Games that pay homage to the past feel like a dime a dozen nowadays, and it’s getting increasingly difficult for old-school type games to stand out amongst the crowded digital space. The Videokid succeeds in separating itself from that crowd, even if it’s a massive amount of nostalgia that helps do the trick.

The Videokid takes most of its inspiration from Paperboy, only in this universe you’re on a skateboard delivering videotapes to the houses instead of newspapers. Then pour on as many 80’s references you can think of and you’ll start getting what you’re in for. As a runner-style game, the focus is on seeing how many tapes you can deliver, and how far you can make it without failing. Avoiding obstacles that come your way is key, or you can do tricks off of them to increase your score. It isn’t just benches and cars that are in your way – the likes of Big Bird and the Batmobile will be trying to take you out as you navigate between three different lanes to find the most successful path to the end. You’ll also collect money on each run that helps you unlock new tricks or outfits for your character. (The soundtrack is also legit, and you can listen to the track here.)

Positives

+ The replayability is insane. It takes legitimate effort to get better on each run, and every intersection you make it past has a feeling of accomplishment. Once you’ve completed a run, the instinct to increase your high score will take over.

+ The old school mash-up feel is excellent. Taking massive inspiration from Paperboy and other 80’s games to create something unique could have been tacky, but The Videokid used it to maximize personality and has a unique feeling all its own.

+ The 80’s references are in abundance, and it takes multiple playthroughs to catch them all. Even after a few completed runs, I was catching things I didn’t notice the first, tenth, or twentieth time around. Some examples: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pac-Man, Scooby Doo, Bill and Ted, Back to the Future, Snoopy, Michael Jackson… and that’s just the easily noticeable stuff.

Negatives

No leaderboards? Really? And don’t encourage me to upload to Facebook to see how I compare – that should be in the game.

While the one level is absolutely fine for the value, the lack of an endless mode is glaring. Even if it was simply a loop, chasing high scores would be a blast. Although, a lack of leaderboards sort of defeats the purpose.

Conclusion

The Videokid is a game that’s easy to love if you grew up in the 80’s/early 90’s. You’ll recognize most of the references coming your way, and it truly adds enjoyment beyond the polished gameplay. It’s a runner-style game that stands out amongst its peers, even if it doesn’t last all that long. While the lack of leaderboards and an endless mode are a blow to the final product, it’s a must own for your digital library. Let’s hope a 90’s version is planned for the future.

Score – 8/10

 

Jake’s Second Opinion

Every point that Shawn makes I agree with. I grew up in the 2000’s, but was able to see most, if not all, of the references through the game. It really adds to the fun and replayability. The lack of an endless mode or leaderboards, even just for friends, is the most glaring issue by far. However, the problems pretty much end there, and The Videokid holds up as one of my favorite indie games I’ve ever played. I’m not a huge fan of runner-style games overall, but I really enjoy playing this one.

 

*Reviewer spent 5-6 hours mastering the game, and even won a contest for the highest score.

Achievements/Trophies - There's 10 in total (no platinum on PS4). The main one to aim for is for beating the game three times, which should get you in line for all of the others that you need. Roughly a 3-4 hour completion.
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Written by Shawn Ryan

I've been gaming for almost 30 years, with a vast array of knowledge (and Gamerscore) under my belt. I play everything, and tend to find the good even in bad games. There will never be a game better than The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

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