursor, navigating menus with a keyboard can be cumbersome and frustrating, especially when compared to using a controller.

It's a small gripe that doesn't detract significantly from the overall experience, but I hope the developers will consider adding a mouse cursor in the future to improve the game's overall quality of life.


Another area that needs improvement is the game's technical performance. I encountered some frame rate issues and bugs that disrupted gameplay quite a number of times. While it wasn’t too many, it was enough for me to notice. Specifically, the hitboxes were sometimes inconsistent, causing issues in boss fights where I would take damage even when I didn't get hit, and vice versa.

Additionally, I encountered puzzles that didn't work as intended, which would occasionally disrupt the flow of the game and be frustrating. As a Metroidvania game, these issues can be particularly problematic considering that this game can be quite difficult. I hope the developers will address these problems soon to improve the game's overall quality and polish.

Although I enjoyed the game's initial opening, which effectively transported me to a Grimm's Fairy tale-like narrative with its eerie and strange masks, I must admit that the mystery surrounding the story and visuals was the primary driving force behind my motivation to play the game for the first hour.

The gameplay felt quite straightforward and unremarkable during this period, with the basic jump and attack mechanics feeling like those found in an average side-scroller. The inability to perform wall jumps in the early stages was particularly limiting.


Despite this initial impression, I urge readers to persevere, as the game's complexity and enjoyment factor significantly increase after the first hour. Progressing through the game will suddenly keep giving you abilities and skills that significantly enhance combat and exploration. These include features like double jumping, wall-to-wall jumping, additional combat moves, and air dashing just to name a few.

It's also worth noting that thematically, I understood why this approach had to be done. The protagonist, who initially uncovers the secrets of the Vile, gradually begins to embody characteristics similar to those of the creatures in the Vile, suggesting that as they delve deeper into the mystery, they are unwittingly becoming more like it. To quote Sarah J. Maas: “when you spend so long trapped in darkness, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.”

For those just interested in gameplay, I strongly recommend giving this game at least a chance to reach the first boss battle, as it's where the gameplay truly begins to shine. The moment I faced off against the bizarre, giant deformed humanoid rabbit in a hospital setting, I knew I was in for a thrilling experience.

However, I must note that this first boss is no pushover. It took me a few attempts to defeat it, and even then, I had to be mindful of its attack patterns and adjust my strategy accordingly. As with any Metroidvania game, the difference between life and death can be a matter of seconds, even when facing ordinary enemies.

In this game, you'll only be able to save your progress at designated camps, and you'll need to ration your potions carefully. Enemies can inflict significant damage, so it's essential to remain calm and focused throughout your journey. By doing so, you'll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

After defeating the first boss, the game truly comes alive, showcasing its vibrant and dynamic world in a way that's both creative and immersive. The day-night cycle and weather effects impact not only the behavior of enemies but also the townspeople, with some side quests only becoming accessible under specific conditions, such as being available during the night.


The game's locations are visually stunning and yet somehow also horrifying. As you progress through the game, you'll discover that each location is distinct from the others not just through its visuals but through the puzzles involved. The more you play, the more you'll uncover the mysteries of the Vile, and the game's weirdness and interest only grow as you delve deeper into its world.

The interactivity of the environment adds to the game's sense of wonder, allowing you to explore and engage with the world in a way that feels truly otherworldly.

Pros of Venture to the Vile

Things Venture to the Vile Got Right
Checkmark Visually Unique and Dynamic World
Checkmark Memorable and Difficult Boss Fights
Checkmark Tim Burton Like Story

Visually Unique and Dynamic World


Rainybrook and its surroundings are an eerie and unsettling place, and things only take a darker turn when the mysterious entities and viles begin to wreak havoc on the town. A Metroidvania's world is often the deciding factor in whether the game succeeds or fails, and thankfully, every location in this game is a stunning and unique masterpiece. From a beach-like area to a ship stranded in a stormy sea, or even an underground mine filled with unknown beasts, each environment is a fresh and exciting experience that makes backtracking a joy.

It's as if you've stepped into a dark fairy tale, where every location holds secrets and surprises. Exploring the world is not only fun but also rewarding, with hidden paths, unlockables, and unique experiences waiting to be discovered.
The day-night cycle adds an extra layer of depth, making backtracking feel different and exciting each time. It's a rare quality in Metroidvania games and one that helps to avoid monotony. The developers have done an incredible job of creating a world that's both beautiful and terrifying.

Memorable and Difficult Boss Fights


This game doesn't coddle you during boss battles. They are challenging and require you to learn their attack patterns through trial and error. While it can be frustrating to die repeatedly, the feeling of accomplishment when you finally defeat them is immensely satisfying.

One of my favorites is the giant squid encountered on the ship, along with the deformed and massive walrus in the cave. These battles are both scary and thrilling, each boss providing a unique and engaging fight that area all different from one another.

Tim Burton Like Story


The narrative of this game is deceptively simple, with the goal of finding your best friend Ella serving as a catalyst for a rich and complex world. The game doesn't try to explain everything upfront, instead opting to slowly reveal its secrets and mysteries, allowing you to immerse yourself in its bizarre and often unsettling atmosphere.

The beginning of the game is particularly effective, as you're left wondering about the animal masks worn by the characters, including yourself. This air of mystery is what keeps you hooked throughout the game, and it's all the more intriguing because it's not spoon-fed to you. The game's refusal to explain everything adds to its charm, making it a more engaging and thought-provoking experience.

The game's narrative perfectly captures the essence of a Burton film - a gothic, unapologetically weird, and often horrifying tale that explores the darker aspects of human nature. At the same time, it retains a sense of heart and emotional depth that is characteristic of Burton's work. The result is a game that is both unsettling and captivating, with a story that will linger long after you've finished playing.

Cons of Venture to the Vile

Things That Venture to the Vile Can Improve
Checkmark Starts Off Quite Slow
Checkmark Performance Issues and Bugs

Starts Off Quite Slow


Although the game's narrative effectively grabs your attention from the outset, the gameplay takes some time to truly shine. The initial 2D side-scroller format can feel a bit unremarkable and even clunky, potentially leading to boredom. However, I assure you that the game's true potential is unleashed around the first boss fight. This pivotal moment marks a significant shift in the gameplay, transforming it into a true Metroidvania.

Performance Issues and Bugs


I'm hoping the developers address the few, but noticeable, bugs in the game. These include sudden framerate drops, wonky hitboxes that lead to unintended damage, and occasionally malfunctioning puzzles.

Is Venture to the Vile Worth It?

Yes, Especially for Tim Burton Fans


While I have some minor complaints, I've found this Metroidvania game to be a delightful and unique experience. As I progress and unlock new abilities, exploration becomes even more engaging. The game's Gothic aesthetic and mysterious storyline have me hooked, making it hard to put down. For just $25, it's a great value, especially for fans of Tim Burton or quirky animated films or shows like Over the Garden Wall - I highly recommend it!

Digital Storefronts
Steam IconSteam
Price $24.99

Venture to the Vile FAQ

What Inspired Venture to the Vile?

According to their Twitter (X) post, three of the things that heavily inspired the game was Castlevania, A Nightmare Before Christmas, and Over the Garden Wall.

Will Venture to the Vile be on Consoles like the PS5 and PS4?

Console versions are not planned to become available until late 2024, where it will be heading to the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.

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Venture to the Vile Product Information

Venture to the Vile Cover
Release Date May 22, 2024(PC)
Late 2024 (Consoles)
Developer Studio Cut to Bits
Publisher Aniplex Inc.
Supported Platforms PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC (Steam)
Genre Adventure, Platforming
Number of Players 1
ESRB Rating RP
Official Website Venture to the Vile Website


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