Differentiation between puzzle games on Apple’s iOS app store is hard to come by due to the massive influx of games on a daily basis. Ghost Puzzle from HeiGames tries to mix genres and have created quite an amalgamation of tropes in its game. Cutesy, sharp graphics give this block matching game a good look to very familiar game mechanic. Does it move passed mediocrity while giving you a reason to keep coming back?
From the time you boot up the game, the jovial nature and anime influence is definitely evident. It reminded me of a time when the character models were mode 7 and game music had you humming the dulcet tones the rest of the night. You are supposedly helping the young, pink haired Angela as she tries to catch all the ghosts. The interesting twist here is that Angela is filling in for Death, the one with the scythe. There was a moment after that was stated that I said “huh” about that and wondered why. The story here is revealed via cutscenes between each area and you learn more about the Ghost Reapers.
The whole reason you are here to play as the Ghost Reaper is for the puzzling. Standard Tetris-style gameplay is the crux of how points are gained. But it is only required that you get 4 of the same color to bank them. As the blocks are falling into the play area you can move then via touch controls, and spin the two block wide pieces as well. Light flashing blocks at the bottom of the screen help with showing that your move may score. Overall, the gameplay can get super challenging toward the end of the story mode, but starts off easily so it is not daunting.
Along with a pretty lengthy story mode, there is of course endless mode, as will the majority of puzzle game’s genre. The other mode that is available from the start is Score Attack, which again is another standard, but this time you choose a level as a starting point. Having multiple levels gives you at least five ways to grab hi scores. The inclusion of GameCenter leaderboards and Scoreloop functionality is a nice touch.
The problem with Ghost Puzzle has nothing to do with its mechanics. The originality is there as well, but the game just does not differentiate itself enough to make this game worth your while unless you blast through puzzle games with ease. The music is good, but it can get very repetitive and after playing the game for a long time, I can say that I can be done with hearing that catchy tune.
Even though it only cost 99 cents in the app store, you only need to download Ghost Puzzle if you are starving for a puzzle game that is infused with falling blocks and light story. The three modes are all worth entries, but only the Story mode is worth spending a ton of time with if you don’t care about high scores. But, you must remember that Ghost Puzzle just will not keep your attention for as long as it needs.
Score: 68 out of 100
Pros: Lengthy story mode, old school flare.
Cons: Not particularly innovative, mix of familiar tropes.