Ghost Master Impressions

We check out the latest PC version of Sick Puppies' long-overdue spooky strategy game at Empire Interactive's E3 booth.

On a visit to Empire Interactive's E3 booth earlier today, we checked out the latest build of Sick Puppies' long-overdue strategy game Ghost Master. It's difficult to say anything about Ghost Master without drawing comparisons to The Sims, but although the visual style is extremely similar, the gameplay could hardly be more different. In fact, to describe Ghost Master as some kind of anti-Sims would be pretty accurate, since while EA's ever-popular offering is all about setting up your character in the home of their dreams, Ghost Master will see you attempting to scare sim-like characters to the point that their existence is so miserable they run out of their house screaming. That was the objective of the mission we were shown in our demonstration, at any rate, although we were assured that the game's 14 levels will have plenty to offer in the way of variety.

In actual fact, the level that we were shown in today's demonstration revolved around three witches who were performing rituals in a house populated by around a dozen different characters. Since the witches' actions were potentially dangerous for the ghosts, the objective of the level was to scare them out of the house--earning bonus points for any additional characters who make a screaming exit.

After the team of eight ghosts was chosen from those available--there will be 47 in total--the action kicked off with some pretty minor misbehaving in the form of throwing crockery around and causing electrical surges. The witches clearly weren't going to scare so easily though, and it wasn't long before the team resorted to making walls bleed, dropping swarms of spiders into the house, and having blood run out of the taps and toilet in the bathroom. The plasm to cause these kinds of apparitions comes from the fear being experienced by all the people in the level, so while bonus points are earned for forcing characters to leave, doing so will actually reduce the amount of plasm you have incoming as you attempt to complete your primary objective.

All the levels in the game will feature secondary objectives for you to tackle, and in this instance the one we were shown revolved around an attractive female ghost trapped on the wrong side of the bathroom mirror. The ghost announced somewhat cryptically that in order for her soul to be put to rest (and added to the team) the character in the house with the same hairstyle as her would need to be enticed into the bathroom. Unfortunately for us, said character had already left the level screaming at the top of her lungs, but the bonus mission did serve as a good reminder that while the majority of the spells in the game are designed to scare people, some are actually intended to lure and attract them.

Ghost Master is currently scheduled for release in September. For more information, check out our previous coverage of the game.

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