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The Videokid Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Much like the old school games that inspired it, The Videokid is a short and straight-forward action game where all you do is dodge obstacles and throw VHS tapes into mailboxes. It doesn't have any hidden depth or greater meaning; it's just a fun arcade-style time-waster. And at $4, that's all it needs to be. With an almost absurd amount of cameos and a great sense of humor, The Videokid is not just a fun update to Paperboy, but also a real crowd pleaser. Rating: 78%
The Videokid
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  • Review Score:

  • B+
It's the 1980s, and the Videokid has the entire world in his hands. He has a comfy job skating around the neighborhood delivering VHS tapes and an attractive girlfriend waiting for him at the park, making him pretty much the coolest kid on the block. But savor what you have, Videokid, because your future is bleak. There's going to come a time when video rental stores are no longer needed, and you'll be reduced to delivering pizzas and Chinese food.

Thankfully, that nightmarish future is the furthest thing from our hero's mind in The Videokid, a brand new arcade-style action game inspired by the antics of Paperboy. You play a typical '80s kid who fills his bag full of VHS tapes and tosses them into red mailboxes. He's basically the original Netflix, delivering the hottest movies to people that don't want to leave the house.


The similarities to Paperboy are obvious from the very first second. We're pushed along a straight isometric street filled with cars, potholes, people and all kinds of other obstacles. You can't turn around or slow down, you just dodge left and right and jump when needed. It's a simple premise that will be instantly familiar to anybody with a working knowledge of old arcade games.

What sets this game apart is that it's overflowing with 1980s pop culture references. And not just one or two, but so many movie, music, TV and game references that I had a hard time keeping count. You'll see Transformers fighting in the intersection, big bird dancing on the sidewalk, Baywatch lifeguards racing in slow motion, space invaders mocking you, Indiana Jones running from the boulder and Mutant Turtles ushering you down into the sewer. And that's not even scratching the surface of how many great references pop up in just a single 3 minute long session.

Usually I'm not a big fan of these types of pop culture cameos, but there are so many of them in The Videokid that it manages to elevate the action in a lot of amusing ways. The game never dwells on these characters, so you'll only see them for a second or two as they race by. The cavalcade of cameos is certainly a lot more interesting than just seeing a bunch of generic people and cars. But beware, it's also a little distracting, so make sure and keep your eyes on the road while you're delivering VHS tapes.

The Videokid (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Perhaps it's to be expected, but The Videokid shares a lot of the same problems I had with Paperboy back in the day. Aside from 2D shoot-em-ups, I've never been a big fan of games pushing you forward without any way of slowing down. I also continue to have issues with lining up the shot, since the isometric angle, lead time and narrow hole are always working against you.

Beyond the usual Paperboy problems, I was a little disappointed by the repetition of the sight gags. It's one thing you expect repeating pop culture cameos, but there are a few animations that happen way too often. You'll start to expect the same intersection bits every time, which helps to break the illusion after a while. The game needs to be a little more random than it currently is.

But the big problem here is that the game is still pretty glitchy. I constantly ran into the same bugs while playing, often with game-ending results. This didn't happen in every game, but a few of my best runs were ruined thanks to a crazy glitch. I can only hope that some of these bugs will be squashed with a patch. And who knows, perhaps that patch can also include the much-needed controller support.

The Videokid (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Even with some of the technical issues, I still found myself jumping back in to improve my score and earn more money. One of the hooks is that there are a lot of characters to unlock, all of which are based on famous fictional characters. You start out with a bunch of Michael J. Fox lookalikes and eventually end up with fake She-Ra and a Joker wannabe. These are fun to unlock, but don't expect them to handle any differently. This game isn't that deep.

Much like the old school games that inspired it, The Videokid is a short and straight-forward action game where all you do is dodge obstacles and throw VHS tapes into mailboxes. It doesn't have any hidden depth or greater meaning; it's just a fun arcade-style time-waster. And at $4, that's all it needs to be. With an almost absurd amount of cameos and a great sense of humor, The Videokid is not just a fun update to Paperboy, but also a real crowd pleaser.
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