Halloween is just around the corner and there’s no better way to celebrate the festive season of ghouls and ghosts than playing a match-’em-up game with a spooky theme. Spooky Spirits fits the bill perfectly, but will this game add enjoyment to your Halloween? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
Spooky Spirits tells the story of Becky and Tim, sister and brother Spirit Warders of the world of spirits. They are tasked to watch over naughty spirits in captivity called Spookies, and make sure that they are all locked up as they watch them during shifts. The only problem is that due to neglect, they failed to keep the Spookies at bay and let them travel to the human world. Now, they have to reverse their mistakes by gathering all the Spookies back to the spirit world before they permanently lose their jobs as Spirit Warders.
At the start of the game, you get a chance to play as either Becky or Tim in your Spookie-gathering adventure. The only difference between the two is how the story develops as your chosen protagonist helps the other one correct his or her mistake. Becky is the forgetful one and Tim is such a sleepyhead. With these traits, they let the Spookies escape and thus building the base of the game’s funny storyline.
The actual game has three modes of play for you to choose from: Panic Mode, Puzzle Mode and Eternity Mode. In all of these modes, you are presented with a bunch of colored blocks with some of them containing a Spookie inside. Blocks of the same color combine when touching each other and you use Spookie blocks to destroy a string of the same-colored blocks. The keyboard arrow and spacebar keys are used to select and swap the blocks located above the board, and then by pressing the down arrow keys, you just have to bring them crashing in a Tetris-style fashion to meet with the bottom stack of blocks.
Panic Mode is a timed game that will have you scurrying through the blocks and matching them as fast as you can. Your objective in this mode is to meet the target score located at the right side of the board before the bottom stack of blocks reaches the top row. Catching enough Spookies to fill the Spookie-tank and matching more blocks will have you reaching the score in no time. But as the game progresses through this mode’s 30 levels, you’ll find this objective hard to achieve as the speed of the bottom stack gradually picks up steam.
The Puzzle Mode, however, is a relaxed game where your objective is to destroy all colored blocks in the board within a limited number of drops. There are 40 more levels on this mode with each next level increasing in challenge from the previous one. It can take four or five straight hours to finish this mode, and the game’s story adds a little replay value if you choose to play as another character.
Spooky Spirits also features a Hall of Fame where the game displays the top scores of those players earning them through the Eternity Mode. Eternity Mode plays just like Panic Mode but is only set through a single stage backdrop while the game speeds up during the actual matching action.
I really only have positive things to say about the game’s overall presentation in terms of graphics, music and gameplay. The 3D design of the characters, the smooth character animations and the five different backdrops are presented beautifully and definitely adds a bit of eye candy to the game. The background music accompanying the game blends perfectly with its overall fun theme too, and I also loved the increasing challenge presented by all of the game’s featured modes.
If I had to find a flaw, I would say that Spooky Spirits missed adding power-ups to aid the player during frantic play. The game could use an award system too, to encourage more skillful playing through the puzzles. But that’s just me squeezing my brains out for negative comments since I really had much fun playing the game and watching the wacky storyline develop throughout the whole puzzle experience.