When they presented Ghost Master, they told that it was a completely new concept. I’ve taken the job to review it on me, because I want to try everything. And surely everyone wants to be a ghost once. Let the horror commence.
As a child, everyone feared ghosts. Now, you get the chance to be the phantom yourself. The purpose of Ghost Master is to control spectres and to frighten human beings. It isn’t as simple as it seems, but I’ll start with the beginning.
When you play the game for the first time, you get the opportunity to play a tutorial where you get a fixed team of ghosts. In-game you receive some explanation about the use of the camera and the way of commanding your ghosts. You’ll be through the tutorial in no time.
It starts for real when you start your first genuine mission.You get the opportunity to compose your own team of ghosts, but you can also choose a recommended team. In the beginning, you don’t have much choice of ghosts, but as the game advances you can free the so-called restless spirits. The powers of the different ghosts differ a lot so you shouldn’t choose randomly as tactics are very important. Some ghosts can make electronic appliances dance, others influence the weather or temper with the temperature, etc. Once you’ve made your choice, you can start frightening the humans. In order to do so, spirits have to use their powers, but to use a power you need plasma. This plasma grows our of the fear from people. The more frightened the people are, the more plasma and thus, the more ghosts you can use. If you have too little plasma, a siren will start to wail and if you don’t react quickly, the game is over.
Ghosts only come to life if you bind them to something. The bind is different for every spirit. Some need electricity, others need air or water. The power your ghost executes will only have its effect in the room the ghost is in. After a while, people will start to run out of that room and therefore, your ghost will have to change rooms frequently. If you don’t do this, your plasma will drop and you can start all over again. Mostly, this isn’t easy, because if you only have one electric appliance in the house, you can’t put it anywhere else. Because of that, it is important to have multiple spirits around.
The use of the powers has its influence on the three different states of mind of the inhabitants: Terror, Madness and Believe. Those are rendered in a graphic next to the picture of the inhabitant in question. Besides these three states of mind, there is also the so-called Willpower. If Terror exceeds Willpower, you’ve achieved your goal. The inhabitants will then flee from the house. If, on the other hand, Madness exceeds Willpower, the inhabitant will go beserk and then, it is a piece of cake to expell him from the house. If a person has a low believe, then he doesn’t believe in ghosts and it’s hard to scare those persons. An inhabitant without believe (an exorcist) can even expell the ghosts, so if you aren’t quick enough to move the ghost in question, you can lose that one.
After each mission, you receive points. These points are calculated on basis of speed, the number of screams and scares and how many restless spirits you have set free. Restless spirits are ghosts that you have to liberate in the game and mostly, you’ll get a clue in a film on how to liberate them. You can spend the points that you’ve earned on new powers and experiences in the Gaul Room. Don’t worry if you haven’t liberated a spirit, because you can play each mission as many times as you want. Saving during a mission isn’t possible, so you do have to play the mission as a whole.
The graphics of this game aren’t astonishing. It is comparable to The Sims. The buildings are completely in 3D and you can see everything floor by floor. I did notice the fact that the powers are highly beautiful finished. This as opposed to the sound. The conversations between the inhabitants aren’t distinguishable. The background sounds are a bit old-fashioned and there isn’t much horror or threat in the sound.
It is original and full of humour. But after a couple of hours, I had seen about everything and it started to bore me. I’ve never experienced a bit of tension or horror in this game. There is absolutely no exciting atmosphere. In general, it hasn’t been what I’d expected, but once in a while, I’ll play the game to give some people a hell of a time on the loo.