Top Critic Average
The Videokid is one of those arcade titles that can easily eat away at your time if you let. The simplistic but addictive gameplay means you'll want to keep going back until you've beaten the course. Combine it with the colourful voxel art and the humour that permeates the game and you have a verified fun experience on your hands. The Videokid isn't just an homage to Paperboy, it's a successor.
The Videokid is developer Pixeltrip's modern runner with a retro twist. It puts players back in an era when VHS was the only way to watch movies at home. As a thoroughly irresponsible teenager, we take to our skateboard to deliver tapes, cause mischief, and avoid oncoming obstacles. This is our Videokid review.
While its setup does make it look like one of those soulless endless runners that fill mobile app stores, The VideoKid overcomes that hollow association by offering up a nostalgic love letter to the characters that defined a decade. The random layout means you'll never get the same run twice, but once you've played each section of its celebrity-filled suburbia a few times, you will start to notice plenty of bits being recycled as you head to your final destination. Still, with high-scores to chase and new character skins and tricks to unlock, this modern Paperboy has earned its pay packet.
I persevered and beat the level in five days of off and on play, and rather than it turning me away, the frustration compelled me to respond with "just another run" to do better. The VideoKid is a short visit, not an extended vacation, into a quirky nostalgia-packed arcade run. I enjoyed my brief stay, but for you it might depend on your fondness for The California Raisins or The Thundercats.
When reviewing titles I always attempt to make it more about what the game is trying to be than what I wish it was but in the case of The VideoKid its inspirations are so obvious that it’s tough for me not to at least make comparisons. Mentally removing Paperboy from my mind this is a reasonably good arcade-style game that may end abruptly but is well-suited to quick sessions and is lovingly dipped in nostalgia with some “deep cut” references. However, keeping that classic in mind I find it hard not to get distracted by what’s been lost in translation. If you have no idea what Paperboy is, you’ll probably get some satisfaction, but if you’re a fan and were hoping this would rekindle that old flame just understand that there are some major caveats but some of its spirit is still present.
The VideoKid is a fun and addictive take on an arcade classic. Filled with challenging gameplay and a barrage of nostalgic references to pop culture, this 80s themed homage to Paperboy is worth a go.
The VideoKid clearly loves the 1980s, and it hopes you do too. But strip away the nostalgia and you're left with a pretty basic experience. Unless you REALLY enjoyed Paperboy, you're better off looking elsewhere.
(I cannot confirm the existence of a Top Gun Easter egg or character appearance in the game because I did not watch the movie, but I can say that, on behalf of PixelTrip Studios, Tom Cruise's likeness was nowhere to be found in case any lawyers are reading this.)
The VideoKid is a solid game based on the 1980's. While it might be a short-lived experience played solo after a few hours, it could be the centre of a more enjoyable experience by passing the controller amongst friends, although the lack of a leaderboard to taunt them on is a huge mind-boggling miss.
The VideoKid takes the idea of nostalgia and runs (or skateboards) with it. Not only does it use the likes of Baywatch, Bill & Ted, and Fraggle Rock to grab the attention of potential players, but also tops it off as a speedy homage to a classic Atari game. As far as planning goes, it's intriguing. It's fun to throw VHS tapes and jump over the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the presentation and design don't hold up. With a single level that becomes repetitive after a few hours, gameplay changes that are prohibitive or distracting, and the overall feel of an app game on a console, the quality of The VideoKid is slightly above average. It doesn't feel like a game I'd boot up my console to play, but it feels like something I'd play while another title is downloading.
There is some quick blast fun to be had here, along with some secrets to find like underground sewers to ride. If you can stomach the graphics, and repetitive sound loops then you’ll probably have a big nostalgia like grin while playing this game simply due to its charm. It’s just a shame that the game it tries so hard to emulate is ultimately more fun.