Ghost Master

Empire Interactive; Mac version by Feral Interactive $30

Ghost Master is a game of ghoulish fun... for those who don’t take it too seriously. This game focuses on the haunted houses and creepy cabins known so well from horror movies. However, instead of being the haunted, players can run the ghoulish fun and become Ghost Masters.

As an Afterlife Civil Servant, you start out overworked and underpaid with a small group of spirits at your command. As you move up through the levels (scaring away some frat boys, revealing a murder or two, haunting a hospital, etc.) more Haunters are added to your arsenal. You get these by discovering why they are bound to the mortal world, and then releasing them.

Of course, those tricky mortals have come up with pretty clever ways of fending off ghosts. Sometimes they hire Ghost Hunters or call upon Witches to banish you... and some mortals have the natural defenses of extreme skepticism. These are tougher cookies to crack, making victory all the sweeter.

Ghost Master might, at first, seem rather mean spirited. However, this tongue-in-cheek romp never has you do anything particularly nasty to anyone who doesn’t deserve it. From the murderous mob boss to the frat boys whose overzealous hazing leads to the addition of a new ghost to your arsenal, all the victims seem to get their just deserts. Anyway, none of the powers are actually frightening. The creators have made sure that all the ghosts are whimsical and witty, with tales of woe such as the weather spirit that got trapped in a vacuum cleaner.

With clever game play and a chance to quite literally get your freak on, this game is an amusing diversion for anyone who understands that it’s all a joke: over analyzing kills all the fun. The game is rated Teen, due to the content and complexities of the game, but people of almost any age can get a kick out of Ghost Master.

System requirements
Minimum: Mac Mac OS 9.1 or Mac OS 10.1.3, PowerPC G3/G4 700 MHz, 256 MB RAM (with virtual memory set to at least 320 MB), hardware accelerated 3D Graphics Card with 16 MB VRAM, 750 MB free hard disk space.
Recommended: Mac OS 10.2 or later, PowerPC G4 867 MHz, 320 MB RAM, hardware accelerated 3D Graphics Card with 32 MB VRAM, 750 MB free hard disk space.

– Emily Travisano

Emily Travisano is a seasoned software reviewer and presenter whose interests include writing and creating digital and traditional art. She is a high school junior.

Copyright ©2006 by Emily Travisano. This review appeared in the October 2006 issue ofNewsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.