Voodoo Dice Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
Developed by Exkee, the guys behind the rather average ColorZ, Voodoo Dice is a puzzle game in which you control a large yellow die, attempting to reach the end of every stage in order to earn gemstones used to proceed further into the game. Of course, it's not a matter of simply rolling over to the exit: each level has various dice-related puzzles to solve before a way out is opened.
Each level is divided into a grid, meaning you can only move from one square to the next. There's no free movement, and you can't be half on one tile and half on another. With each move you make, your die will obviously turn, putting a different side on top. This comes into play in just about every level, as the most common obstacles you'll encounter are large grey stones with a number on top. You guessed it – you'll have to be on the square next to one with the same number on top of your die in order to make it disappear.
Other frequently encountered objects are pushable rocks and switches to put them on, teleporters, "extra" dice that you can lock on to your own die in order to cross gaps using your extra large surface, and a variety of pickups including speed alterations and reversed controls. A new object is introduced in just about every other level – it helps keep things fresh, but it also means that if you like levels with a particular gimmick a lot, you shouldn't count on seeing many of them.
The game is divided into four worlds, each with about 15 levels selectable from a map screen. As is usual with these kinds of games, you only have access to one small "set" of levels at any time. Each set is separated by a large Tiki head that won't open unless you collect enough gems. As you earn one gem per cleared stage, this means that occasionally, you can skip a few levels by simply clearing all levels prior and paying the toll to advance.
Each level also has a "voodoo time" to beat, but we're not exactly sure what the reward for doing this is. We already found it incredibly hard just to get them all on the first world, so you can imagine how difficult it would be to beat every single time in the game. At the end of each world, you'll also have to play a few levels in which speed is an absolute must: while most levels let you take as long as you want (as long as you're not trying to beat the voodoo time) these last few give you a time limit to beat the generally long stages in, with the voodoo time standing for how much time you have left instead of how long you took.
When it all comes together, though, Voodoo Dice feels a bit clunky: the most frequently recurring objective is to get the correct side of your die on top, which can be surprisingly hard to do. The game is quite fast-paced, so even if you know where each of the numbers is on the die relative to each other, you're bound to lose track at some point during each stage and have to spend precious time trying to figure it out again. Due to conveyor belts which appear in just about every level, it's also not uncommon to get stuck in a dead end with the number you needed on the wrong side of your die.
The music and graphics are both quite good. Each world has its own distinct graphical theme, and although the same music plays in all the levels of one world it never really gets repetitive. The graphics are especially surprising when you consider the fact that the game is also available on various other download services on other platforms.
Voodoo Dice is a decent idea, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. If you don't mind frequently having to retry stages or having to take your time to ensure you don't make any mistakes, it could be fairly enjoyable, but most are going to want to look elsewhere for their puzzle fix.