Brave Ghost in Review – Even The Dead Respect Physics

Physics puzzle games seem to be all the rage these days on the App Store, and one sub-genre that seems to be picking up steam is the concept of using the gravity of objects spread across the screen to get your characters to their destination.  Not too long ago I reviewed a game called Sheepernova (TMA Review) that used this technique to great effect, and now to an extent I feel like I’m reliving that fun with Brave Ghost.  The mechanics and some of the obstacles are different, but the goal of getting your avatar from point A to point B using the gravitational pull of objects is central to victory in this game.  There are certainly some hair pulling moments, but overall it’s been a lot of fun.

You play the part of a ghost – the brave one, of course – and your job is to rescue as many baby ghosts as possible.  Your mission is spread across 60 levels, and all you have to do on each level is get from your starting location to the grave stone, collecting the 3 baby ghosts along the way.  Unfortunately there are plenty of obstacles along the way such as bad ghosts, laser walls and cannons that shoot fire.  There are also two kinds of vortexes.  The purple ones attract you, while the yellow ones repulse you.  Everything must be avoided unless you want to start the level over, but it’s up to you to use the gravitational effects of the vortexes to your advantage to maneuver around the level.

To “launch” your ghost you touch the screen and drag your finger to draw an arrow that indicates the speed and direction to start the ghost.  You don’t have to be directly touching the ghost to draw the arrow, and often you won’t want to be for lack of room.  Sometimes it seems like there isn’t enough room to draw a big enough arrow even when you start behind the ghost.  As the ghost travels around the screen it leaves a dotted trail of where it’s been, which is useful in determining a new position for the arrow if you don’t make it to the grave stone on your first try.  On the down side you don’t get to see the length of your original arrow, so you kind of have to guess at how much power you used on the previous try.

You must get at least one baby ghost to complete a level and unlock the next one.  The levels are broken up into three groups, and you have to get a certain number of babies overall to unlock the next group of levels.  Once you’ve completed a level you can still play it again to try and get more babies (if you didn’t get three) or better your time so that you can earn a higher score.  There are also 12 achievements to earn through game center, and some of them – like getting all ghosts in a particular level set – will probably take you a while, so there’s certainly replay value.

The game looks pretty sharp.  The interface is one of the nicer ones I’ve seen in a while, and the level graphics hold their own pretty well.  The backgrounds are nicely detailed, and the foreground objects are well designed and have just enough animation to keep things lively.  The color palette is suitably dark without looking drab.  Overall the game has a very polished look.

The sound effects are decent, but not very exciting.  It’s fun to here the ghost go “woo-hoo” when it first launches, but it seems a bit odd that there’s an exploding noise when it collides with something.  It would be nice if the vortexes made a little crackling noise every once in a while.  The menu music is great, sounding like a cross between a Disney tune and something off the E.T. soundtrack.  The in-game music isn’t bad, but a separate theme for each level pack would be greatly appreciated.

For the most part Brave Ghost is another solid, fun entry in my ever growing collection of casual physics games.  It is sometimes difficult to maneuver the power meter, and it would be nice if it showed your last power setting when you attempt a new launch on the save level.  The audio is also a bit weak.  But, the game looks good, it provides a nice challenge, and there are plenty of levels to keep you busy.  If the genre piques your interest at all, Brave Ghost is certainly worth a try.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Brave Ghost Developer: Nebula Soft Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 3.1.2
Price: $0.99 App Size: 11.7 MB
  • Challenging but reasonable levels
  • Looks good
  • Menu music is very nice
  • Power gauge a bit difficult to manage
  • Sound effects are boring
  • Same music for every level


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