A re-release of a classic 1996 adventure game, but how does it hold up today?
Bad Mojo was originally released back in 1996. It never really got as popular as the old Lucasarts adventures, but it did become a sleeper hit. So now, almost a decade later, we see this game re-released as Bad Mojo(Redux). Can a game released in 1996 be compelling now?
The cutscenes are amusing, and reak of that B-movie flavor.
The environments are pre-rendered, though they're not always static.
In this adventure game you take the role of Roger Samms, an entomologist. He’s done some bad things and is planning on leaving the country. He takes a look at a locket, and turns into a cockroach. Now you’re charged with finding your way back to human form, along with exploring some of the backstory. Being a cockroach adds a really unique element to the game, one that you’ve never seen before. Most of the plot will be conveyed to you through live-action FMVs that look pretty good, and have decent acting. Overall, it works pretty well; as it did 9 years ago.
Along with the game CD, you’ll get a DVD with some extras. These are actually pretty interesting, especially for fans of the game. You have a “making of” documentary, commentary from the developers, and even some hints for the game! The hints are especially useful, because the game can get a little confusing sometimes. It’s nice to have this kind of thing included with game, and I hope to see this becoming more and more common in the game industry. Overall, it’s nicely produced, and adds even more value to the already cheap $20 package.
Graphics in the game consist of some decently acted FMVs and a bunch of crudely animated backgrounds. In this re-release, the FMVs are slightly improved. They’ve been “remastered”. Also, in the game’s favor, there are a ton of backgrounds, and they have become slightly better looking from the original. Of course, for a game with such a simple concept, the graphics don’t really matter that much. It’s only a problem when it’s hard to tell what you’re looking at, which isn’t that often.
The maximum resolution is only 640x480, which will likely bother some people. This does, however, let you see the plenty of detail in the numerous environments. It’s a little disappointing to see so little improvement in the graphical department, but the developers likely didn’t want to ruin the spirit of the game. Besides, standards for graphical adventures aren’t that high, so overall, the graphics are passable.
As a roach, you have no inventory or physical strength to speak of.
You'll have to rely on your wits to get past tricky obstacles.
Audio in the game seems unchanged from the original. It’s 1996 all over again. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as nostalgia is always a great factor in games like this. Besides simple sound effects and average music, you get somewhat decent voice acting. The lines, namely the protagonists, are read very over the top, and works pretty well in the surreal circumstances of the game.
In Bad Mojo, you take the role of a cockroach. Naturally, you don’t have an inventory or anything you can do other than walk around. Impressively, the game manages to stay quite interesting, despite this limitation. You’ll partake in a lot of well-conceived puzzles that you’ll probably remember after the credits roll. Besides puzzles, you’ll have to do a lot of exploring. As a cockroach exploring a relatively gigantic area, you’ll be walking through lots and lots of different screens.
The puzzles themselves are really quite interesting. As a cockroach, your only real ability is to push some light objects. This still manages to provide rather complicated multipart puzzles. They’re all pretty logical, and if you sit to think a few seconds, you’ll probably understand the basic concept. That’s part of what makes the game so satisfying. The other part is that you are actually accomplishing goals that seem much bigger than your persona, which is rather unique to adventure games.
The puzzles are usually well-thought out and fun to solve.
As you crawl around, you'll learn more of the backstory through random cutscenes.
BAD MOJO (REDUX) VERDICT
Overall, Bad Mojo(Redux) works pretty well, despite starting to show its age. The improvements in the FMVs and the bonus DVD make this a worthy purchase for fans of the game and just about any adventure fan. It’s a unique experience that has yet to be replicated. If you’re a graphics fanatic, you probably won’t enjoy the rather simplistic visuals. Those who enjoy a nostalgic experience will find plenty to love: well conceived puzzles, unique concept, and just overall fun.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Solving a tricky little puzzle with a vacuum cleaner that kept sucking up our poor roach anti-hero.