From the realm of pixelated games, comes a haunted house in desperate need of cleansing. For this task, Mae Barrons and her crew of ghost busters takes on the challenge with an arsenal of swords, guns and bazookas!
There’s 3 main modes to this game, Arcade, Challenges and Deathmatch. Arcade is the story mode, take it on by yourself or get 3 mates to sit on the couch and take on the mansion together. There are 10 zones overall to complete, and with each one located in a different part of the house, each with 5 levels.
You don’t need to complete each level to progress, you need to defeat a number of ghosts to achieve this. Yet the ghosts are the tricky part! When you start the first round, there are no ghosts, just a solitary possessed chair to kill. One poor chair bouncing around the screen. Once defeated, this is where the mayhem begins! You see, when you complete this round a ghost will appear mimicking every move you just took to take out that chair. If you picked up a weapon, that ghost will pick one up. Now, your job is to kill that ghost, and once killed, you’ll start the next round with you and 2 ghost, mimicking your previous moves! This will continue round on round until your screen is filled with ghosts all running around with different weapons!
Weapons – there are a number of different choices here, you can choose pistols, shotguns, harpoons, boomerangs, bazookas and swords. Each one can kill a ghost, however there are a set of Angel Wings which when used, creates an aura of light around your character, dispersing any ghosts caught within, preventing them from returning in the next round. The way to progress to the next round, is to kill the king ghost wearing a crown, now here is where is gets weird he’s you in the previous round.
You can carry up to 3 weapons, each fired at the same time when pressing X, and the heavier ones have a recoil on them which is a nice touch.
Even playing single player it was getting pretty frantic when reaching round 15, yet once there are 4 characters on the screen, and each time one of those characters kills a king ghost, everything that player just did will be mimicked in the next round. So be careful, if you want to run around firing rockets at every ghost you see, you’ll be dodging those rockets in each following round!
I did notice that once the ghost has reached the end of your moves, he will repeat the last few moves, firing weapons etc. This isn’t really noticeable when there’s 10 ghosts on screen, and some rounds only last a few moments anyway. You’re able to run through ghosts without being killed, it’s only when fired you have to watch out!
You have three lives each time you start the game, however I’ve not noticed this doesn’t impact the game progression much. When you lose all three you start the level again, but the means of progression is to achieve a minimum number of points across all five levels of a particular zone. Once you’ve accomplished this, you can move on.
The Challenges mode has quite a number to complete. There are five tiers, each with ten challenges. Some are relatively easy, such as getting twelve ghost kills before round seven, and some are infuriatingly difficult! To complete all challenges will take any individual quite some time.
Deathmatch has been put together quite nicely. You can choose between 2 – 4 players, tweak the game mode by altering many different game settings and choose where in the mansion to play. As you can imagine, the idea is to kill your opponents, and if you’re skilled enough to get a kill, you will gain a ghost in the next round, which, as you have guessed, will follow your moves in the previous round!
These ghosts can be killed just as easily as you, but to stay in the game and be the one not to lose all 3 lives you will have to get some killing in, earn some ghosts and be the top player! You may even be sneaky and plan what your ghost might do before the next round, and then try and trap an opponent with your ghost. But as the ghosts pile up throughout the rounds, it’s going to be hard to keep up!
The mimicking ghost part is this game’s main feature, and I believe it delivers it well. It makes a single player game chaotic and fun, but better with a few mates over, it’s the perfect game to sit down and have a blast with for a short while. The main menu music is a simple bass guitar and piano piece, setting the tone for an easy going game, but once you’re involved, it’s just fast paced mayhem!
The graphics are what you’d expect from retro pixelated animations, nothing to shout about unfortunately.