LifeisXbox’s Ghosts and Apples review | Halloween might already be behind us, but that doesn’t stop me from playing spooky games about ghosts (and apples?). I love playing a casual game on my Nintendo Switch that includes strategy, puzzling, and even a little storytelling. In Rough Cyber Humans’ and 7 Raven Studios’ Ghosts and Apples, you enter the House of Frantic Pictures, a house filled with magic where intrigue and mystery reign. Your soul has been trapped within the puppet Jack so you’re doomed to wander around and unravel the mysteries of the magical house. You’ll get sucked into pictures, transporting you to a haunted world where you’re forced to catch ghosts and turn them into tasty apples. I know, it all sounds kind of weird, right? I thought so too at first, but no need to be confused, as the gameplay itself is very straightforward. Let me walk you through it!
From the way Jack and Shelly look, to the very cute ghosts, and the adorable Tim Burton type of approach, I just fell for it, and I think many others will too.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Nintendo Switch | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we liked!
- Modes | Ghost and Apple sounds simple enough when you follow the tutorial. A colored ghosts gets caught in a balloon and you have to trap the ghost in either the left or right tube, on the right side. Three ghosts of the same level makes them pop, giving the game a Candy Crush kind of vibe. So it all boils down to using about four controls: the stick up and down, and the X and B controls. However, the first few levels might be fairly easy but stress and the requirement of fast-thinking will soon make this game quite nerve-wracking, in a good way, of course! You can either play this game in single player or together with a friend in multiplayer mode, though I personally prefered playing Ghost and Apples by myself. Then there is also the possiblity to play as one of two characters (Jack and Shelly), where the ideas behind the gameplay are generally the same, but the execution is a bit different. This ensured variety in gameplay, and I did enjoy this a lot. Since this game is based purely on color, it’s important to mention that a color blind mode is also available, and I think this is really thoughtful of the developers, and I loved seeing this feature!
- Collect and unlock | In order to advance to further levels, you’ll sometimes have to pass by some vendor who sells a key, but in order to buy said key, you’ll need to collect enough basic or golden apples. Basic apples are easily collectable, as you’ll get them whenever you finish a level, and the amount depends on the ghosts you’ve trapped and popped. Golden apples are earned by getting rid of all the ghosts in the tubes in the one game (with the Jack character), or connecting all ghosts to the right color in the other game (with the Shelly character). In the beginning, it’s super easy to have enough apples to unlock levels, but it does get more difficult, offering some challenging, yet fun gameplay. What’s also ‘unlockable’, but more like along the way, are the different types of ghosts you’ll play with. Some have magnets, others are reversed, and then there are just the black and white ones that are special. In total, there are over 150 levels to play so you’ll have plenty of content to keep yourself busy. And even replayability is ensured thanks to the possibility of getting ‘perfect’ instead of just ‘complete’ on a level, and the unlockable trophies in the Creeping Branch Tree.
- Secret rooms | As you progress in the house, you’ll see that some rooms stay dark and don’t light up with playable levels. Ah yes, there are secret rooms in Ghost and Apples too! It is said that only the best may access these secret rooms, so if you do your very best, you might actually lightnen up all the room in the House of Frantic Pictures. This was, again, something that guarantees replayability in this absolutely adorable game, so even though this might look like a simple game at first, it’s far from plain!
- Hand drawn art style and spooky soundtrack | One of Ghosts and Apples’ best assets is definitely its hand drawn art, which looks absolutely beautiful. It’s honestly what first attracted me to the game, and the art did not disappoint. From the way Jack and Shelly look, to the very cute ghosts, and the adorable Tim Burton type of approach, I just fell for it, and I think many others will too. The music strengthens this feeling even more as it adds some spooky and cute sounds to an already fun experience. Sound effects are placed perfectly most of the time, and I honestly can’t say anything negative about this!
- Repetitive | I mentioned that there are two different gameplay styles corresponding with Jack and Shelly. Having not just one, but two styles, does, to an extent, keep the game from getting repetitive. However, Ghosts and Apples is not a game you will play for hours on end. You will probably just beat a few levels, and then put down the game and return at a later point in time. This is totally fine, but keep in mind that this game can be considered repetitive to some players.
- Dialogue | There is some text displayed every now and then, but I personally didn’t really care for it. I liked it at first, since the game tries to be witty and fun and it does reveal more about Jack and the mysterious house, but at times, it felt a bit forced, I think? The rhyming was adorable, but I did end up skipping some conversations so I could focus more on the addictive gameplay that just causes some type of positive rush.
What we disliked
- Nothing here!
How long to beat the story | About 4 to 5 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | No achievements on Switch.
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂