The goal of Venture is to collect treasure from a dungeon. The player, named Winky, is equipped with a bow and arrow and explores a dungeon with rooms and hallways. The hallways are patrolled by large, tentacled monsters (the "Hallmonsters", according to Exidy) who cannot be injured, killed, or stopped in any way.
Once in a room, the player may kill monsters, avoid traps and gather treasures. If they stay in any room too long, a Hallmonster will enter the room, chase and kill them. Worst, dead monsters were ''still'' deadly to touch, and decayed ''very'' slowly (and shooting them caused the decaying process to start all over again instead of speeding it up). If they blocked an exit or a bottleneck, a Hallmonster usually arrived at that point.
This game provides examples of
- Deadly Walls: One dungeon (the appropriately-named Wall Room) has nothing but deadly moving walls that protect its treasure. In the arcade version, you can shoot through the walls (though just going around them is faster), but most of the home versions either made the walls invulnerable to attacks or made the player unable to shoot while in the Wall Room.
- Dungeon Crawling: A very arcade-y example.
- Endless Game: All two or three levels cycle continuously, though not necessarily in order.
- From Bad to Worse: The monsters very slowly decay and restart their decay process when shot again, sometimes trapping the player to a spot in the dungeons. When it becomes time for a hallmonster to enter, losing a life would most likely become inevitable.
- Game Mod: The Atari 2600 version was modded into Venture II: The Abysmal Abyss and Wolfenstein 2600.
- Implacable Man: The Hallmonsters.
- Maze Game/Shoot 'em Up: It's Berzerk set in a medieval age fantasy world.
- Perpetual Smiler: Winky, until he gets hit by any sort of danger.
- Stalked by the Bell: The Hallmonster comes after the player if he takes too long in a dungeon.
- Top-Down View: Has an overworld-style map that you run through until you enter a dungeon.