Voodoo Kid

Developer/Publisher:  Infogrames
Year Released:  1997

Review by Gordon Aplin (September, 1997)
voodoo.jpgVoodoo Kid is an entertaining adventure game aimed at, say, an eight to fifteen year old age group. It has a ghostly theme and a brand of humour that players in this age group will appreciate, although I suspect some older adventurers might also have some fun with this one, especially anyone new to adventure game playing.

The story opens after you choose your character, girl or boy, known only as Kid. You are in bed reading a book about pirates and the evil Baron Saturday, King of the Zombies. Yawning, and with eyes barely able to focus on the page, you let the book slip to the floor and Baron Saturday draws you into his nightmarish world.

All at sea
You gain control of your character in the hold of a Galleon that is transporting captured souls to the Island of Lost Souls. Your job is to make your way through the ship, confront the Baron and free the luckless captives. To do this you must explore the Galleon and find and use items in time-honoured adventuring style. For variety, there are a few logic puzzles to complete and two simple arcade sequences that involve squashing bugs and 'shooting' zombies -- though no one should be put off by these as they are not too difficult. There really is no fighting or combat and even your final confrontation with the Baron is played out like a Stone, Scissors, Paper contest. At times your character will become trapped and, using voodoo artefacts to free your 'spirit', you must wander the ship in ghostly form seeking a solution to your predicament.

The interface is simple point and click and a 'grasping hand' cursor lets you know when you can 'take' or 'use' something in your environment. Many objects are there just for fun such as a skeletal hand appearing when you click on a barrel, others may provide clues about what you need to do. There is not a great deal of character interaction with really only the Baron's reluctant zombie butler and, later, the ship's captain to talk to, but this, many would argue, is a good feature. At least there are no long and pointless conversations to slow down the gameplay. The game allows the option of text and voices and you can click through the dialogue with ease.

Game mechanics
Voodoo Kid plays directly from the CD and provides ample save game slots. Other useful control options allow you to adjust the music, effects and voice levels, or switch them off altogether. You can also speed up or slow down the animation which, as well as being useful for adjusting your character's walking speed, can also give you an advantage in the arcade sequences. Though you can choose to play as a boy or girl the game itself plays the same either way.

All in all this game is not too difficult to solve, and this is not a criticism given the target age group. This relative simplicity allows the player to make steady progress without becoming hopelessly stuck too many times. At the same time there are plenty of obstacles to overcome and the game is captivating enough to make you want to keep playing. I think Infogrames are to be congratulated on producing a fun adventure game that is likely to appeal to a pre-teen/early teen market and one that introduces younger players to the undoubted joys of computer adventure games. It's one that all the family can happily join in and play.

See the Voodoo Kid walkthrough. rating:  

Copyright © Gordon Aplin 1997. All rights reserved.

System requirements:
Pentium 75 MHz or higher (Pentium 100 recommended) 8 MB of RAM (16 MB recommended) 4X CD-ROM drive, Mouse, Video card with 640*480 mode, 256 colours or higher, 16-bit SoundBlaster-compatible sound card plus speakers, Windows 95 or Windows 3.1