Developed By: Matt Glanville Categories: Arcade Release Date: 07.03.2020
Developed by Matt Glanville, both Grab the Ghost 3000 and Singled Out share a philosophy for game design. Design a game as simple as can be and make it remotely appealing. If the game is fun, then everything else doesn’t matter. Luckily, both games are enjoyable, albeit for different reasons.
INTERGALACTIC SPACE CRIMINALS
Singled Out has you…single out a randomly generated face through three clues provided about it’s characters, reminiscent of the board game Guess Who. That’s the entire point and how the entire game is played. On paper, this all sounds simple and incredibly easy, but the fun and challenge comes from the strict time limit for each of the 30 stages. No matter how easy something may be, being put under a time limit can cause people to either overthink or make mistakes they wouldn’t, and one mistake in this game leaves you with a big splat and a trip back to level 1.
The game has an achievement list in order to spice up and extend playtime and push players to maybe beat a stage at the very last second or beat a later stage near instantly. Not sure how much this adds for most players, but it was appreciated here and made me want to keep trying to complete them all.
IN THE YEAR 3000
Like the title implies, in Grab the Ghost 3000, you are tasked with grabbing ghosts. The game starts you out with one of three levels, each being unlocked by getting to and beating a specific wave of enemies in the previous level. When grabbing a ghost with your grapple beam, you become tethered to it, you can easily just destroy the one by one, but by touching other ghosts with the beam allows you to chain them together to destroy all at once for a big score bonus. Ghosts don’t just let you have you way with them however, as they’ll all shoot at you, with different ghosts shooting giant bullets, or even a spread shot that can end up covering the entire playing field. Luckily, you have a handful of ways to counter this. You have a a boost that acts as a dodge, giving invincibility with use, an EMP bomb that stuns surrounding ghosts and stops bullets, and when all else fails, a nuke to destroy everything on screen. Your grapple beam can also absorb the bullets ghosts shoot out at you, which in itself has a secondary feature, replenishing your battery. Doing anything that isn’t an EMP or Nuke drains your battery. While it should never be an issue since it refills automatically, Boosting too often can drain your battery too much and in turn leave you helpless. Between each wave of ghosts, you get the choice to make your beam wider, make it longer, make yourself faster, or even refill your nukes or health if needed.
A bit of depth for Grab the Ghost 3000 comes with the robot shop. Throughout a run, you’ll find coins dropped from the ghosts, which can be used at the shop for mods to change your default stats for a level. You can change your core to manage your health or speed, making yourself a tank with max health and half speed. Replace the battery to change how big it, how long it takes to recharge, and even how much your grapple beam drains the battery. Lastly, you can change auxiliary parts making stuns last longer, your grapple beam’s range further, and starting you off with more (or less) nukes by default. My choice was to have a fast robot, with a bigger battery, and evenly powered up stuns and grapple beams. Outside of having to complete a few specific achievements for certain parts, nothing seems overly grindy to unlock, so the game feels very accommodating to how someone would want to play. With stat based games, this is something I always appreciate, especially if the game has a different feel for each stat difference as opposed to just feeling stronger.
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*Game Download Code provided for review purposes