Review: Sockventure (Switch Version)

Does Sockventure still need to iron out its wrinkles?

Joseph Caddick
29th April 2022
Image: Nighthouse Games
Platformers are often thought of as being easy games that you can complete without putting much thought into them. Therefore, it’s refreshing to see more challenging takes on the genre, and that’s exactly what Sockventure is. Since Nighthouse Games were nice enough to send a review code, I played through the game twice to collate my thoughts.
Sockventure's old logo.
Image: Nighthouse Games

The premise of this game is absolutely ludicrous, and I love that. A kid’s socks get eaten by an evil washing machine, and it is up to a superhero to help save the day. It’s very reminiscent of the weird plots that would set up a lot of older games, like Kirby going on a quest to get his stolen cheesecake back.

For a 2D indie game that doesn’t use pixel art, I really like the graphics. There could be more visual variety within each of the level themes, as they largely seem to be recolours of one another, but everything looks nice enough. The only visual effect that I’m not a fan of is the comic book-like phrases that appear whenever you land on the ground; they clutter up the screen.

it’s very easy to get a feel for the controls, especially because you’re slowly introduced to each new ability

In terms of difficulty, there is a very satisfying learning curve to Sockventure. Completing each chapter unlocks a new ability, such as a double jump or a dash. The next chapter then puts this new skill to the test, making sure you’ve mastered even the most intricate of movements before long. These challenges, especially earlier on, really help you get to grips with the new mechanics.

Towards the latter half of the game, some of the difficulty does feel a bit cheap, like spikes being placed on literally every part of the wall and ceiling. There’s very little breathing room, which can feel claustrophobic. There is also a slingshot mechanic which I don’t think gives you enough time to adjust your course, especially when being launched from one of these slingshots to another.

In-game image of Sockventure.
Image: Nighthouse Games

Unfortunately, through either my ineptitude or a glitch of some kind, I was locked out at a certain point; the stomp ability just wouldn’t work, so I couldn’t progress to the next (and I think final) chapter in my playthrough. I tried a number of different button combinations and pressing the stomp button for differing lengths of time, but nothing worked. That was disheartening.

Gameplay feels smooth, with there being a nice weight to the character’s movement as you jump. It’s very easy to get a feel for the controls, especially because you’re slowly introduced to each new ability. I did notice some minor hit detection issues however, specifically with the sideways pillows (Sockventure’s equivalent to springs). Although I've not yet played Celeste, Sockventure apparently plays in a similar way.

Another in-game image of Sockventure.
Image: Nighthouse Games

I really found myself enjoying the music, particularly for the earlier levels. Later levels opt for a more atmospheric score, though I feel this works well due to the atmosphere and difficulty increase. Repetitive level themes, no matter how good, can be infuriating when you’re retrying a certain level or segment over and over again. The sound design in general is really good, though the pillow sound effect seems oddly familiar to the spring from Super Mario World.

Another minor criticism I have is that the dialogue bubbles that appear when you collect each sock can be a little bit cringe-worthy. It’s a minuscule part of the game, so it’s barely ever a problem.

If you’re a fan of difficult platformers or feel like challenging yourself, I’d recommend Sockventure.

Sockventure is now available for Windows and Nintendo Switch.

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