A short review for a short, but interesting, game.
Voodoo Garden was developed and published independently by M. Hanka in 2016, and was designed to be a more casual, relaxing clicker game. You have a plot in a swamp and the ability to grow simple plants and harvest a few animals. From there you can allow the garden to slowly grow and harvest itself using animal spirits, or you can take a more active part in growing it by clicking the hell out of things.
The game starts off slow. You grow plants, shrubs, and trees to harvest fruits, nuts, mushrooms, and more to make potions and sell them. You can then combine them with animal parts like frog legs and snake teeth to make increasingly more complex and expensive potions. The more money you make, the more experience and the higher level you get, which gives you access to various upgrades, which you then buy with the gold. These include but are not limited to new plants, new animals, new potions, faster plant growth, faster animal re-spawns, a larger inventory, etc.
If you don’t want to handle everything yourself you can buy, feed, and then sacrifice various animals to make voodoo spirits to help you out. The type of spirit can help you to grow different types of potion reagents faster, or give you other bonuses, in a radius. The larger you grow and expand your garden means more spirits helping you. Eventually when you reach level 30 you can create the most valuable item, voodoo dolls. But, you can go higher than 30, and that gives you a reason to keep on playing.
The music can be enjoyable, though it will get repetitive after a couple of hours. It is very simple to mute it though and put on something relaxing that you like. The graphics are very smooth and simple, in a pretty cute cartoon style. You can tell what is intractable and can be clicked on, and what is not, by the large black outline things will have.
One of the problems I had with the game was the menu system for upgrades and buying totems, animals, plants, etc. It is not very clear what exactly you are buying, what it does, or even what the upgrades give you at first glance. It took me a little while to figure out that I had to hover the mouse over everything for a solid 5 seconds before the text changed and I could get some information. Even then however, you don’t get nearly enough information, so a lot is based on trial and error.
A great strategy I found was to just keep expanding the garden and create the very first potion in massive quantities with the help of upgraded chicken spirits. From there you will gain enough money and experience to play around with what ever you like. I stopped once I got to level 30 and all of the achievements, and was able to get 28 hours of enjoyment and relaxation out of a game that cost only $3.29. I would say that is a pretty good deal.
However, some may find the game-play to be too simple and repetitive. Thankfully Steam now has a 2 hour refund window. So if you put an hour into the game and you don’t like it, I can assure you that you won’t like it with more time put in; and you should probably refund it. Personally I played it when I didn’t have the energy to play highly strategic or fast paced games, in between tasks when I didn’t have time to get into a more intensive game, or when I wanted to just listen to some music or a podcast and do something relaxing at the same time. In the end I would recommend the game, and for just $3.29 it is a steal.
Voodoo Garden is a simple and relaxing clicker game. Some may find it soothing, others may find it too simple. It is all a matter of taste. Personally I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to others who like this type of game.
- The simple gameplay can be very relaxing.
- An easy game that you can put music or other media on in the background while you play.
- The graphics are smooth and the cartoon style very fitting with the voodoo aesthetic.
- A long list of achievements to keep you interested in expanding the garden.
- Some may find it too simplistic, to the point of boring.
- Bad menu and UI design.
A fine game to play while you listen to music or podcasts, or simply to click on and relax with.