Voodoo Detective review cover

Voodoo Detective Review

July 11, 2022

By: Catherine Dellosa

 
 

Welcome to New Ginen - a vibrant island town filled with tourist traps, snooty rich people, and a rich but forgotten culture overshadowed by visitor attractions. You play as the titular Voodoo Detective on a quest to help a woman recover her memory, and while you've handled other peculiar cases before, this one definitely takes the cake in that it'll uncover a sinister plot that can threaten humanity's existence.

In the midst of the looming consumerism hanging over the island like a dark cloud, the visuals of Voodoo Detective still look absolutely lovely, with the hand-drawn designs and the colorful character art. Characters are drawn with a whiff of whimsy along with the structures and landscapes that serve as their equally whimsical backdrops, from fancy mansions to even your own humble little office.

 

voodoo detective character art

The top-notch visuals are complemented by the stellar voice acting as well, as every line of dialogue - even the protagonist's internal monologue that often gets tiring after a while in other point-and-click games - is a joy to read and hear. Of course, this is exactly the kind of quality you can expect from the industry veterans behind this game - plus, the soundtrack contributes to the relaxing tropical island feel of the game. Listening to the soft beats and jazzy notes in the background was truly music to my ears, as expected from Peter McConnell of Monkey Island fame.

The game does take inspiration from the popular franchise not just with its music but also with its presentation and humor (and so many puns), which is one of the biggest pros of the game for me. It certainly pays tribute to the point-and-click classics of old with its quirks that break the fourth wall every so often, which is why the game never felt boring, nor did any part feel unnecessary to the plot.

 
 
voodoo detective spell book

And yes, the plot really is something - you'll even have the pleasure of leafing through a book of voodoo spells that can help you out in a pinch. The book (juju bag, anyone?) shows you how to concoct certain spells from items you pick up in your inventory, but while it's pretty entertaining (there's even a sneaky little entry for a "Skip" function in the Appendix), it still doesn't serve the purpose of an actual to-do list. I would've liked it if the game had some form of mission log where you can check your progress or see a list of tasks you need to do next, but there was nothing of the sort, which can leave you feeling quite lost if you're a bit of a scatterbrain.

Voodoo Detective is a visual and auditory treat that engaged me with its humor and great story - you'll also encounter supernatural elements as you go through the game, and thanks to its quick pace, no scene felt like it overstayed its welcome.

There are also no hints to push you forward, but the Voodoo Detective himself does offer helpful advice to give you a slight nudge in the right direction. The puzzles themselves are nothing too complicated, and while you'll still encounter the occasional utterly ridiculous headscratcher every now and then, it's nothing that will frustrate you into ragequitting, which is the perfect level of difficulty in my opinion.

 
 

For instance, during the start of the game, I had to somehow snap my brother BIlly out of his trance to get him to talk to me. Right beside Billy was a bucket of water - which was the most obvious choice to do - so I picked it up and doused it over his head to no avail. The bucket was sitting on a chair, and underneath the chair was a metal glove. You would think a quick blow to the head from a metal glove would do the trick, but when you try to pick it up, the detective will tell you that you have to pick up the chair first.

voodoo detective inventory

With the chair in my inventory (because why the heck not), I should've been able to pick up the glove, but then he tells me that he should put down the chair first because it's "heavy". I couldn't help but giggle to myself then - so I smashed the chair onto Billy's head, then smashed the glove next. In true hilarious fashion, neither of them worked.

Voodoo Detective Review | Final Thoughts

Voodoo Detective is a visual and auditory treat that engaged me with its humor and great story - it's not just about tourist woes and social commentaries here. You'll also encounter supernatural elements as you go through the game, and thanks to its quick pace, no scene felt like it overstayed its welcome.

Again, I would've liked it if it had a task log of some sort, but that's just me nitpicking, really - if you're a fan of Monkey Island, Larry Laffer, and LucasArts games, then this might just be your cup of tea. 

 
 

TechRaptor reviewed Voodoo Detective on the Epic Games Store with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Steam and on iOS and Android devices.

Review Summary

Review Summary

9.0
Voodoo Detective is a hand-drawn point-and-click adventure from Short Sleeve Studio that takes players on a cultural journey on the Zo Wanga Isle. It's a great tribute to retro titles in its genre, so if you're a fan, diving into this one is definitely worth your while.

Pros

  • Gorgeous Hand-Drawn Visuals
  • Lovely Background Music
  • Top-Notch Voice Acting

Cons

  • No To-Do List For Missions