Bad Mojo

1996 Pulse Entertainment
Designed by Vincent Carrella
Reviewed 1997 October 31

Rating -4 Linearity straight
Reasonability sporadic Connectivity minimal
Difficulty easy Relevance strong
Interface 3rd paned simple Real-time minor

In the beginning, you're a professor who was working on a formula to exterminate roaches. Due to lack of success, you're about to run away with research money donated by an anonymous source. As you leave your hovel, you pick up your mother's amulet, and your mind is transferred into the body of a roach. You must scuttle about your rooming house to discover how to return to your body. You also end up learning about yourself and your family.

The main premise of Bad Mojo is original: you occupy the body of a roach, go places roaches go, face the dangers a roach faces, and try to change your world with your extremely limited physical abilities. The hotel you're living in is a suitably grubby and disgusting place, and is presented just so via close up pictures of what appears to be just such a place. Your character is faithfully presented, with antennae, six legs, and a waggly roach walk.

Beyond the implementation of a virtual roach experience, however, the game screeches to a halt. The story is very simple, and the plot proceeds by (literally) divine intervention. Gameplay is little more than running a huge maze. You must frequently perform any action you can, just because you can, and not as part of any plan you might have to accomplish some goal. Although it's a big, open world, gameplay is in fact very linear -- it's just a gauntlet for you to run.

While it's interesting to be a roach for a while and see the world from a roach's perspective, the novelty soon wears off. Without any goals or coherent plot, it degenerates into a tedious tour of a dumpy hotel, dragged by the antennae by your ghostly mother.

Beware! Here are some spoiler-ridden notes on the game. They're only recommended for people who have played the game and want to see some of my rationale for my evaluations.
David Tanguay's Game Reviews
Here's a description of all the gobbledygook in these reviews. It's also a bit of an essay on the nature of adventure games.