App of the Week: Ghostscape

Name: Ghostscape
Cost: $2.99
Description: Investigate this haunted house to find out what happened to the people who lived and died here.  Discover ancient occult artifacts, evidence of sacred rituals and photograph the ghosts in action if you can.  Explore this place, discover its secrets, and try to escape with the evidence...alive!

Ghostscape is a unique title on the Windows Phone Marketplace as it's one of the few genuine horror titles I've found.  To be more specific, it is the only good horror title in the already meager game marketplace.

The game opens with the player entering a notoriously haunted house.  It is played from the first person perspective, and uses an old school point-and-click play style.  The story revolves around the previous owners of the home and discovering what has happened to them.  Along the way, there is a good deal of paranormal activity that players must contend with if they want to discover the truth and then escape the house intact.

Graphically, I would have expected Ghostscape to look better for a game that has very few moving parts.  The game uses static backgrounds that pale in comparison to games like Resident Evil that originally used the design to a very successfully degree.  The overall atmosphere of the house definitely has a creepy vibe to it.  The visuals portray this with some success, but the entire game is very blurry and appears out of focus.

The sound design is where Ghostscape truly shines.  It's full of all kinds of spooky sounds and I'm not ashamed to admit that my skin crawled on a few occasions.  From the ghosts floating through the house to ambient sounds like creaking and poltergeist activity, it's all good.  

The game itself can be wrapped up in under 20 minutes, and there's even an achievement for doing so.  With that said, the game is rather short and after exploring everything, there's not much replay value.  It would be nice if items could be randomly moved each time the game is played or if the puzzles changed.  As it stands, you'll most likely shelve this tile after beating it a handful of times.  

The puzzles themselves are varied and I had to scratch my head on one puzzle in particular.  But once you have the solution, it's far too easy to do subsequent speed runs.

In the end, Ghostscape is one of the better titles I've played for Windows Phone.  It's definitely worth a try, and at $2.99, it's not a bad price for the few hours you'll spend playing it.  So, if you're looking for something a little scarier with a retro feel, give Ghostscape a whirl.