Review – Voodoo Vince: Remastered

Voodoo Vince game screenshot, close-up of Vince
Review – Voodoo Vince: Remastered

Platforms: Microsoft Xbox One, Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Voodoo Vince: Remastered

Publisher: Beep Games, Inc.

Developer: Beep Games, Inc.

Genre: Action, Adventure

Release Date: April 18th, 2017

Voodoo Vince: Remastered from Beep Games, Inc.

Voodoo Vince: Remastered is an updated version of a 3D platformer from over a decade ago. Originally available exclusively for the Xbox, the remastered edition brings its eponymous hero to the PC as well as the Xbox One. Despite graphics updated to run at modern resolutions, it still feels fairly dated. It’s also still a lot of fun.

Voodoo Vince game screenshot, close-up of Vince

Dejah Voodoo

Years before Sackboy began his adventures on a LittleBigPlanet, there was another hero made of burlap: Voodoo Vince, an animated voodoo doll. His adventures are…well…pretty familiar to anyone who’s spent time with the various 3D platform franchises of the late ‘90s, from popular series like Rayman and Crash Bandicoot to more obscure offerings like Croc: Legend of the Gobbos.

Voodoo Vince strikes strikes most of the expected beats. There’s the wise-cracking, fourth wall-breaking protagonist. There are the blocky 3D graphics, which feel strangely dated now that most hardcore platformers have returned to the 2D realm. There are multiple categories of collectibles and secrets to find.

Voodoo Vince game screenshot, jumping

And oh yes, there are jumping sequences galore. And who could forget plenty of awkward camera angles to make those jumping sequences extra frustrating?

The Power of Voodoo. Who Do? You Do!

Voodoo Vince’s biggest strengths are its setting and protagonist. Instead of the usual anthropomorphic animal running and jumping across a child-friendly yet psychedelic dreamland, Voodoo Vince and his New Orleans by way of Tim Burton setting are fairly unusual for the genre and make for a more memorable experience.

Voodoo Vince game screenshot, monster chase

Though the game’s focus is on more on environmental puzzles than combat – even boss fights usually involve jumping and switch-pulling sequences rather than fisticuffs – Vince’s unique abilities do come into play via Voodoo Powers. Each Voodoo Power (and there are a number of them to collect) destroys Vince in a different way while also destroying all surrounding enemies. It’s hardly a nuanced portrayal of Afro-Caribbean religion, but it is at the very least amusing.

The environments and weird characters themselves are also charming, particularly an undead jazz musician that seems almost like an extra from Grim Fandango. And the soundtrack is perfect, full of trumpet-heavy Dixieland that jounces and bounces alongside Vince himself.

Voodoo Vince game screenshot, jazz skeleton

Voodoo or Don’t?

Voodoo Vince is definitely a product of its time, but it’s also still pretty fun. And unlike the deliberately punishing jump puzzles of the current wave of “new school retro platformers,” its more frustrating moments never feel intentionally cruel. I hit a number of stalls, with a sequence requiring Vince to pilot a tiny plane being particularly agonizing, but was able to get past all of them after taking some mental health breaks.

Voodoo Vince isn’t a ground-breaker, but it’s a solid little example of the genre and well worth playing for more than just the nostalgia factor.

Voodoo Vince: Remastered is available via the Xbox Store and Steam.

[xrr rating=”3.5/5″]

Watch the official trailer for Voodoo Vince: Remastered below: