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May 28 2010

Review of Voodoo Dice

[rating=1]

Today’s review is of Voodoo Dice, the more unknown title of this week’s XBLA releases. The game is a puzzle game in which you roll dice around in order to try to make their top sides match up in order to do various things which seems like a good idea in theory but in practice is a mess. This review is going to be shorter than normal as usually I have something good say about the games I review but unfortunately this is not one of those games.

Let’s start with the graphics which are at the very least not offensively bad, just insanely bland. All you get is a vaguely island themed grid to roll around in with decent looking water. This doesn’t sound bad however the problem is that’s all you get in every level (a palette swap is not enough game designers). Then you have the music which is so inconsequential and bland I honestly can’t even remember there being sound in this game let alone music.

The real big twirl to this turd though is the gameplay and controls. The basic idea of rolling around on a grid with a flat sided object seems like it would lend itself to at the very least somewhat tight controls, I mean c’mon how do you screw up the directions of up,down,left, and right? It turns out by making the controls loose as hell you can make it easy to screw up even basic movements. This becomes a real problem because there’s no simple way to undo a mistake you just made, you either immediately restart the level or roll around for a bit trying to fix it, fail, and then restart the level. The puzzles aren’t too hard to figure out the end solution to with the only real challenge being actually getting the dice to initially line up. At first it seems smart to actually line up your dice properly and work it out like you would in a real puzzle game but you quickly learn that the fastest way to solve the problem is just randomly roll round the dice until the sides line up which isn’t puzzling it’s just tedious. There is also a local multiplayer mode but if you can find someone who will play this game with you for more than a few minutes, you need new friends.

The only possibly redeeming feature of this game is that there’s a lot of it. There are 4 worlds with a lot of levels all of which can be redone but I can’t see why you’d want to play through it all, especially more than once. All in all this game isn’t well made and I can’t recommend it to anyone, even hardcore puzzle gamers. This game gets a one out five, don’t buy it instead use your 10 bucks (800 MS points) to buy “Doom 2” this week, at least you know that will be decent.

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