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Chasing Happy and the King.

  • nhubi
  • 01/05/2015 01:31 PM
Made for the 2012 All Hallows Event here on RMN, Not a Chance of a Ghost was an 'in by the skin of its teeth' entry, which means you do expect it to be a little less polished than something for which the developer had the luxury of time. However the gameplay is solid, the characters engaging, if not particularly fleshed out and the action is challenging without being frustrating.

The basic storyline is a simple one, and in keeping with the competition, set on All Hallows Eve. Ted our protagonist, rather than actually attending a friend's party has been shanghaied by his parents into looking after a couple of kids from his neighbourhood as they go about their trick or treating activities. Ted is understandably irritated by this turn of events but he has been promised payment for taking on this irksome task so with the good humour exhibited worldwide by bored teenage boys he agrees to look after Felix and Rex, the problem is this pair of siblings are more inclined to the trick side of the equation and indeed find some of their enjoyment in leaving Ted behind whilst they hunt for treats or revel in tricks.

Is there ever enough candy?

As the evening progresses and Ted's boredom level grows to monstrous proportions he suggests it is time to head home, but Rex and Felix want to try just one more street. Ted, hoping to dissuade his younger charges creates the story of an abandoned house on the next street that has a fearsome reputation, but he should have remembered what night this is, and with the veil between worlds particularly thin his creation becomes reality and the children find it an irresistible lure, and soon vanish. With his promised payment on the line, Ted has no choice but to venture into the house and through a glowing eldritch portal to find himself in a replica of his home town on Halloween, but with a slight but important distinction, here the monsters dress as humans.

If he's going to have any chance of finding the kids and getting paid he's going to have to traverse the various streets and look for them, all while avoiding the attention of the monster patrol. The gameplay is based around stealth; hiding in the shadows, making quick dashes when the monster's gaze is elsewhere, using the environment to provide hiding nooks and crannies.

So would I!

There are no battles in the game, if you are seen by the monsters you are simply returned to the start of the level, or street, and you have to make it through again. Along the way you can collect ghost coins or ghosties as they are called in the parlance of the world. These coins actually look like golden ghosts and for a while on the first level I actually though they were another form of enemy to avoid, until I realised they never moved, and being the inquisitive type of gamer I ran into one, to find sweet, sweet ghost coins, and from then the hunt was on.

Each level awards you a score, dependant on the time it takes you to make it from one end to the other, the number of times you are caught and I think the number of ghosties you collect, though I may be wrong about that last parameter. But it does have a good amount of replay value already built in with the grading system. You're always going to want to get the best score you can.

It would have been good if one of the ideas that Caz mentioned in the comments on the game page was actually included in the game, a difficulty level so if you are finding dodging or avoiding the enemies to be too easy or difficult for you can switch it to another level, however that particular addition was not available in this iteration of the game, so it s more of a challenge against yourself than against a game imposed difficulty layer.

Hell yeah!

Some of the real fun in this game is the atmosphere; the music is perfect, slightly spooky but still jovial, not taking itself too seriously, just like the game. The cut scene visuals in the first part of the game are quick sketches but they capture the feel of the characters fairly well. In regard t the rest of the game the mapping is done well and the lighting effects are a real treat, as well as being integral to the success of the gameplay mechanics.

There is also a secret level, well actually two but one leads to the other, that you can find by taking an alternate path through one of the earlier levels, and the secret rooms are jam packed with ghosties, as well as a few NPC to chat to, if you want to waste the time that is. Though given the additional levels also has one of the most vigilant monster patrols you'll be spending enough time there if you want to collect all the available ghosties.

There is a shop included in the game to use all those ghosties you have been collecting, but it really feels like a bit of an add-on, or actually more like an intermission. it is also as if this shop would have been fairly useful in the second half of the game, but that section didn't materialise due to time constraints. This is a real shame since the basic idea is solid and the gameplay is fun. Caz made use of the shop in a clever way however, by allowing you to replay the game again after you've made the purchases in the shop, which also enables you another chance to beat your previous score, but this time in a killer new outfit.

Moomoo rocks!

I do wish there had been more to this little adventure. The characters do need more flesh on their bones and perhaps the information gleaned from the gamepage description could have been included into the game itself. Ted is a snarky protagonist and he could have easily relayed information to the player in a natural way to fill them in on what he really wanted to be doing that evening and just how bratty his two charges truly were, but given the restrictions the competition imposed the result is a fairly fun and entertaining, though much too short game.

Still, Caz come back and add some more streets, I want to be able to afford that MGS pack without playing the same level 4 times, no matter how much I find myself bopping along to the music.


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Thank you for the review, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Perhaps if I get the time in Halloween 2015, I could make a revisit to this and add in some new content promised in the dead gamepage comments. I will definitely take your feedback into account if that happens! :D
NO WAY! CAZ made this??? This is one of my favorite RM games ever! How awesome!
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