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Ghost Buddy puts you in the graveyard

Mel Martin
03.06.09
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Interested in a supernatural gaming experience? Ghost Buddy [App Store link] puts you in the middle of a graveyard at night to try and help some good ghosts and capture the baddies. The US$0.99 game has a unique form of game play. You use your iPhone/iPod touch like a virtual ghost viewer. As you move the phone up, down, left and right your view changes, so you get a 360 degree view of the foggy and spooky graveyard. You can move freely, even look straight down, or up above toward the sky. The good ghosts are white, and you have to return them to their graves. The bad ghosts are red, and you must defend against them.

The graphics are quite good, and if you wear headphones, the 3-D sound is compelling and atmospheric. You also hear a low bass beating heart (it may be your own) as you explore the graveyard. You can control the levels of the game (number of ghosts) and also increase or decrease the fog. If you have 'hints' turned on, red arrows point to the ghosts so you can turn in the correct direction.

The drawback to the game is the control scheme. You are supposed to tap near the bottom of the screen to capture, or defend yourself from a ghost. There are no icons, you just have to refer to the built in instructions to tell you where to tap. It isn't always clear when you have caught a ghost, although there appears to be a special sound that likely marks the event.

Ghost Buddy is an interesting concept, and I'd like to see the developer make the controls more obvious, as well as apply his unique method of viewing the playing field to some other games.

For $0.99, you have more than a ghost of a chance of enjoying the game.

Update: The author of the program reports that he has submitted an updated version of the program which shows the control buttons on screen. That should make a big difference in how the game plays. Look for the update to version 1.3 very soon.

Gallery: Ghost Buddy Screen Shots | 3 Photos

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