After a rousing weekend in New Orleans, a center for Louisiana Voodoo spiritual folkways, I came back home to try out my own voodoo with Full Mojo Rampage. Available on PC, FMR is a rogue-like action adventure game set in a world called Voodoo. The game had been Greenlit since 2013, and was officially released on Steam on May 8th.
After playing the game for a while and getting a hang of things, I finally nailed down what I felt the gameplay really embodied. Under the rogue-like stylings, this game is also an isometric hack n’ shooter. Does that make sense? You have to rely on your ability to evade enemies while you shoot them with your magic voodoo spells in a strategic manner that keeps you alive. Because we all know what happens in a rogue game if you lose all your health… you die. And you have to restart.
So I died. Quite a few times. But I didn’t mind. Every time you die, you get the chance to level your character up. This requires experience that you gain through progression as well as medals that you earn for your deeds. These medals can be dropped by a baddie, or dropped after you complete an objective, like destroying portals. You can gain new blessing (a.k.a. perks), increase your stats, and upgrade pins that you may have found on your adventures. Stats include Health, Attack, Speed, and Attack Rate. There is no defense really, because you need to keep as much distance as necessary between you and your enemies, or you will die very quickly.
Pins are basically equippable items that you can start each run with. These pins have various perks and bonuses, and determining which is the best for you is critical based on your own stats and perks. These pins are also upgradable, meaning they can be much more powerful. And what voodoo apprentice doesn’t carry pins to stick into some Mojo dolls? Mojos are dolls that you will drop from bad guys or chests that you will give you increased stats and bonuses for your playthrough. Eventually, you will come across Mojo Mixers that can combine stats from these Mojos to make them even more powerful.
The game progresses following a Mario-esqe stage progression, with paths that veer off that gives you access to shrines and shops. Each world and level is procedurally generated, making each replay a new experience. The number of shrines and shops can vary each time, so every time I reloaded the world, I hoped for more of these areas to spawn. The levels look like they were taken from Torchlight, which I always enjoy looking at each time I play those games, and reinforced the hack n’ slash feel I got from the game. Especially with monsters dropping loot and gold all over the place.
Boss battles were extremely satisfying, and brought a whole new challenge when faced with the reality that if you were to die during this battle, you would have to restart. Unfortunately, the freedom you have in other levels as it pertains to space becomes extremely limited, and you have to navigate around a room while avoiding the boss’s projectiles and movements. Very Legend of Zelda stylings to these boss fights.
While I really enjoyed my playthrough, I have to admit the game wasn’t very fun when I first started. This was due to the fact that I couldn’t level my character up on the fly, and almost felt I was wasting time progressing to midway through the world only to be ass kicked by the first boss. After a few replays, I started understanding why there were limitations put into place that I hadn’t expected to have to face. All of my early frustrations with the game stemmed from the fact that I was trying to fit this game into a category for which there really is none. Yes, it does have RPG elements, but those elements have to be implemented in the correct way to make the game challenging and fit under this Rogue-like umbrella.
But then again, this game isn’t completely Rogue-like either. In fact, it really doesn’t fall under any specific category or genre, which is why I like it more and more each playthrough. Unique, that is Full Mojo Rampage is. But this is also its downfall, in that it falls short of delivering experiences within each of these genres that might have made the game even better. It should also be mentioned that the game does offer multiplayer, both local and online, but I wasn’t able to find any available servers up and running at the time of this review.
For $14.99 on Steam, you can’t go wrong with Full Mojo Rampage. It delivers a unique experience that is a breath of fresh air if you are tired of playing that hack n’ slash or Rogue-like title. It also has a great sense of humor. Over the Top Games also appears to be pretty active with updates, so I wouldn’t see why there won’t be some new elements and improvements added soon.