Voodoo Kid

Review by Jen

Even though Voodoo Kid has been out for three years now, I had never heard of it. Strange since it comes from such an illustrious publisher as Infogrames, not to mention the fact that the illustrious Hubert Chardot of Alone in the Dark fame had a hand in it, but there you have it. Probably another case of mismarketing at its finest. Anyway, I got it from my good friend Alan McDonald of Playing Games and promptly started playing.

Voodoo Kid is a horror adventure game rated for all ages. I believe it was designed for older children, like the Nancy Drew games, but it can be enjoyed by all ages. A sidenote: It was rated by the less-uptight European game rating agency, the ELSPA, not the North American ESRB. The Voodoo Kid says "damn" and "hell" a couple of times, so if you're not comfortable letting your kids hear those words, don't get this game for them. But go ahead and get it for yourself!

When you start the game, you get a choice to play as a boy or a girl. It doesn't really matter which you choose; your name is "Kid" no matter what. (I chose the girl, of course.) The opening cut scene shows Kid in bed reading a scary book about Captain Kidd, and bored, she falls into a troubled sleep. She finds herself trapped in the hold of a ghost ship, with only a skeletal butler to talk to. She soon learns that she must find a bunch of map pieces in order to go home again; the alternative destination is the island of lost souls. We are introduced via cut scenes to the nemesis, Baron Saturday, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the pirate LeChuck of Monkey Island fame. The resemblance is purely superficial, however; this villain has his own personality and agenda. Ultimately, Kid must collect the map pieces, defeat Baron Saturday, and steer the ship on a course for home.

As you play the game, Kid must solve problems in each location of the ship to gain access to the next location. There is no backtracking; she cannot advance until she has completed puzzles in each location. While not difficult, there are some red herrings in the game, so it can be a little tricky at times; however, this is one game where an experienced adventure gamer should not need any hints and an inexperienced player will never get hopelessly stuck. If you make a wrong move and get "dead," you get as many do-overs as you need. I wish every game had this feature! There are a couple of arcade sequences, but they did not prove troublesome even for this action-challenged player.

Voodoo Kid is three years old; the graphics are very nicely done and stand up well now, even the cutscenes. My only complaint was that the resolution is set at 640x480, so if your screen resolution is higher, you must either play in a window or change it manually. On the plus side, the game does not install; it just plays straight from the CD and only accesses your hard drive for saving/loading. And you can multitask with no trouble just by minimizing the game window.

The music is nice and spooky, sounding as if it were lifted straight from a horror film. The voice acting is better than average for an adventure game, particularly surprising considering the poor track record of the French in this area. The sound effects are superb and never out of place.

All in all, Voodoo Kid is of a quality seldom seen in titles designed for kids. I would certainly recommend it to adult players as well; it's a nice little diversion for when you get tired of brain-busting puzzles and endless walkthrough consultation. The End

The Verdict

The Lowdown

Developer: Dice Computer Games
Publisher: Infogrames
Release Date: 1997

Available for: Windows

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System Requirements

Pentium 75 MHz or higher (100 MHz recommended)
8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended)
4X CD-ROM drive
Mouse
Video card, 640x480 resolution
256 colors or higher
Soundblaster-compatible 16-bit sound card
Speakers
Windows 95 or 3.1

 
   
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