LifeisXbox’s Venice 2089 preview | Venice 2089 is a chill, story-rich exploration game about a girl, Nova, spending summer vacation in Venice with her grandfather. When perusing the available demos for LudoNarraCon this one immediately stood out to me due to its colourful art style and inclusion of a hoverboarding mechanic. Let’s join Nova on the first two days of her stay in Venice anno 2089. Venice 2089 is both developed and published by Safe Place Studio for PC with no release date in sight.
Cruisin’ the streets of Venice
So, you’re a bored teen in late 21st century Venice. What do you do? Ride your hoverboard while doing errands of course. Right from the start of the demo, Nova has her board with her and you can hop on at the press of a button. Headphones on, board at your feet, will become your main means of transport for most of the game. When cruising, different coloured tokens appear. Grabbing these gives you both a boost in speed and enhances your music. You’ll also get to meet an appetizer’s worth of interesting characters to meet and make memories with. On day two Nova also receives her old drone from a friend, allowing her to mess with stuff normally out of reach.
Let’s start off with the sound in Venice 2089, which go from nice and serene aquatic-themed tunes while Nova walks along the canals to having a nice techno beat laid on top while cruising on your hoverboard. Now, the tokens I spoke of earlier also play into this. You start with a sort of standard tune and the more tokens you grab add additional layers to the music, Devil May Cry style. Back in your boathouse and at Pa’s place you might not be served background music, but the silence broken only by the soft ambient sounds is pleasant. Kind of like the shift between being busy all day and coming home to peace and quiet.
As mentioned in the intro, the graphics of Venice 2089 are what initially drew me towards the demo. The 2D characters really stand out in the 2.5D world they inhabit. Their animations are all really clean and charming. Now, about Venice itself, while I’ve seen the buildings are all 3D, the devs did a really good job at making all feel hand-drawn. A lot of work and love clearly went into this. I do hope things will change as the story progresses. Some new graffiti, buildings getting repaired or further deteriorating, etc… I do have two remarks however. Firstly, when taking certain turns the camera sometimes got funky in spinning to the right position. Secondly, you might want to make some of the interactable drone items stand out more, as I couldn’t find any beyond the tutorial example.
When I passed by Pa’s house on my second in-game day in Venice 2089 I was told the demo would end after the second day, and that really bummed me out. I was having a great time in Venice and didn’t want stuff to end just yet. A feeling I haven’t had since the days of my PS2 demo disk. It‘s a pity for me, but it marks a great demo for what promises to be a good game. I’ll definitely be wishlisting Venice 2089 to keep an eye on it!