Genre: Adventure, Action, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Mobile)
Developers | Publishers: Qplaze | JoyBits
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E
Price: EU €6,97 | US $6.99 | UK £6.29
Release Date: January 21st, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to JoyBits
Can you take on the ghosts in this Arkanoid inspired block breaker by developers Qplaze and publishers JoyBits?
In Ghostanoid you are challenged to become a heroic ghost-buster on a mission to clear out infested houses from there uninvited ghost guests. The previous worker has run away apparently spooked by the ghouls. The ghosts love the houses that they haunt and they won’t give up without a fight. They will throw things at you, and try to rebuild their home. All the while interfering with your productive work in every possible way!
Your task is to control the platform and deflect the ball back into the house. If you’re lucky you might kill a ghost when the ball hits one. You’re shown the basics of the gameplay in the first few minutes of the game.
Catch the Blue Power-ups
Controls are simple enough, you fire the ball and move the platform left or right to hit the ball to destroy the objects in the environment. To complete the level you either have to hit all the ghosts and take them out. Or you destroy all the objects in the environment. Once you have completed the level you are awarded up to three stars depending on how well you did, and you move on to the next level.
As the ball is hitting the blocks and demolishing the surroundings, power-ups are dropping down. They come in two different colours, blue is good and will help you out. The red ones aren’t so good and will cause you problems.
Don’t catch the Red Power-ups
Some of the useful power-ups are things such as having a ghost freeze in one spot, or a shield for your platform. Or more than one ball in use in the level at once. They are great and they all help you progress through the level.
The red power-ups are the ones to avoid as these can impact on your progress. The light switch power-up turns the screen black so you can’t see anything, it leaves you completely in the dark. If you’re very unlucky you’ll pick up reverse controls and as the name suggests, it swaps the controls around, it also messed my brain when I picked that one up.
My first impressions of the game were that it’s very busy with a lot going on. Between the ghosts flying about and power-up’s dropping, it is a lot to take in and focus on it all at once. It only takes one nasty red power-up and your whole progress can come crashing down, and your three lives are gone very quickly.
Added to that are the ghosts, each ghost floats around making it hard to hit them with the ball. Ghosts also try to thwart your progress by lobbing magic spells at the platform, they will also rebuild objects you have destroyed.
Play in Short Bursts
They can summon other ghosts into the level and steal the good power-ups that are falling. Every chance they get they will try to stop you moving to the next level. Pesky ghosts!
Having the ghosts interfere with everything can be frustrating but it’s a nice addition to the standard Arkanoid-style gameplay. Ghostanoid is a game to play in short bursts to keep the frustration to a minimum, and your blood pressure down.
Ghostanoid, in later levels, gets to the point where the majority of lives lost are through no fault of your own. There is so much going on its hard to avoid everything that will halt your progress. That is not to say it’s not a fun game as it is, but it’s not a game I can play for long sessions without inducing rage.
In all there are three worlds with 78 levels in total. Each world has different style homes and individual stages to ghost-bust your way through.
Visuals and Controls
As I’ve mentioned, the controls are simple enough, use the left stick to move the platform and the ZR button to shoot. Easy to remember and easy to put into action.
I like the cartoonish look to the game, the music and the ghostly sound effects all add to the frantic nature of the gameplay. While Ghostanoid tries hard to keep you hooked I don’t think there is enough variety in the level design.
Ghostanoid is a fun game to play in short play bursts, advisable if you don’t want to end up throwing your Switch into the corner! There is enough content to keep you busy for quite a few hours.
At the lower price point in the eShop those that are fans of the genre will find a pleasant game to spent some time with.
Final Verdict: I Like It