August 24th, 2013 | By Kim Berkley
Imagine Disney’s The Princess and the Frog being kidnapped by Tim Burton and transmogrified into a chaotic dungeon-crawling extravaganza – complete with voodoo dolls, trickster gods, and hordes of the irritable undead – and you’ve got a decent idea of what it’s like to play Full Mojo Rampage. Currently being developed for the PC by Over the Top Games (the creative team behind NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, The Fancy Pants Adventures, and Dive: The Medes Islands Secret), Full Mojo Rampage is a fast-paced, semi-roguelike, top-down adventure with more action and stylistic flair than you can shake a staff at.
There’s definitely something to be said for a game with ambition, and Full Mojo Rampage is ready to run amok with it. Though there’s no knowing what features will or won’t make the final cut, at its current stage the game has so much going on that the only thing left to add might be a tutorial level. Optional hints do pop up when you first start playing, but who has time to read about medals and money while fending off a horde of supernatural skeletons?
Featuring both single-player missions and online co-op, gameplay consists of four basic elements: crushing enemies, collecting useful items, circumnavigating booby-traps, and completing level objectives. Superficially, this seems simple enough (though the current cast of zombified and skeletal enemies does include some pretty challenging fiends), but the sheer amount of play-style customization and power-up possibilities turn a straightforward hack-and-slash scenario into a more complex mystical experience.
When deciding on a look for your character (at the moment only two options are available, but more are promised in the future), you are also offered a selection of several voodoo gods and goddesses, one of which will become your own personal patron of destruction. Your choice determines what blessings are bestowed upon you, including speed boosts, health enhancements, and special attacks. Medals, gold, and experience points gathered along the way can purchase, among other things, special pins which can be equipped between missions to augment stats.
Along the way you’ll also be picking up voodoo dolls and mojos – special items, like magic staffs and protective amulets, that temporarily improve or alter your abilities. Leveling, of course, also improves stats, and in the final version your XP will also count towards unlocking even more deities and their (sometimes mixed) blessings.
Despite only being at the alpha stage of development, the game already looks like a finished product, with beautifully rendered 3D graphics, unique designs, and some seriously satisfying animation work. Spells sparkle, ghouls glow in the dark, and the action flows fast and smooth. Procedural level creation and a ton of environmental variation keep things fresh and interesting even when replaying stages – which happens rather often, thanks to the high cost of death (in other words, severe progress loss).
If the setting is a little Burton-esque, the music is a lot Danny Elfman-ish – in all the right ways. Composer Alistair Lindsey’s creepy-sweet soundtrack is a mixture of haunting music box melodies and midnight overtures. The tunes are kept lighthearted enough to fit the caricatured character designs, but with just enough of a dark twist to evoke a good, old-fashioned Halloweeny atmosphere.
Though no final release date has been announced yet, Full Mojo Rampage is available to purchase from both the official site and the Steam store, with several add-on options if you don’t mind paying a little extra. Though the base price of $20 seems a bit steep for an alpha build, purchase of the alpha will also include a DRM-free version of the full game upon release, as well as a Steam key.