Ghost Master Review

Ghost Master puts a new spin on the management sim concept.  Instead of using your limited resources to get people to stick around as long as possible, you must do everything in your power to get rid of them.  As the game's title indicates, you are a supernatural spook master charged with frightening mortals out of their wits, and their homes.  To do so, you have a collection of ghosts, spooks, and poltergeists at your disposal, each with their own set of powers designed to give hapless humans a serious case of the willies.

Screenshots
Supernatural hijinks at the sorority house.

Ghost Master is played as a collection of levels which each consist of a house or similar structure.  More often than not your goal is to put enough of a fright into each resident that they all eventually flee the house in horror.  Some houses have a different goal that you must accomplish, such as leading the mortals to the discovery of the hidden skeletons of some misfortunate murder victims.  After receiving a camera fly-through of the house you must select the spooks that you will use for the haunting - usually from four to six ghost in total.  Since each ghost has its own set of powers, the combination of spooks that you pick for the job has a direct affect on the difficulty of the level.  Picking the right team before you know what to expect from a level can be a little difficult, so the game will recommend a team for you if you want to take the guesswork out of it.

Once you are in the house your work begins. To conjure the spirits and fuel their powers you need an energy source known as plasm. You begin with a finite amount of plasm and must scare people in order to generate more. The more you spook the mortals, the more plasm you create which allows you to draw on even more frightening powers. The ghosts are not free-roaming and must be attached to an object, or fetter. Different ghosts have different fetters depending on the type of spirit. Gremlins can be attached to electrical devices, the spirits of murder victims require corpses or the site of a past murder, water spirits can be fettered to sinks or other water sources, etc. If you go into a house with spirits that you can't fetter throughout the house, then your job will be quite difficult. There is more to a successful haunt than dropping your ghosts into a house and letting them do all the work - there is some strategy involved in the placement of your ghosts and a good ghost master will move his or her ghosts to new locations during a haunting in order to use their powers to their full effect. You need to make sure that you push and pull the mortals from one fright to another so that they don't have a chance to recuperate and get their wits back about them.