Ghost Master Cool Game from the UK

Hey, don’t know if you guys heard of this game. Its like a Bullfrog game (Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital, Startopia) where you take control of ghosts to scare Simslike people out of there houses. I got it as import from UK from Gogamer… so far its pretty good. Surpringly more original than most games released this year.

Theres something like 15 missions and thats it, so theres really no long term replayabiltiy (you can replay the missions for a higher score). But beyond that it has some great gameplay. They also base alot of the missions from horror movies like Amityville Horror (the house looks JUST LIKE IT), Evil Dead (looks just like the cabin in the woods!), Poltergeist. The game is highly polished and has some good open ended puzzle like gameplay where you place ghosts to make the simslike humans do things (like find corpses to discover, finsih seances etc).

Worth a play if you’re looking for something a bit original… plus if you’ve always wanted to mess with the Sims players, and liked the style and humor in Bullfrog games (theme hospital, startopia, DK) its the perfect match!

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I’ve seen this in the shops, but I’m a bit wary of it. Is there any sort of strategic layer in the game, like the Bullfrog titles you mentioned? I.e. do you get to build haunted houses or something like that?

I’ve seen the game compared to the Sims a lot, and the screenshots bear that out, but the gameplay seems a little shallow (make the ghosts scare the humans in the “right” way to clear the level).

There really is no strategic layer in the game, actually I think the strategic overlaying part game is alot like a mission based ‘tactical’ shooter… in that you take your ghosts from mission to mission, you earn points for doing good haunts and then add more powers to your ghost… actually now that I think about it its more like Freedom Force in the character(ghost power)mission stucture. You can also add ghosts as there are some ghosts you have to ‘unlock’ or solve in the missions. The missions are puzzle like, but they aren’t linear. You can take any type of ghosts on a mission, some would be better than others depending on the mission.

Its a polished game but seems to have zero replayibility with no multiplayer. And there is no ‘skrmish’ sandbox mode. Despite this I still think its as good a purchase as something like Freedom Force (though FF now has tons of mods and a skirmish and multiplayer).

I’m about 6 missions into the game, amd they really did a good job in making the ghosts interesting (there are over 35 or 40 ghosts divided up into types, ie. poltergeists, haunts, elementals). You can customize ghosts a bit (not completely) with certain powers.

Would be cool if the Sickpuppy developers, for the American release (its only released in Europe), or in apatch, created a non mission snadbox mode where you can place people and just haunt them.

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Actually, the reason I was sceptical about Ghost Master was this:

http://www.ihobo.com/forum/articles/cfaq_gm.html

…it’s one of the first bigger games designed by International Hobo, a ‘design consultancy’ that includes the rather well-known Ernest ‘Theoretical Article’ W. Adams of Gamasutra fame.

However, probing further, looks like the main guy at IHobo may be Chris Bateman, and Adams may be more peripherally involved. Mr. Bateman seems to have time to craft a proper bio for himself on Mobygames (is this good?):

…and I’m still feeling curmudgeonly when the first line reads:

‘Like Warren Spector and Sandy Peterson, Chris Bateman came to the computer games industry from the role-playing games industry.’

Great. Like Warren Spector and Sandy PetersEn, I sometimes eat toast for breakfast.

BUT… he did work on some of the half-decent Discworld graphic adventures, and it IS early in the morning so I probably just need to eat breakfast, and the game concepts sound pretty neat, and I note the developers are mainly ex-Discworld guys, and I haven’t even played the thing yet, so… rant concluded.

Regards,
Simoniker.

Being a big DK/DK2 fan I was looking forward to this initially, but there was so little concrete information on the actual gameplay, and the fact that it looked like it had zero replayability eventually turned the tide against it for me. My kingdom for a good sandbox.

I am surprised at how hard it is for some of these European games to get published in the US. Games like Ghost Master and Warrior Kings: Battles don’t seem like they’re THAT bad.

Anyone remember Haunted for the Sega Genesis?

That game was a riot. You were essentially one ghost, which you moved around ala Diablo perspective. You had to follow the same family over several different houses, each bigger and with more things to “possess.” The goal was to scare them all out of the house, which would cause them to move to a new house.

For example, you would possess a toilet when one of the family members were near and it would erupt into a geyser of turds flying everywhere - which would then…scare the shit out of said family member. :lol:

The story was really tongue in cheek. The father of the family owned a skateboard factory, which manufactured the skateboard your character died riding on. Apparently he was a really evil skateboard manufacturer because his skateboards were faulty and so you had to take revenge…by flinging poo all over his family.

There were alot of great moments in that game. My biggest curiousity is if this current iteration possess the same humor as Haunted, or if it takes itself totally seriously. If the latter then I’ll pass.

So anyone know if it’s coming to the US or should I shell out for the Brit version where they will undoubtedly misspell “color” and “flavor” and have voiceover that talks about “al-u-mini-um”?

Sigh. Helium, potassium, sodium, even fucking ruthenium, etc. etc. Note a common theme in the endings? Much as I’d probably agree about colour and lieutenant, it’s Septic English that’s in the wrong about aluminium.

It’s due for a September release here.

Peter

Xemu, GoGamer has the UK version for around $35 in case you were considering an import.

It’s actually quite an enjoyable game. Very humorous… parody style. I agree it doesn’t seem to have much replay, but if you want a quick fix for a while, it’s worth a look for a unique gaming experience.

I think if this game got the backing and had added a sandbox and (alot to add) a house making mode, it could be the antiSims sims game. It really is fun to play. Despite no more than 14 missions you can still replay them to beat your high scores, or time to complete. A little incentive to replay it.

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Xemu, GoGamer has the UK version for around $35 in case you were considering an import.[/quote]

That’s where I got it. They seem to get some import UK games first… like WArrior Kings Battles and OFP (two years ago). I think the delay for America was for a closer to Halloween release, because its pretty bugfree.

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Wouldn’t waste your time with this one. It’s ridiculously easy, not especially funny (some of the bits and pieces, like the references in the characters and location designs are great, but the actual scaring people stuff isn’t that exciting) and there is near-zero replayability. You can run around trying to boost your times and score, but you don’t actually need most of the ghosts or special abilities on offer anyway. I’ve never, ever seen a game fall into the Monty Haul trap so fast - you spend five minutes at the start using the quick powers, and then there’s no resource management at all. You don’t spend your plasm energy, merely reserve it - so you’ve always got the big guns at your disposal - and the attempts to disrupt things with folks like the Ghostbreakers are instantly ruined by your ability to teleport away before they even get close.

Finished the entire game in three sittings, and failed a mission maybe as many times (usually accidentally scaring away the wrong person). Wonderful promise tragically wasted. Any news on a new Freedom Force yet :-?

I agree the game is a bit too easy and short, (plasma should be used everytime you bring in and out a ghost frmo the bench). Though I still think the details of the humans when they get scared is good… they do seem to havea lot of details on the humans if you watch them… simslike ai. But again I really wish they had worked on extending more gameplay, or even adding another 4 or 5 missions. And maybe a difficulty mode.

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I believe they said in a recent interview that the sequel or expansion pack would likely include a user-friendly game editor as well as a multiplayer mode. It sounds like they wanted to make the first game a basic platform to build upon and continue advancing.

Personally although it was easy and a bit short, I had a wonderful time with it. It was a very fun game and I look forward to seeing the improvements they make with the next in the series.

Unless they piss and shit their pants or their eyes pop out of their head following by running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I am afraid I wont be purchasing this game.

Sounds like they wanted to make more money with an extortion pack.

Civ 3 Play the World, anybody?

Most of their sales are going to be coming from all the console versions (it’s coming out on all three major console platforms I believe) where making an expansion pack is not an option… Multiplayer is a lot more likely for a sequel. I’m sure we’ll see a mission add-on pack + editor for the PC version or something though.

Extortion pack, eh? Gimme a break. Trust me, when you’re making a game you put everything you can possibly get in the game, in the game. Yeah, that leaves stuff out if you’re smart so that you can ship in the same decade you started, but it’s some masterminded plan to rook the consumer? Puh-leeze.

Statistically speaking, attach rates for expansions are very low, and depend greatly on the success of your first game. So why hold back? Seems vastly more likely that it was just too big to bite off all at once for the devs (I have no insight in specifics here, of course). You don’t want to buy a game without MP? Then don’t buy it – that’s the calculated risks devs have to take when they cut major features. For my 2 cents I’d rather have a polished single player experience then a lame SP + lame MP.

I do find it interesting the negativity of buzz here on lack of replayability. I personally rarely have time to finish the SP on a game, much less expect a ton of replayability features… gotta love the diversity of the market. :-)

The attach rate would be higher, but the 3DO/HoMM expansion suckfests skew the numbers.

Also Xemu, I am with you on the replayability meter. I am lucky to get through a 20 to 40 to 60 hour game once, much less go back and collect all the Magical Uranium Gems in order to unlock a 2 min. cut scene about the making of the boss animation in the level 4 dungeon crawl.