Created by Zippo Games and published by Palace Software in 1990, Voodoo Nightmare is an original and fun isometric action adventure with a pleasing mix of overworld exploration and dungeon-crawling.
You control – I don’t know what it is – a bizarre character called Boots Barker, who kind of looks like a cross between an iced lolly and bottle-opener. Is he meant to be a voodoo doll? Or a fetish? Even the manual offers no explanation as to what Boots Barker actually is, but I guess it’s not really that important… He is one of the weirdest game characters I’ve ever seen though.
The aim of the game is to explore the jungle; find and solve puzzles; and also find and complete dungeons as you encounter them. The first dungeon – The Spider Temple – is a fairly simple collect-the-gems-style maze game. When you collect them all you appease the spider boss and are returned to the overworld to continue your exploration, and onto the next dungeon. So no boss fight. At least initially.
Graphically, Voodoo Nightmare is colourful and well-drawn and even has night and day periods. The enemies are a bit skittish (ie. ridiculously fast-moving and unpredictable), but are easily dealt with by either jumping on them or throwing knives at them. They also disappear at night, which is strange!
Some of the mazes in the game are quite complex, so play can get a little frustrating at times (just trying to find your way around), but solutions to puzzles do click into place if you invest enough time into exploring. Is it worth the time? I would say it is. Voodoo Nightmare is a hidden gem on the Atari ST.