Voyage – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game, walking sim
Developer: Venturous
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Platform: Switch, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X|S
Tested on: Switch

Voyage – Review

Site Score
Good: An immersive experience that goes beyond being a normal video game
Bad: Lacks replay value
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

When Voyage’s end credits rolled across our screen, we found ourselves sitting in silence for a while as we were processing what we had just experienced. Even a day later, as we geared up to write down our thoughts about it, we still weren’t sure how to properly convey Voyage’s impact. Not because we can’t tell you what it’s about or how it plays. That would be easy enough. No, Voyage’s real merit lies in how developer Venturous uses a video game skeleton as a storytelling device, and the end result is something unique. Intrigued yet? Well then, read on as we attempt to explain what makes Voyage so special.


Taking a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach, Voyage delivers a heartfelt and emotional tale without so much as a single word being uttered. Much of the game’s story is left open to interpretation, so how much of an impact the game will have depends on your own sense of empathy. The game centers around a pair of nameless protagonists who find themselves stranded in a strange wilderness. Their aim is to find their way home, but along the way, they are haunted by visions from the past. Although these visions may not be pleasant to look at, they offer important clues for the voyage home. It’s a simple premise that successfully succeeds in tugging at your heartstrings when things come full circle -though we won’t spoil how things play out. Just make sure you have tissues nearby.

It’s impressive just how much emotion Venturous managed to cram into such a short game, especially given how little information about the protagonists is handed directly to the player. There is no dialogue at any point in the game and we never get to know these characters’ motivations -or even what their relationship is- but by leaving the player to fill in the blank spaces, a connection with these characters is inevitably created. Granted, Voyage does leave some questions unanswered and a lot of the narrative is going to land differently for different people, but that is part of the beauty of it. Playing Voyage in co-op adds another dimension to the narrative as well, as you’ll inevitably discuss what these characters are going through with your co-player.


Much of Voyage’s impact is derived from how it presents itself visually. Through a striking color palette, varied hand-painted environments, and adorable character designs, Venturous has created an eye-catching world filled to the brim with rich detail. Character body language is expressive and the game’s animations almost feel Ghibli-esque. A lot of effort was put into making Voyage feel like an interactive cinematic experience rather than a game as well: although it’s a side-scrolling experience first and foremost, clever use of blurring and light effects ensure that depth is created. The game also avoids having on-screen text or button prompts where possible, allowing the visuals to really shine and be as immersive as possible.


Because Voyage doesn’t feature any dialogue, music plays a very important part in conveying emotions. This is a game where it is absolutely essential that the music gets a chance to shine, and if you were to turn the sound off, it would diminish the experience. Granted, the soundtrack never takes front stage, instead highlighting the struggles of our nameless heroes, and underlining their frailty. Ambient sound effects like rain and wind complete the soundscape, and if it wasn’t for the fact that the game is perhaps best enjoyed in co-op, we’d recommend using headphones to really let yourself get sucked into this gorgeous world.


If we strip away Voyage’s poignant story and gorgeous aesthetics, there isn’t a whole lot left in terms of gameplay. In essence, this is a walking sim that incorporates some light puzzling. You can play it in co-op with a friend or you can have the game take control of one of the two characters. The game has a solid foundation: over the course of eight short chapters, our protagonists must work together to overcome a series of basic obstacles to make it to the end of the linear levels. These puzzles typically involve pushing or pulling items and flipping switches. There are no enemies to defeat and no time limits to deal with. Instead, you can tackle everything at your own pace. Consequently, Voyage isn’t a particularly challenging game, but that’s okay because that isn’t the intent. What Venturous attempts to do here transcends the idea of a video game, and instead feels more like an interactive art piece or even an exercise in self-reflection. In this regard, Voyage is an absolute triumph, but if we are to discuss its merit as an actual game, the verdict is going to be divisive.

We should address Voyage’s length, or lack thereof. Clocking in at under 90 minutes, this is a woefully short game, and there are no meaningful reasons to replay it. The ‘wow’-effect of the ending would be gone on subsequent playthroughs. Add to this that the game’s price point is on the high side at €14.99/$14.99 and you might end up feeling like you’re not getting a good deal here. It’s easy to see why if you compare Voyage to other titles in the same price bracket, but making that comparison would be dishonest when looking at the bigger picture and understanding what Venturous aims to achieve here. We feel like Voyage’s short length isn’t an issue, because this is a game that should be played in a single sitting rather than being broken up over three or four play sessions, to maximize the impact of the story. It’s a matter of quality over quantity, and although we do feel that the game is priced a bit too high, that has more to do with the overall lack of replayability than how short it is.


Voyage has a lot going against it: it’s very short, relatively expensive, and rather underwhelming in terms of gameplay. That makes it a very hard sell, yet we cannot help but recommend it. We absolutely adored what was presented here. Thankfully, there is no sense of urgency here, so if you feel like the asking price is too high -which we’d fully understand- then wishlisting the game and waiting for a sale is an option. That said, we still urge you to take the chance to give Voyage a try if you can -even if it’s simply as someone else’s co-player. We won’t go as far as to say that Voyage is a life-changing experience, but it’s a profound little game and we dare anyone that plays through it not to feel touched by it when the end credits roll.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Voyage - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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