When Full Mojo Rampage first released on Steam back in May 2014, it was met with criticism due to bugs and issues with the game. Now, two years later, the game has a “Very Positive” user review rating on Steam and is coming to PlayStation 4 thanks to Over the Top Games and Nicalis Inc. (responsible for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and the updated version of Cave Story.) Full Mojo Rampage is a rogue-like, randomly generated twin-stick shooter-styled RPG with a voodoo aesthetic that puts players in the role of a voodoo practitioner who is trying to become a strong voodoo soul.
Full Mojo Rampage can be played entirely in single player, but also boasts competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes for friends to join in on the voodoo fun. Two things should also be immediately noted — the first is that Full Mojo Rampage contains a colorblind mode for colorblind players, adding accessibility to those who have problems viewing colors. The second thing is that Full Mojo Rampage is adorable, and the in-game characters are both quirky and cute, which makes it easy for you to fall in love with this game.
You begin by choosing a quest (aka, a dungeon) or game mode, most of which are locked at the beginning of the game. The story mode quests unlock as you complete them, while other modes can be unlocked by completing the story mode or surviving through the game’s survival mode which is unlocked from the start. Normally, I am turned off by games with such a high emphasis on multiplayer as opposed to those with equal parts single and multiplayer gameplay. Full Mojo Rampage, however, does put a focus on you as the player, allowing you to customize your voodoo keeper with masks that change how your character looks, pins that have a variety of combat effects, and by being able to choose a patron Loa (or Voodoo Deity) who can provide passive bonuses to you as well as provide you with new spells to use.
Masks, Pins, and Loa can be unlocked by collecting medals. However, some can also be found in each of the game’s levels as secrets. The different Loa are akin to different character classes, with different Loa favoring different masks, and providing different attacks and passive bonuses for changing the way you play.
After choosing a Loa, a Mask, and a Pin, the player is brought to the level selection screen. Each quest in the story mode has multiple levels — some are optional, and some are not. As with most Rogue-like games, this presents a bit of risk and reward. Do you do the optional levels to gain extra resources to make you stronger? Or do you save your resources for tougher fights without risking any extra? In each level, your health and rampage bar (which provides you with stronger spells for attacks and support bonuses) are visible, as well as your current strength, speed, and shot speed.
The UI is very minimal, showing you what attacks you have equipped as well as inventory items and equipment are available to you. Each level has a number of secrets and things to interact with and destroy, from Portals which summon enemies, to shops and other useful things. As you complete goals for your current quest, you will come across medals (mentioned previously) as well as coins and health pickups. Coins are used in shops to purchase special items and equipment to enhance your current run of the game.
Secret areas such as shrines can either provide beneficial things such as treasure, or can be negative things that can hinder your run. If you are trying for speed (completing the level in under a certain time), you should keep an eye on the in-game timer and not consider stopping off at side areas. However, sometimes these side areas may give you important things to unlock new pins, masks, and equipment, or even just give you enough coins to purchase something you want at the shop.
Enemies can drop weapons as well, such as wands that can change how your projectile affects enemies. Wands only have a limited use, however, so using them wisely is important if you plan on staying alive. Chests can also drop Mojo, items that when used can summon allies, heal you, or do any number of things that can help or hinder you in the long run. Using items and equipment effectively is the key to any rogue-like title. Full Mojo Rampage uses this as well, trying to make sure you pay attention to how you play, and how you should progress forward.
Along the way there is a special room called a Mojo Mixer. This room allows you to merge two mojos together to create a more powerful mojo. The benefit of this is that, since you can only equip two mojos at a time, mixing mojos together allows you to conserve space (especially since you only have three extra inventory slots aside from the mojos you have equipped).
Something else you should know is that death is inevitable in the land of Full Mojo Rampage. However, death is an opportunity for you to improve your character. If you gained enough experience to level up during the last run, you will be given an opportunity to improve one of your base stats as well as equipping a new pin from the ones you have unlocked, or upgrading existing pins using coins. You can also utilize this time to use Medals to unlock new Masks and Loa. Every run is randomly generated, from the layout of the level map to the levels themselves, so each playthrough is a new beginning where you may succeed or die horribly.
There is so much to Full Mojo Rampage’s gameplay that going into every detail would spoil some of the mystery. While I would normally be bothered by the fact that multiplayer is greatly encouraged, I find myself not really feeling pushed into the multiplayer route. Single player is just as viable and just as interesting to play. Full Mojo Rampage is difficult, but not unfairly so. It is difficult because of the random nature of each run, and you may find yourself dying often before you find a solid run that will take you through to the end of a quest.
Aside from the lack of difficulty options, I honestly don’t have any criticisms at all about the Playstation 4 version of Full Mojo Rampage. I did not encounter a single bug or game-breaking issue at all, which is rare for a console release. I found the subtle pop-culture and video game references charming, and the music for the game did not distract me from the action, enhancing it just enough to be worthwhile. Full Mojo Rampage is immersive, and I found myself easily losing track of time while getting ready to write this review just because I wanted to get one more run in, only to die and want to do one more.
With secrets to find, bosses to kill, spells to master and so much more, players of all ages will likely find Full Mojo Rampage a load of fun, either on your own or with friends. If you like games such as The Binding of Isaac or Rogue Legacy, give Full Mojo Rampage a try. It isn’t as difficult by any means…but it is still a great time.
A PS4 review code for Full Mojo Rampage was provided by Nicalis for the purpose of this review.