Now, here’s a little story I’ve got to tell about a voodoo doll you know so well. It started way back in history with Xbox, Beep Industries, and me, Natalie C.
The game, originally an Xbox original exclusive created by the founder of Beep Industries, Clayton Kauzlaric, is your average platformer filled with collectibles and secret areas. It’s been beautifully redone in HD which really gives the game the design that it deserves against a strange New Orleans type backdrop. Vince has come to life as his creator, Madame Charmaine, is kidnapped after refusing to give up her ‘Zombie Dust’. The dust is spread into the air and begins to transform nonliving things into living things; and this is where Vince comes to life.
Games like this are hard to come by nowadays as so many big developers are focused on things like virtual reality and motion capture. Of course, moving forward with technology is the best route that gaming could take however sometimes its just relaxing to sit down with a well designed, and simple, platforming puzzler. As a true remaster, (no extra levels or added bonuses), the game retains everything from the 2003 original, including the 8 hours of playtime. No, the eight hours shouldn’t scare people away; it’s fun throughout and filled with tons of witty dialogue and fun puzzles the entire way through.
Not really deviating from your average platformer, the game takes you through different areas of this New Orleans-like town where you must solve puzzles in order to proceed to the next area. Some of these puzzles are really well designed, forcing you to do them a few times before really realizing where you made your mistake. The levels are designed for exploration and regardless of how many times you think you may have scoured the area, there’s always a place you missed. Fortunately, hunting things down is still a ton of fun as you find entrances and passages that you didn’t see before, testing the limits of just how far Vince can jump and float for.
This game has you collecting ‘Voodoo Powers’, giving Vince an array of different powers that affect his enemies. It’s pulled off through little animations of Vince being attacked in some way, (like being cut by a chainsaw or having an anvil dropped on him), and then transferring those injuries to the enemies in the vicinity. It’s very wacky but it isn’t tacky, conjuring laughter more than cringe as you cycle through the different animations every time you unleash a dumb attack. This also ties into the actual conversations you have in the game, whether it be with someone who can help you or an enemy, the game has aged relatively well in terms of dialogue. Many of the bosses and enemies you meet deliver passive-aggressive lines that really hits that nostalgia related to games like Psychonauts and Grim Fandango.
Voodoo Vince certainly looks his best in this well deserved remaster of the original game that graced our grubby hands 14 years ago. The game is oozing with charisma and character that fans, new and old, will be able to find both hilarious and challenging. Hopefully, this game’s release will continue the trend of remastering older fan favorites.
You can pick up Voodoo Vince: Remastered on either Xbox One and PC for $14.99.
Released on April 18, 2017
Developed and Published by Beep Games, Inc.
Reviewed on Xbox One
A review copy was provided for the purpose of this review.
Check out the trailer for the game: