Archive for December, 2008

Issue 2 is now Available!

December 22, 2008

Issue 2: Winter 2009 is now Available!

You can order a Physical Copy from MagCloud
You can order a Digital Copy from Graduate Games’ Store

or you can save some cash by just subscribing and supporting the only indie game magazine around.

Advertisements

Spooky Spirits Review

December 10, 2008

Spooky Spirits is a puzzle game where you help a brother & sister team fight off ghosts and ghouls with your block building skills. While there is nothing spooky about the game, it does have a haunted house theme, trick-or-treat graphics and a ghost-busting story line to drive the missions.

Gameplay: 8/10
The object of Spooky spirits is to recapture all of the spirits that have escaped by matching colored blocks together and blowing them up ala Puzzle Fighter. You start with different colored blocks along the bottom of the screen. You then select 2 blocks at a time from the top of the screen to fall on the blocks below. What is nice about Spooky Spirits is you can select what colors fall by reordering some of the blocks. This allows you to have more strategy and build large blocks quickly. To get rid of your blocks, you must have a ghost block of the same color touching. Once the ghost block falls, your color blocks explode giving you points and filling up your Spirit Meter. Once your meter is full, you can move onto the next round. The game play of Spooky Spirits is simple and something that casual gamers can pick up quickly and enjoy. As an avid puzzle gamer, I did have some gripes with the game. The levels progressed in difficulty too quickly. This would certainly cause frustration for some gamers. Another issue was with the game play itself. Not being able to rotate pieces in space limits your ability to make larger blocks as well as avoid filling your blocks too quickly. Allowing you to swap colors before they drop is a highlight that is countered by the designers decision to only allow you to drop the 2 piece blocks horizontally.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics in this game were a highlight for me and what initially drew me to play. The child like Halloween feel was perfect for the fall. While the actual game itself does not have much in the way of animation, the story portion has excellent high quality graphics that give the game a signature feel.
Sound: 6/10
The music is appropriate for the game’s spooky theme, but wasn’t something that you found yourself humming later in the day. The Sound FX were minimal during gameplay and appropriate for a casual puzzle game like this. Becky & Tim’s mumbled speech between levels was a tad annoying.
Lasting Appeal: 5/10
While Spooky Spirits has a lot going for it on an initial play through, the lack of multi-player and length of levels hurt its lasting appeal. In it’s favor are 2 additional modes. After finishing the first 2 levels (a total of 12 puzzles) I found myself not really caring what happened next. This game is fun to pick up and play but not one you have to go back to every night.
Average: 70%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%
Overall Spooky Spirits is a fun Halloween themed puzzle game that will occupy a few hours of your time, but will not draw you to your computer day after day.
Verdict: 70%