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After many centuries the dark lord is resurrected from his ashes, coming back to his castle and cursing the lands all around! Now many ghosts and undead wander freely haunting every place, giving to the people only one option, escape! But when hope seems to fade away… The “Ghost Sweepers” are here! Ready to kick out some clumsy monsters!
This is the set up for Ghost Sweeper, a colourful and fun platforming puzzler from the team at 7 Raven Studios. Take control of one of the Ghost Sweeper’s and set out across a haunted land collecting loot, defeating the ghoulies that lurk within, earning stars and ultimately save the day. Everything about this title screams throwback experience and we mean that in the best possible way. From the simplistic gameplay that packs a challenge to the catchy music score and cartoonishly charming graphic style.
Ghost Sweeper offers eight worlds to progress through, each contains eight levels to master with additional secret levels to unlock along the way. Each level will task you with finding a key and escaping through a door to progress. In the process, you must avoid or defeat a range of monsters while collecting loot and completing challenges. There are four stars to earn in each level, one for completing the level, one for finding all the loot and one for doing both within a set time limit. Once you have earnt three stars you can return to the level to earn a fourth star by completing a special challenge. This could be to defeat every enemy or avoid every enemy, It might be to do the level in an even shorter time essentially speedrunning it. Whatever the challenge may be it provides replay value which is just as well as you will need to collect stars in order to advance through the eight worlds. This can slow things to a bit of a grind on occasion as you replay certain levels to earn enough to progress and in a way cheapens the experience but thankfully the grind rarely outweighs the fun.
With your trusty gun, you can create or destroy blocks which can be used to create a path throughout the level and also used tactically to box in enemies. Each sweeper also has an offensive ability, bucket head (as we call him) can suck ghosts up and shoot them back out whereas hat lady can shoot a fireball to vaporize her foes but be sure to manage your ammo and only use when necessary. If you are hit by an enemy then its instadeath and you must restart the level. Fortunately, you can purchase upgrades to grant you various boosts like a full ammo tank or a one-use shield if you begin to struggle.
It’s a simple set up and has been seen before in various forms but there is little to gripe about as Ghost Sweeper packs an addictive challenge and although you may die several times through trial and error, the urge to give it just “one more try” and collect that elusive star you are after is just too strong to resist.
The level designs are impressively varied in art style as you venture through wicked woods, terrible towers and ghastly graveyards. Each area also has some fantastic music that becomes as catchy as your favourite Saturday morning cartoon and just layers on the charm and keeps you playing. Controls are simple, move your character with the left analogue while using B to jump and Y to create and destroy blocks and A to fire, and you will want it to be simple as certain levels get busy with several moving parts from hazards and enemies so the more focus you can put on planing your strategy the better. Everything performs smoothly, loading is blissfully short which is frankly a relief considering the number of times you might end up dying in certain stages.
From the minute you load Ghost Sweeper up you will feel like you are enjoying a blast from the past, with a SNES era graphic style, brought lovingly into the modern-day, great music and deceptively challenging experience with easy to master controls, fans of the arcade formula will enjoy the experience. Though the game is not particularly long even with the grind elements of collecting stars to progress, the pick-up and play style makes this a worthy offering for handheld gaming for players of all ages.
TBG Score: 7/10
Platform: PC, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 19/03/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Arcade, Puzzle, Platform
Developer: 7 Raven Studio
Publisher: 7 Raven Studio
Download link: eShop