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Ghost Master (Mac)
Platform: Macintosh
List Price: $19.99
Price: $19.99
You Save: $0.00
Availability: Usually ships in 1 to 2 weeks
Edition: CD-ROM
3 used & new from: $17.31
  • Unleash ghastly spirits scaring the citizens of Gravenville in this haunting game
  • Grim Spectres, howling banshees, and things that go bump in the night--that's just your starting team
  • Strategy, adventure, and resource management games; solve puzzles and unlock mysteries
  • Over a dozen hair-raising, humor-filled scenarios from Weird Seance to The Unusual Suspects
  • Spooktacular technology pushes gameplay to unearthly levels; recruit new ghostly allies
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Price: $19.99
Availability: Usually ships in 1 to 2 weeks
Price: $17.31
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Product Details
  • CD-ROM (November 14, 2022)
  • ASIN: B0000C8614
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 Based on 1 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 6895

Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

3Review for Alaska Apple Users Group, Sep 26, 2023
American's seem determined to pursue an ever-increasing variety of alternate-lives. As if the real world was not interesting or exciting enough, countless citizens turn daily to a variety of games that aim at providing an alternate persona for the consumer to live out in a virtual world of their own design. Some accomplish this by engaging the user in a real social environment through massive multiplayer online games and others provide this neo-self-definition by creating a complex set of virtual characters for the player to manipulate.

Feral's flashy new title, Ghost Master, takes the latter approach and gives everyone from children to adults the opportunity to play with the virtual equivalent of a bowl of Sea Monkeys.

The premise is simple: as a new ghost master, you use customizable teams of disembodied spirits to terrorize the citizenry of a town called Gravenville. Like the popular Maxis game, The Sims, you are given a household to control. But rather than directly manipulating the people or items within, you task your team of ghosts to use their ethereal powers to influence the victims within.

A basic installer runs quickly from one disc and is then required to start the app. After launching the regular titles will run and you'll find straightforward menus for configuring the games options and controls. Upon starting a new game you'll get to watch a slightly humorous, slightly disturbing intro movie that seems like a cross between a Scooby Doo adventure and Hell Raiser. Shortly into the animation it transitions seamlessly to an interactive quoija board. You enter your name and then the pre-rendered movie resumes - a nice touch that provides some continuity, a sense of involvement, and a nice break that might keep you from realizing how long the scene is.

Once it is finished, you'll be looking at an animated map that you will later use to select the various haunts made available to you as you progress. For starters you will have only two options.

Selecting the "Ghoul Room" will allow you to preview all of the haunters you currently have and later you can train them with new powers by spending the points you gather from successful hauntings. Selecting "Haunting 101" takes you to a tutorial that will get you started with the game. This is a complicated game and you need to understand how it works to succeed. If you don't take the opportunity to learn you'll probably skate through the first missions and then run into a wall on your later hauntings because you don't understand the basics. Play the tutorial!

None of the training dialog was altered for the Mac port, so you may hear references to things like the "insert" key, which is a "help" key on Apple keyboards. But this shouldn't cause too much confusion. I mean, really, who ever used insert anyway?

Did I mention that the training mission starts you off haunting a sorority house? This just accentuates the voyeuristic nature of this kind of game. In fact, in addition to the normal game view - an overhead perspective on the floors of whatever house you are haunting - you can assume a chase cam view of any character in the house. In this case that means any number of scantily clad coeds who unabashedly sleep, dance, and use the toilet for you to watch.

One shortcoming is that be there is no plot. While you can get some narrative value out of reading the biographies of your victims and the corresponding "epitaphs" of your haunters, the only real stories are the brief dialogs from trapped spirits that you can free in order to add to your spooky team.

The purpose of the game is to use that team to scare all the occupants out of whatever building you're haunting. You do this by binding the ghouls to "fetters" and ordering them to use some or all of their unique powers.

Fetters, are unique for each ghost - for example, the gremlin can only be bound to electrical devices. To move you ghosts and haunt different areas you must bind them to new objects or places. They will then use their assigned powers in the vicinity of the fetter. Ultimately, their powers cause enough fear in the nearby mortals to make them flee.

In addition to your view of the house, your haunting team is summarized on the "haunter pack" on the left side of the screen and your victims are summarized on the "mortal pack" on the right. Through the haunter pack you can review your haunters and issue them orders. Through the mortal pack you can gather information about your victims which might help you - by revealing known or unknown fears, for example. But most of its utility in game terms can be found in three bars which track each individuals terror, madness, and belief.

By scaring someone enough you drive their red terror bar past their willpower and they leave the house. Different kinds of disturbances can also drive a persons yellow madness bar far enough for them to go insane - this is as good as driving them out. Your haunt is successful when the house is empty.

While some of the game's challenge comes from resistances to fear and madness, much of it comes from an economy struggle. Using powers costs plasm and so you have to use them sparingly, without exceeding your capacity. You can create more plasm by collecting screams. So the more efficiently you scare your victims, the more plasm you have to work with and the more fear you can cause - an upward spiral if you're playing well.

Amid all of this complicated game play, the environment itself can become quite a distraction. For starters, the mortals speak constantly - but not in English! Don't bother checking your language settings or trying to translate. While this ads to the depth of the game, real sentences would be repetitive and out of context. So the designers used a few real words for association and then a jumble of random phonics to hid the fact that it's just a few sounds looping. This gets really annoying!

The graphics can also get very loud. Even the simplest of powers use flashy and elaborate graphics of sparks, mist, and otherworldly lights. So when you've built up to giving six or seven specters using their greatest powers, a clutter of exaggerated lights and sounds will drag down even the best system. This makes it really hard to really keep track of what's going on, even if your system can keep the performance up.

The 7+ age recommendation on the box is a little optimistic as well. While a child could enjoy experimenting, actually doing well at the game in later stages requires an adult understanding of its complexities.

Still, Ghost Master is a lighthearted but mature Betelgeuse meets The Sims. If you love this kind of game but are looking for a different take, snatch this up quick, but if you're not interested in putting a lot of time into getting to know these kinds of scenarios, don't bother.


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