Ghost Master Review
We get the chills playing this ghost infested strategy game.
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 22nd October 2003
- Developer: Sick Puppies
- Publisher: Empire
- Release Date: 23rd May 2003
How would you rather spend your Friday night in front of the TV? Being scared or doing the scaring? I’m sure I’m not the only one that has sat watching horror films thinking along the lines of “If I was Freddy, I’d do….” and now Ghost Master gives you the chance to live out those dreams (or rather nightmares) with your very own team of ghosts.
Each level of the game starts with a “planning” screen and this is where you must organise your team of ghosts. There is the option of allowing the game to choose a team for you however this will lead you into a rather long and tedious tutorial.
Ghosts available to you are organised in classes from the weaker “sprites” to the stronger, more frightening “horrors”. Naturally the stronger ghosts are more valuable so require more ‘plasma’ to operate. Plasma is achieved by scaring humans and you will be awarded more plasma depending on how much terror you reign through your mere mortals. Spells also cost plasma so each time your ghosts use a power your plasma level will decrease, your plasma level will also fall if the fear level of your victims does so keeping them on their toes is essential.
The screen is organised similarly to The Sims in that you have a main screen where the action takes place and then you have a control panel at the side enabling you to take control of what goes on in that main screen. In Ghost Master you have 2 panels; one shows you the human inhabitants, their personal information (such as what scares them and their current state of mood) and a few control options such as “go to” and the ’see through their eyes’ option. On your other panel you have your team of ghosts, their information, powers and controls.
The key to a successful haunt is to make proper use of your ghosts and their powers for instance, placing a ghost in a cellar where nobody ever goes does little more than waste your time however placing a gremlin inside a regularly used TV does wonders for scaring a bunch of couch potatoes and more often than not you’ll scare more than one human by carefully organising your ghosts.
Some levels have specific tasks for you to complete such as luring the human inhabitants to finding the corpses which are hidden around the house and this can only be done by balancing fear with curiosity adding more varied gameplay.
Upgrades can be achieved in the ghoul room where you are able to trade plasma for new powers for your existing team and new ghosts completely. New ghosts can also be found resident in the houses you are trying to haunt and freeing them from their ‘fretta’ is a sub quest in itself.
Ghost Master features top notch graphics from character models to the environments surrounding them. The game allows players to look at the world through the eyes of the mere mortals which literally puts you into there bodies and lets you watch through their viewpoint as they scurry around the house from room to room with a very “Blair Witch” style heavy breathing and heartbeat. Manoeuvring the camera is also done with smoothness and ease allowing players to follow and watch any mortal in the house quickly and easily.
Special effects are fantastic offering a dramatic scene when ghosts go about their work, the room flashes as the goals release their terror and creates a very supernatural effect. The audio in the game is excellent with voice acting been free of corny “horror” talk and instead adapt a more humorous and light-hearted approach which seems to fit the game nicely.
Ghost Master is certainly original and features excellent graphics, effects and audio. The gameplay is easy to master and there were no evident bugs in the game. The only thing we could’ve asked for is a little more variation to the overall game.
Review Score: 7.8/10
Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy. More on Ghost Master >>
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