If you are not familiar with Voodoo Vince – we won’t blame you. This one is a blast from the past; 16 years ago, Clayton Kauzlaric decided to quit his job as a game designer and found a game studio – Beep Games.
It took Clayton and a bunch of “sane individuals” – as he likes to call them – three years to build Voodoo Vince, which released in 2003 for the original Xbox. That was where the story started and ended for Voodoo Vince.
While the game did gain a few (very determined) fans and favourable reviews, it wasn’t ported to Xbox 360 because it didn’t meet the backwards compatibility criteria, and Beep Games couldn’t really keep the momentum up.
Beep Games was still open – and they did release a few small games after Voodoo Vince – but nothing really caught the eye of masses, so things stayed in the background.
Kauzlaric joined Microsoft Studios as a Creative Director in first-party publishing, and at some point handed over the Voodoo Vince trademark to Microsoft. The ball was now in Microsoft’s court – if there was a remake, reboot, or sequel; it was coming from Microsoft.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, it seems the game got lost in the noise; Microsoft lost the trademark for Voodoo Vince because they could not show that they were using it; Section 8 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1058 requires a sworn declaration from a trademark holder on “continued use” of a trademark or “excusable nonuse,” between the 5th & 6th and 9th & 8th years after the registration date of said trademark.
Things have changed for the better this year. Kauzlaric and a bunch of folks at Microsoft Studios have decided to bring Voodoo Vince back – this time on the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program.
The remaster supports widescreen, and runs at 60 FPS in native 1080p – the whole rendering engine has been re-designed, but the original gameplay is still intact.
There are new textures, achievements, rumble support – but the animations, movements, and controls are as close to the original as they could be.
The game comes out in Early 2017 – there is no date, but only a brief trailer for the remaster.