Mini Ghost – Review
Follow Genre: 8bit retro action platformer
Developer: Unepic_fran
Publisher: Unepic_fran
Platform: PC(Steam)
Tested on PC

Mini Ghost – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: old-school retro experience, character and level editor
Bad: difficukty spikes, low set volume, not for everyone
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

A few months ago, we’ve had the chance to take control of Ghost, an android, in her very first adventure. Ghost 1.0 delivered a genuine old-school platformer experience packed with fun and humor packed dialogues. That’s why we gave it a decent score in our review. It seems that the developers at Unepic_fran saw this as a sign to make another game with our robotic heroine in the lead. This time they’ve decided to make a literally smaller adventure that should be just as fun. Now it’s time to find out if Mini Ghost is just as appealing as its former installment.Mini Ghost headerStory

If we take a closer look at the storytelling, Mini Ghost is very similar to Ghost 1.0. The story begins as Viktor, Ghost’s Boss, looks to make some quick money and releases a virus on a large space computer which resides on the Dallas Space Station. The virus makes all hardware go in a homicidal frenzy and the residents are in disarray. Viktor offers his help for a fee and the residents of the space station desperately agree. After this, Viktor makes contact with Jacker, Ghost’s operator and orders him to send Ghost to the Dallas Space Station to deal with the problem.

The story takes about twenty seconds to unfold at the start and kicks off the gameplay immediately after that. The plot of the story offers a very short and funny approach as the game tries to focus mainly on the gameplay experience as it doesn’t want to waste time with unnecessary dialogues. Like its predecessor, the game doesn’t really offer an extensive story but as it has proven before, this isn’t an obstacle for delivering great games.Mini Ghost Story

Graphics

Mini Ghost can be best described as an 8bit homage to the 8bit period most of us experienced with the retro consoles such as NES, Atari and Commodore. Everything from Ghost’s design, the enemies to the environmental designs look like it comes straight back out of the 80’s. The 8bit sprites look incredibly adorable and appealing as you can even customize the look of Ghost in the character editor or the color and designs of the tiles used in the game. The fact that you can customize the way the game looks, really makes the game unique and allows players to create their own unique visual experience. The 8bit graphics look really great as it remains true to the overall retro experience. As for the cut scenes at the start, are handdrawn nicely and tries a anime-like chibi approach that looks really good, especially as it perfectly fits the title of the game as every aspect about the game might be ‘mini’.

Sound

Mini Ghost portrays itself as a 8bit retro experience which means that everything from graphics, gameplay and music are devoted to the 80’s retro games timeline. So as for the music of the game, it’s packed with with 8bit sounds for every action you perform during gameplay and one 8bit tune loop that goes on forever. The latter might feel like it might grow annoying over time but luckily it’s quite enjoyable to listen to. Unfortunately the volume remains quite low, even if you maximize the volume in the options menu. Furthermore, there isn’t much more to tell about the soundtrack as it just delivers of what you’d expect of a 8bit game.Mini Ghost 02

Gameplay

Mini Ghost is an 8bit retro action platformer that plays and breathes like a metroidvania game. Taking a closer look on the gameplay aspect, it hasn’t changed much from Ghost 1.0 except from excluding some of Ghost’s mechanics and abilities. The basics remain the same although the control schemes are lot more limited than the original in order to make it live up to its retro vibe. The gameplay still is about exploring rooms, avoiding traps and taking down lots of robotic enemies who like to reduce Ghost to space dust. Mini Ghost tries to create a more straightforward approach which should make this game ideal for short playthroughs and enjoying old-school action platforming.

During your playthrough, you can still collect cubes that act as the in game currency needed to buy upgrades, abilities and certain key items. These cubes are richly scattered the many rooms, either hidden in blue containers or dropped by the many enemies you blast to kingdom come. These cubes can be exchanged in the shops which are littered around the station’s map. Aside from the yellow cubes, you’ll be able to pick up special ammo that’s also either hidden or dropped. Unfortunately, you’ll only able to carry a limited supply of this special ammo at a time. The different ammo types can offer a great way to use more diverse and effective ways to clear out enemy infested rooms. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that Mini Ghost plays like a breeze. The difficulty still spikes at certain times and force you to keep your head in the game. Luckily, the game isn’t too harsh on its players as it returns you to the starting area with all upgrades and experience intact.Mini Ghost 04

As we’ve mentioned experience earlier, you can gather experience points by taking down enemies. When the experience bar fills itself, it grants Ghost an extra point of health. This way, it urges you to return to certain area’s filled with enemies to level up your health bar, especially to prepare yourself for the later and harder parts of the game. This brings us to the game’s duration which is a lot shorter than the original. Depending on your skills, the difficulty spikes and time you’ll actually need to complete the game, it will probably take you between 2 a 3 hours. You might think this is incredibly short for an action platformer but do realize that Mini Ghost has a lot more to offer than you’d originally expect.

Aside from playing the ‘normal game’, you can also perform in speed runs of which the results can be posted on online leaderboards or can grant you some bragging rights among your friends. Another option at your disposal is creating or customizing your character, the 8bit tile sets used in the game or even entire maps and rooms. Especially the latter, deserves much needed attention as it allows you to create your own Mini Ghost adventures filled with rooms that you design to your own tastes and preferences. Both character, tile and map designs can be shared through the Steam community or workshop which is a perfect way for allowing players to try out each other’s creations and brain twisters.Mini Ghost 05

Conclusion

Mini Ghost is a smaller and more adorable version of Ghost 1.0 which is a true 8bit homage to the old-school metroidvania games of the 80’s. The game might be small in size and price, it’s still packed with a big heart. It offers a lot of customization options and content that will critically lenghten your playing sessions. Just like its predecessor, it still remains a blast to play and is definitely another great asset to your Steam library. Alas, it will mostly appeal retro fans who look to relive the old days as players unknown to the concept, will probably pass this game aside.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Mini Ghost - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
JasuSakura
JasuSakura


Being over 30 years old, I've been playing videogames since I've exchanged my pacifier for a game controller. I've only recently started reviewing games and it's incredibly fun to do and educational as I get to know a lot of new stuff about videogames and the industry. My favourite game genres are RPG's(strategy RPG, J-RPG,...), adventure, platforming, simulation and retro.

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