LifeisXbox’s Ghost Sweeper Review | Get ready to make your way through multiple levels consisting of different enemies, obstacles, and layouts in order to progress to new zones in this adventure platformer known as Ghost Sweeper. As you take on the role of one of the two Ghost Sweepers, you will be relying on your block-building and destroying skills to gain access to the keys on each level, allowing you to open the door to the next. There are also other tasks you can aim for to achieve the three-star rating should you miss them while passing through. You have the option to kill enemies if they’re causing you trouble or sneak past them should you be able to. Ghost Sweeper has been developed by 7 Raven Studios and published by Totalconsole for you to test your platforming capabilities while finding the secrets that may be hidden if you work hard enough and look close enough on your travels.
“When I’d committed to finishing a level after multiple attempts and finally succeeded, I had a massive sense of triumph; relief may have been present too.”
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we liked!
- Plentisome replayability | With each section comes a handful of levels and with every level comes three objectives that are based on time, collectables, and finishing the level. These are shown as being completed by using stars on each level via the level selection screen to show if you may have missed something on any you might not have seen or skipped to come back to later on. I did also notice an almost optional task at the bottom of the screen sometimes such as don’t kill anyone or only using X amount of blocks. I liked the challenge these gave as they add difficulty instead of only aiming at getting to the exit each and every time. It allows players to venture and uncover more about the levels; perhaps to see if things are hidden amongst the environment. As I found some levels frustrating or was unsure of what I needed for the additional stars, it was nice to be able to complete levels, move on to the next, and return whenever I wanted.
- Level designs | I have to commend the people who designed the layouts for each level because they are amazing. From haunted villages to dark forests, I never found the same design being used twice. Each requires you to take different paths, avoid different enemies, and carefully place your blocks or you may just find yourself on the wrong side of a fireball, sawblade, or ghosts – just to name a few. As no two levels are the same, it keeps the gameplay fresh and new to keep players interested as I can’t imagine many people enjoy playing the same kind of level over and over. With height variants, hidden treasure, countless enemies – you will find yourself constantly building around levels, both ascending and descending, to explore everything there is to find.
- Learn as you go | From the moment you start Ghost Sweeper, you are given the main menu option to view the controller screen, showing you what each corresponding button does. Other than this, you are left to learn pretty much everything on your own due to the absence of any tutorials. Now I’ll be the first to say that I didn’t realise the different characters have different mechanics to utilise that both without a doubt have their uses. Yes, the controller menu states that Ⓧ is for building management but nothing more so I found a large portion of the game trial and error. Some enemies can be killed whereas others can only be temporarily stunned. I understand that people don’t want games to hold their hand as I’m one of these people however I must say I would have greatly appreciated a small tutorial or area. Then I could practice and further understand the mechanics to learn exactly what it is I’m supposed to be doing instead of constantly failing levels because the mechanics aren’t explained well enough.
- Sense of accomplishment | One thing I notice when playing games that have high achievement unlock ratios (above the rare 10%) is that I almost instantly assume everything will be pretty straightforward to play. This was not the case in any way shape or form. When I’d committed to finishing a level after multiple attempts and finally succeeded, I had a massive sense of triumph; relief may have been present too. Ghost Sweeper I believe will provide the majority of players with challenging content that will have some people losing their minds and returning to try again at a later point while others will persist through the pressure and venture onwards. I can relate to both of these statements if I’m being completely honest which as I’m sure many will understand is both a good and bad element to Ghost Sweeper.
- Passable graphics | When it comes to the graphics and appearance of Ghost Sweeper I think the game looks alright but there is obvious room for improvement in addition to an art style I’m not quite in agreement with. Ghost Sweeper uses cartoon-like graphics that have an amusement and fun factor to them. Although not the most detailed graphics you will see in games these days, they do have their appeal. They’re bright, colourful, and the facial expressions on some enemies had me smiling. The background artwork also was noticeable and gave the level more depth that was appreciated. Unfortunately, as for the difficult gameplay combined with these light-hearted graphics, I can’t say this made for an appropriate combination as it became frightfully antagonising for me to play. I think the game should have either gone for a darker theme or the enemies shouldn’t have looked as cute and harmless as they were made out to be; just a personal opinion.
What we disliked
- Cumbersome to play | Where do I even start; Ghost Sweeper is a highly stressful game that got me flustered during almost every level multiple times. The controls are finickity at the best of times, mechanics can be trying, the block building is astonishingly inaccurate; it all adds up to make for a testing experience. If you enjoy levels that offer challenging gameplay then by all means this game could be for you. However, if you find yourself getting easily triggered at poor optimisation and levels that will have you on the edge of needing to take a break more times than you can count, I would be wary when committing to the task that is Ghost Sweeper.
- Pause menu bug | One ‘feature’ I have to make note of is the bug I encountered when pausing the game mid-level. I would have built my way up to progress some levels when I would pause for various reasons. To my surprise, this would cause all of the blocks I had built to be deleted from underneath me. Yeah, this became incredibly irritating, to say the least. Some may argue that you can easily build back to where you were but the point is this shouldn’t be an issue, to begin with. If I wanted to reset the current level, I would click retry. I think I speak for most when I ask to get a fix for this as soon as possible please as it’s not pleasant to experience.
- Repetitive audio | Unimaginative and mundane audio is displeasing to come across at any time and I’m sorry to say that Ghost Sweeper suffers from this immensely. There is no change and just the same music on a quickly repeated cycle. Not only is it tiresome to listen to but the audio itself is that of which many of us know and are accustomed to for Halloween themed games and yes, I would place Ghost Sweeper within this category. Some variations would have made the game more enjoyable for me. The sound effects from killing enemies to dying, building blocks to shooting sounds are all rather boring while playing. If you enjoy and like to focus on the audio in video games, I dare say you won’t be best impressed.
- No story or dialogue | I’ve always been a large advocate for video games having an element of story, lore, dialogue, or something I can relate to because I think it can make many games into something more than what they already are. With there being nothing of the sort in Ghost Sweeper, I did feel very let down as the only place you can find anything out about the game is on the store page where you buy the game and even this didn’t give much information. I understand that for a game such as Ghost Sweeper many won’t deem this necessary and it’s not. I do think a little more background would have enhanced the game more than many people realise though.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 20+ Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 20+ Hours
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!