Casper is an imaginative, funny adventure geared toward younger kids (before they reach those Mortal Kombat bloodlust years). It "floats" the narrow line between staying tame for children and being interesting to adults. To modify a Hollywood cliche, the result is entertainment suitable for the entire family.
As Casper, the player flies around the Whipstaff Mansion that's recently been occupied by Dr. James Harvey and his young daughter, Kat (as seen in the movie). The action centers around the player overcoming numerous challenges while learning powerup tricks that aid in Casper's quest. (An example would be Casper turning into a puff of smoke to move through air vents.) In this regard, Casper favorably compares to a smaller, easier version of The Legend of Zelda.
Most of the onscreen text is read by the characters, enabling even the youngest kids to follow along. The game is very easy to pick up and has a good level of challenge, qualities imperative for keeping a youngster's attention. Even with all of the challenges within the haunted mansion, there's very little interesting conflict to drive the story...how many kids (or adults for that matter), are going to be excited about or satisfied with spending the entire first level finding gifts for Dr. Harvey and Kat? While this could make for a riveting Casper comic book story, the action falls flat when translated to the video game environment.
The characters are beautifully rendered, though the backgrounds tend to fall into the dull side of drab when the player begins to do a lot of tedious searching. This repetition tarnishes the mansion's luster, and transforms a once-lively game into a tiresome chore. The long loading delays between certain areas also tend to drag down gameplay.
Nonetheless, this is a challenging game for youngsters and, since that's a rarity at the 32-bit level, parents should still consider this gentle game for their younger children.