Voodoo Island is an early text adventure from Angelsoft, Inc. Angelsoft was Infocom’s only serious competitor when it came to creating challenging and rewarding text adventures. Typically, both an Angelsoft and an Infocom game would require the player to solve puzzles and search for clues. What made Angelsoft unique was that the results of solving the puzzles were frequently randomized. You could solve a puzzle and still die, just due to the luck of the draw. That may be why Infocom outlasted Angelsoft by several years.
In Voodoo Island, you are the sole survivor of a shipwreck. You wake up on the beach, confused but with the feeling that someone has been watching you. The game’s introduction establishes Voodoo Island‘s tone early:
Spend enough time exploring the island and eventually, you will find a hotel. Exploring the hotel leads to scenes like this:
The first time I tried to play the game, it took me a while to make it to the top floor of the hotel. That is where I discovered not only Doctor Beauvais but also Sharleen, who the game describes as being “buxom” and “blonde.” Considering the target audience of this game, I assumed that buxom and blonde was going to be a good thing. I turned out to be wrong:
Your goal is to get off the island and avoid joining the living dead. It is not easy but I have discovered a few things that might help: examine everything, grab everything that you can, and remember that just because you don’t see something the first time you look, that doesn’t mean you won’t see something the second time.