Venture takes the classic formula of the board game Risk and adds a couple of twists and some varied maps, resulting in an enjoyable strategy game.
The game starts with an empty map divided up into territories and each of the four players, either human via local multiplayer or AI controlled, take turns choosing which to place a unit on. Once that is done, the players select which of their territories to add reinforcements to.
Then the battle begins, the goal of which is to wipe out all enemies and take over the map. During a battle stages, which are again played in turns, a player can attack any territory that neighbors one of their own, as long as their own has two or more units on it. These individual fights are resolved in the same manner as in Risk, so having more units than your opposition gives you the advantage.
Once all players have had their turn during a battle stage, there is a round of reinforcements. The number of units awarded is worked out depending on how many territories each player occupies, and a bonus amount is given for any clusters they own (clusters are defined groups of territories). The rounds are then repeated until someone emerges victorious.

One of the slight twist to the formula comes in the form of a few (usually 2 or 3) unique territories that after 4 battle rounds receive bonus reinforcements, so they are well worth fighting over. Another twist is a stormcloud that travels around the board settling on one territory each round, this territory then cannot attack or be attacked.
There are five different maps to play on, each with it's own theme (Stone Age, Medieval, Pirates, World War II and Outer Space).
There's a lot of customization to be toyed with before playing each match, with tweaks available for all sorts of things like random map placement, number of reinforcements, and so on.

The graphics in Venture done in 2D with a simple but colourful look to them. There is little in the form of animations, but that helps keep the rounds going at a good pace rather than having to wait for a mini cutscene after each attack. One minor problem with the visuals is that it's sometimes hard to tell exactly which territories you can attack, the borders between them are drawn with a solid line to denote an impassable one and a dotted line to show a passable one, but it's occasionally difficult to tell the two apart.
The sound effects are nice, with some solid booms and explosions during attacks, and oohs and aahs when you take over an enemy territory. The music is catchy but suffers from some glitches during menu selections and during battles.

Overall, Venture is a lot of fun to play. The game has a good pace, with the AI making it's choices quickly, and the three available difficulty settings should provide enough of a challenge to most players. There are awardments to unlock, and after each game you are given XP which goes towards your military rank. The strategy elements are very satisfying and I found the game to be quite addictive.

Get Venture on XBox 360