PC REVIEW: BAD MOJO

Bad Mojo is a re-release of an almost decade-old game, but one that is definitely a classic. It's an old-school trip and although it's been updated somewhat to play on the newer PC systems it still retains the old charm with little change in the gameplay.

Known as the "cockroach game," Bad Mojo lets you explore the seedy side of life in a dilapidated building from the perspective of a cockroach. But you're not just any cockroach, you're a cockroach with a human mind. It appears that the protagonist of our story has been turned into a cockroach while checking out his mother's enchanted talisman. Since he's a bit of a thief, we can sum this up to bad karma. I won't spoil anything because you'll learn more about Roger Sam throughout the game as you come across various icons which will trigger cut scenes.

Bad Mojo is a point and click puzzle game that relies heavily on exploration and forward thinking. While the gameplay itself is simple the puzzles are anything but. There is no inventory system. There are no other characters to chat with. All you can do is more around like a cockroach. You have to think like a cockroach. You can't jump, fly or gain magical powers. The arrow keys determine your directions. To solve puzzles you'll have to push things around to get things to work for you. Sometimes you'll have to push something over to make a bridge so that you can crawl from one platform to another. Other times you'll find that you have to push things into other things to create a something new. For example, there is a puzzle in which you might consider pushing a knock-out pill into the drink of a particularly threatening patron.

Crawling around this building can be very gritty at times with its run-down, decaying, creature infested perspective. The building is not abandoned by any means it's just that as a cockroach you try not to run into anyone that might want you killed. Often you'll encounter signs of life such as a burning cigarette and a boiling vat of grease in the kitchen. There is a killer cat on the loose so you'll always want to bear that in the back of your mind. You'll run into other cockroaches that will show you the tricks of the trade such as how to crawl through walls and appliances and over furniture.

The straightforward nature of this game should be embraced and not condemned. It's a different pace than today's game and it's very refreshing, not to mention challenging, to use so few controls. What you will be using is your mind.

With such highly detailed graphics it's hard to imagine this game is almost ten years old. If I had never seen it before I would think that this was one hell of a great budget title, if not the best one I've ever seen. At twenty bucks, puzzle fans should be all over this one. Even if you've played it before there are some great bonus features. There is an extra disk on the making-of the game. It's full of interviews with the developers, all of which are witty and somewhat wacky. I guess you have to be to put a game like this together.

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System: PC
Pub: Got Game Entertainment
Release: Dec 2004
Players: 1
Review by Stew XX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
1.0