LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples

Ghosts and Apples Review

Game: Ghosts and Apples
Genre: Puzzle, Arcade, Action
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: Rough Cyber Humans | 7 Raven Studios
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price:  US $9.99 | UK £8.99 | EU € 9,99
Release Date: October 29th, 2021

Review code provided with many thanks to 7 Raven Studios

Spooky Season

Ghosts and Apples is a puzzler with quite a distinct Halloween feel to it. For some gamers Halloween is not a time to play a scary game but a time to sink some time into a good puzzler. Jump scares and staying up with nightmares is not for everyone but some folk would still like to get into the spooky spirit.

If you’re looking for something a little different to play during the scary season (or any season for that matter) then Ghosts and Apples may just be the puzzle hit you’re looking for.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Maybe don’t enter the spooky house?

It’s a Puppet 

If you ever see a dark creepy mansion, then maybe consider not going into it? That’s the mistake young Jack made one gloomy night. On heading to the house he is turned into a puppet with the only method of escape appearing to be to catch some ghosts and turn them into delicious apples. A lot of effort has been put into the presentation of this game.

The story itself is presented in text much like a dark nursery rhyme. I was getting almost Edger Allen Poe vibes, only this tale is clearly suitable for all ages. The graphics themselves are dark, beautiful hand-drawn sprites that create a haunting yet charming feel to the design. Puppet Jack has some rather adorable animations as he casually moves about at the bottom of the screen. But the ultimate cute award goes to the noises made by the ghosts as you move them about in the levels. 

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
The story is presented as a poem

Colour Match the Ghosts 

The gameplay is quite unique for a puzzler. you need to match coloured ghosts together causing them to pop and award you with apples. Makes a change from coins I guess. Jack is holding a balloon template in the centre of the screen. Ghosts then appear from the bottom in all sorts of colours and automatically move into Jack’s balloon. As the player, you need to quickly direct these ghosts into tubes on either side of the screen. You can send the ghost in from the top or the bottom of each tube. The idea is to match at least three ghosts of the same colour together which will cause them to pop and turn into apples. This will then free up space in the tube to store more ghosts. If you’re quick enough you can add more than three to pop more, but, fast reflexes are needed.

It sounds simple but the challenge comes in with attempting to remember where to place the ghosts. The game moves very fast, one wrong move and you accidentally place the wrong coloured ghost over another making it more difficult to pop them. It easily fits into the category of simple to pick up but tough to master. To complete the level you need to acquire a specific number of apples. Gain too few and you need to repeat the level again. But if you’re really skilled you can earn a perfect score and earn the maximum amount as well as a golden apple. These apples are then used to unlock future levels. Levels are quick and bite-sized making the game ideal for short gaming sessions.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Matching 3 ghosts of the same colour is not as easy as it seems


Controls are simple and easy to pick up and play. When you play the game you are directed to use the D-pad and face buttons to direct the ghosts into one of four areas. But I soon discovered you can opt to use the analogue sticks instead which felt easier to use if you’re opting for the controller option and playing on TV.

If you go handheld you can also use the touch controls which felt like the most efficient way to play the game. Simply tap where you want the ghosts to go imagining the Switch screen is split into four quarters. Definitely the fastest method but just be careful your finger doesn’t hover mid-screen or you may misdirect a ghost.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Pick a challenge to earn a gem


As you make your way through the game more ghost types are added to the mix like magnetic ghosts which attract the same colours to it, tar ghosts which can’t burst even if three are matched and bright ghosts that destroy all ghosts in a tube including the black ones. There are also little challenge areas where you can choose one of three challenges, for example, one where the colour of the ghost is not revealed until it moves into your balloon. Finish these challenges and you earn a gem.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Shelly’s gameplay is a little different from Jack’s

There’s also another entire campaign with Shelly who’s gameplay is totally different from Jack’s. In her missions, you need to match the ghosts with the corresponding light. If you make a mistake you get electrocuted, temporarily pausing your progress and likely missing some ghosts to pop. It’s a nice extra but really lacks the variety and depth of Jack’s campaign. Still, there is plenty of puzzle content to keep you busy for a long time here.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Collect apples to unlock new levels

Two Can Play That Game

You can also enjoy two-player mode which essentially has you and a second player go for the highest score possible. While a little barebone I did appreciate you could adjust the speed of the game in this mode (something you can’t do in single player). You can also choose the special ghosts to use. It’s a shame the game doesn’t just let you play the main campaign with a second player as well.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Challenge your friend to a ghostly game


The main niggle of the game is things do move very fast. Which will put off those that don’t have the best reflexes. As you progress through the game the difficulty will swing wildly with some levels having ghosts flood the screen making it hard to follow. You can use a power-up up to three times to temporarily slow things down but the game kinda feels like it could do with an option just to slow things down in general even if as an accessibility option. I found myself repeating levels over and over with the line between failing a level and getting a perfect score is quite small.

LadiesGamers Ghosts and Apples
Burst all the ghosts and you get a perfect score

Conclusion – Ghostly Charm

Ghosts and Apples at its core is a nice little puzzle game that is very pleasant to pick up and play in small gaming bites. If you love your puzzlers and are looking for something a little different I recommend giving this a shot. My only caution is the game does require some fast reflexes to get the most out of it. A design that doesn’t appeal to all puzzle fans particularly if you’re coming into it looking for a more chilled experience. The game also feels like it would be oodles better if you could enjoy the main game in co-op. At the end of the day Ghosts and Apples is a little charmer that can be enjoyed any time of the year not just Halloween.

Final Verdict: I Like it
I like it


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