Full Mojo Rampage is a Steam Greenlight game, which means it's a full-priced purchase that allows fans to gain early access to a game during its development cycle. I jumped in to Full Mojo Rampage during its alpha phase of testing.
If you enjoy roguelikes or have some special love for titles like The Binding of Isaac, then there's a good chance you'll enjoy Full Mojo Rampage. You control a diminutive character enhanced by the power of various voodoo deities. As you traverse the constantly changing levels, which are displayed in an isometric third-person point of view, you're limited to a single life. Upon death, you lose all mission and level progress and are deposited back at the beginning of the game. This isn't an entire loss, as experience and coins carry over for each subsequent playthrough.
Experience and coins are used to power-up your hero over time. Experience enhances your player level to make you faster, stronger, and more resistant to damage. Coins can be used to purchase items, which can be cosmetic, like masks, or provide noticeable enhancements, like pins. Pins are add-ons to your character that can improve base stats like attack rate, health, and speed, or provide bonuses like increased inventory slots. Unlocked pins can also be upgraded with more currency to enhance their usefulness. You can also equip multiple pins at once, with more pins available as you level up your character.
Picking a voodoo deity also impacts your character's abilities. In this alpha build, you can choose from four options: Baron Samedi, Erzulie, Ghede and Ogoun. The full game promises more, and there's at least one more that can be seen from the selection menu that isn't available yet.
The biggest impact that deities have on your character is in their special abilities. For Samedi, you'll be able to dodge and unleash a voodoo bomb projectile. Erzulie allows you to use a limited speed boost and toss out damaging tears, and Ghede can drop two totems, one that scares enemies while the other shoots projectiles. Ogoun, the latest addition to the alpha, can eat away at your HP to damage enemies or increase speed. All four voodoo gods have additional abilities that can be unlocked with rare medals, which are occasionally dropped during gameplay.
In Full Mojo Rampage's current alpha state, you have a limited number of available stages. The game is divided into quests, with the initial quest asking you to contain the fallout of Baron Samedi's drunken portal-opening spree. Each stage within this quest tasks you with closing two randomly placed portals on the map. There's also a host of secondary objectives to discover, which will net you more experience or "mojo" inventory items that can enhance your character during a single playthrough. There are two available quests, with the second unlocking after the first is finished. There are at least three more quests promised via the selection screen, with limited descriptions for each one to give you a rough idea of what to expect.
Gameplay is very reminiscent of the popular indie hit, The Binding of Isaac. You'll do a lot of circle-strafing as you sidestep spawning enemies and blast them with ranged magical attacks. There's support for both keyboard and mouse, along with controller support structured around the standard Xbox 360 gamepad. I preferred the dual-stick setup for the controller and had an easier time weaving in and out of the enemy throngs with the left analog stick while aiming with the right. Controller support isn't fully integrated, and prior to playing, there are a handful of menu options that still require a mouse.
While exploring the stages, you'll encounter items to help you out. There's the previously mentioned mojo, which serves as equipment that can be outfitted in a small number of inventory slots. These provide small bonuses to base stats or provide limited use functions, like temporary invincibility. You'll also run across healing items in the form of potions and instant-use recharges from downed enemies. New wands can also be found, which improve your overall attack or add interesting properties. You'll find spread shot wands, or wands that cause your blasts to ricochet off of nearby objects. These wands have limited uses and are tied into a power meter that depletes each time they're fired.
In addition to the single-player portion, there's also some limited multiplayer present in the alpha build of Full Mojo Rampage. Multiplayer consists of both co-op and versus modes, with co-op offering support for up to four players, and the four versus modes giving support for eight players. Available versus modes consist of: Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, King of Mojo, and Team Deathmatch. Unfortunately, I had zero luck with joining multiplayer games, despite being able to choose from lobbies or servers. While I could create my own, I never had anyone join up to play.
Visually, Full Mojo Rampage is pretty impressive for something that is this early into its development. The art style is pretty charming and evokes a lot of westernized voodoo imagery that's easily identifiable to you or me, despite my lack of familiarity with the subject matter. Everything is sort of cute but dark, and while the characters and monsters are small when in action, you'll have little trouble telling the difference between foes due to the great-looking character designs in place.
The action can get pretty cluttered when you have foes spawning in, attacking, and projectiles flying all over the place. I didn't have any trouble tracking my hero character in relation to the surrounding enemies. This made the overall gameplay really click, and when my character was dying, I knew that it was because my ability to twitch out of harm's way had failed me, not because I lost track of my position. It's also worth noting that on a mid-range GPU, the game runs well above 30 fps, and the newest version of alpha is reported to boost performance even for low-end rigs.
After spending some time with Full Mojo Rampage, I'm pretty impressed by what I've seen so far, despite its unfinished state. Assuming that development continues along the same path, this will be a solid roguelike that'll appeal to fans of titles like Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac. While I'm not confident that the current state of the game warrants the $19.99 asking price — essentially charging you to test the alpha for them — if you're a big enough of a genre fan, you'll probably see this as money well spent. It's certainly one of the more polished alpha phase games I've ever played, and I'm looking forward to revisiting it as more content is delivered.
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