Game: Ghost Parade
Genre: Platform | Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Console)
Publishers| Developers : Aksys Games| Lentera Studios
Age Rating: EU 7| USA E10+| AUS M
Price: EU €39.99 | UK £34.99|USA $39.99| AUS$ 69.95
Release Date: 31st October 2019
Review Code Used Many Thanks to Aksys Games
Indonesion mythology and folklore
Ghost Parade is a side scrolling platform adventure game from Lentera studios. In Ghost Parade you take control of Siri, a young girl who misses her bus home from school and decides to walk. However, Siri soon gets lost in the mysterious dark Svaka forest on her way home.
What starts out as Siri’s quest to get home to her Mum on time soon becomes a fight to save the forest and its supernatural inhabitants from the humans who are trying to level the forest for profit.
The story is based in a world of Indonesian mythology and folklore. Armed with a lantern which Siri uses as a weapon, she starts her journey home. Along the way Siri meets and interacts with up to seventy ghostly sprits and thirty ghost companions, all with their own abilities.
Lots and lots of bottomless pits
Players can enlist a team of three ghosts to help Siri once you have met them of course, each ghost has its own unique personality and appearance and have been designed not to look scary.
Ghost Parade starts off pretty slow with an introduction to Siri and the story. A short controller explanation is provided to the player and off Siri goes on her hike homeward.
In typical platform action Siri encounters lots of obstacles, enemies and bottomless pits….lots and lots of bottomless pits and of course multiple boss battles. There’s an inventory system complete with some crafting and potions. You also earn skill points on every level which you can allocate to boost your defence, offence and ghost powers.
However, the game doesn’t explain any of theses things to the player in any great detail, so for a novice player it could get confusing. You also can’t use any potions on Siri without stopping and going into the menu screen, using one of the buttons on the joy-con to store a potion on for quick access might have been a better option.
Siri earns movement abilities as you unlock them in the game, such as a wall jump and dash move, all to help her navigate the platform world she is in. Sadly they don’t help much as controlling Siri just feels like she has no weight to her at all and there can be a slight delay on her actions. When you press the B button to jump, this leads to a multitude deaths and a frustrating experience for the player, particularly in a platform game with a lot of bottomless pits about.
As for combat, as I’ve previously mentioned, Siri carries a lantern and she can also throw stones at enemies, her ghostly friends have various abilities that either provide an attack or defence, Siri waving her lantern back and forth at an enemy feels haphazard and slow in its execution and is very hit and miss, (no pun intended). The various abilities that ghost companions have work fine and somewhat make up for Siri’s lackluster performance with her lantern.
Good graphics and a nice story
Graphically Ghost Parade is pleasant and charming to look at with it’s quite cute yet dark appearance. Though I did find that interactive elements on some levels do get lost in the background and can be hard to spot.
The overall story of a pro-ecological message is interesting and makes a good change from the usual “save the doomed girl from the baddies” storyline that can be found in other platform games.
Music is fine, though can grow repetitive, much like the high pitched squeal the Siri emits at every and I mean every opportunity. This got annoying very quickly, I ended up turning the sound down on my Switch.
All in all I found Ghost Parade to be a very mixed bag, good artwork and the storyline of saving the forest. I feel it is let down by its platforming issues. It’s a standard for a platform game that when you die you get sent back to the last save checkpoints. But sitting through a long load screen as the game reloads to the last checkpoint is rather annoying and takes the fun out of the game.
Priced at an extremely high £34.99 in the UK Eshop I feel even at this stage, after the game has had two updates since it’s release, I can’t recommend Ghost Parade as a future purchase for our readers.
Final Verdict: I Don’t Like It