This is a horror adventure game for young gamers (ages 8-15 or so) in which players can choose to play as either a boy or girl, though the game is still the same either way. When the game starts, the protagonist is reading a boring story about Baron Saturday, an evil voodoo spirit captain that's turned his entire crew into mindless zombies and is taking them to the Island of Lost Souls.
The protagonist falls asleep and is transported onto Saturday's ship, where (s)he meets the Captain's butler who needs their help. He asks the protagonist to save all the other lost souls, spirits, and zombies who are trapped on the ship. Throughout the game, the butler will provide the player with clues as he keeps getting trapped.
"Voodoo Kid" is a creepy adventure game for the target group between 8 and 15 years from the year 1997 by French developer Infogrames. The splendourful designed original gamebox contains not only the CD and a mirrorfinish manual in color with many screenshots and game graphics, but also a super gameposter, an excitingly written log and a just as informative as graphical substantial voodoo encyclopedia in folding format. Unpacking already makes fun! I find this particularly worth mentioning in a time, in which such additions can only seldom be found and the box design is often poor.
First you select your game character: Girl or boy. There is not a large difference in the appearance of the two, the girl has somewhat longer hair, however wears exactly as the boy t-shirt and jeans. However we decide here whether a girl's or a boy's voice will accompany us through the game. But no matter how we decide, in the starting sequence both already lie in bed and fall asleep over a little exciting book. In this dream - or is it perhaps reality - we find ourselve on a mysterious galleon as prisoner. The ship sails to the island of the lost souls and is populated with spirits and zombies. The captain is baron Samedi, king of the zombies and bad spirit of the voodoo cult. On his spooky galleon he keeps many creatures imprisoned just like us. We meet a zombie butler, who again and again gets into unpleasant situations. As return for our help he gives us hints, how we can proceed against the baron and escape from the ship.
"Voodoo Kid" is an adventure in 3rd-person-perspective and perfectly mouse-driven (you can however alternatively use the keyboard, e.g. to save a game). For all movements and actions in the area simply clicking with the left mouse button is sufficient. Hotspots, (areas or persons, with which we can interact) are thus indicated by text when the mouse rolls over them. A simple left click takes up an object or begins a conversation.
Objects are stored in the backpack inventory, which is always visible indicated at the top of the screen. When clicking in the inventory the hand cursor takes the form of the concerned item, which can be used at the screen. If items are no longer used, they disappear from the inventory, so the quantity remains always manageable.
Always visible at the top of the screen we also find an icon, which leads us to the main menu. Here we can save and load games: Together with the savegames, that are not limited in number, a small picture and own text is stored. In the option menu one can adjust sound and music, select text or speech dialogues, switch on/off scrolling and handle the game speed. So even more difficult passages can be easily mastered, for example fighting some zombies. In addition we can adjust here also the activation time of the integrated screen saver. If we leave the game some minutes alone, the actual screen freezes as a grey picture and can be again waked up by one mouse-click .
The puzzles are quite simple, but suitable for the age group. Often objects must be found and used but there are e.g. also small reaction games or mechanical problems, like shooting a piece of soap with a cannon. The puzzles are throughout original and well integrated. A number of hotspots have actually nothing to do with the solution, but there are behind them a quantity of creepy surprises. Sometimes our hero/heroine must transform into a kind of spirit in order to solve a task and the whole is humorously commentated. The main task of the game consists of finding and building up again a nautical chart, torn up in tatters, to be able to return home finally.
The whole game plays in the different areas and on deck of an old galleon. You have to scan each corner of the ship crammed with partly magic partly quite yucky items and try out each possibility.
Our main character moves very realistical in front of the rendered backgrounds. It can also happen that we have to scroll left or right in these backgrounds, in order to get ahead. This is also done simply by mouse-click. The graphics of our bad guy reminded of games such as Monkey Island, Stupid Invaders or Grim Fandango, is however designed more simple and more equitable for childs, just like the puzzles and handling. the bad baron Samedi shows up in some video sequences, which don't come near the quality of the other graphics.
Intriguing, eldrich noises are connected with a good sound track. Each location has its own original theme. Speech is also o.k., clear and expressionful. For adventure shifters "Voodoo Kid" may have too easy puzzle food, but nevertheless I can imagine that the game will also find fans outside of the target group, who appreciate this (nearly) non-violent, scary enjoyment. The game is unfortunately quite short with approx.. 8 hours of gameplay.
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