Parents' Guide to

Voodoo Detective

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Visually attractive point-and-click mystery has great story.

Voodoo Detective opening screen.

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This noir-ish app offers ample atmosphere -- which, paired with a well-presented, interesting plot, makes the game an enjoyable ride. Voodoo Detective, the main character, is a private eye in New Ginen, a small island town. As he investigates a case involving a new client (a woman who can't remember much about her past), kids determine the story's direction by choosing actions or responses to other characters from options that appear in a notebook on screen. Kids may be briefly unsure what to do at times -- it's not always clear which direction you're supposed to walk in, and buildings they may need to enter aren't always clearly identified. They can also wander into a new location if they walk to the edge of the screen, but can easily turn around, if that area doesn't relate to the portion of the story they're in. Generally, if they follow the main character's instructions -- such as to find another character to ask for a book -- they shouldn't accidentally skip ahead to something they're meant to explore later.

Trying to figure out what to do can mean, though, that they will hear Voodoo Detective repeating the same comments in scenes. Kids can skip the dialogue line by line by hitting a button, but there will still be a pause. The way the main character speaks to his client can be problematic -- he sometimes uses demeaning nicknames, such as doll face, which are mildly offensive. He's not completely unlikable, though, and humor helps balance out some of the story's more serious themes, such as potential kidnapping and deception. While the voodoo aspect may initially seem questionable, the developers included a statement that mentions the game respectfully draws inspiration from voodoo traditions and culture, but isn't trying to portray an exact representation of the religion. With an intriguing storyline and top-notch graphics and sound effects -- Voodoo Detective's appeal is really no mystery.

App Details

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