Review Information
Game Reviewed Ghost House Pong, by LucasPucas
Review Author AveCoo
Created May 8 2022, 10:18 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
I see ghosts; I think time to go. I’ve always been adverse to the theme, but this game makes me question that principle. The minute details make this game, but the foundation is also rock-solid.
Pros - Simple and straightforward
- Excellent gimmicks that are deceptively simple
- Doubles pong?? Love that idea!
- The raw charm and personality is fantabulous.
- Excellent array of options to keep the game fresh and to your liking.
Cons - Weak AI programming drags the individualism of the project down.
- The power shot is a bit TOO good compared to the regular shot.
- The victory jingle is the real scare.
7 / 10
It’s amazing how you can turn such a simple premise into such an engaging experience. The pace of the game feels not only tight but full of personality and life. The movement speed is about right and timing mechanics are engaging and fun. The abundance of courts keeps the game fresh as all the mechanics seem worth their own weight. Each time I tried a new court I was like, “This is my new fave!!”, which I think says a lot about how well they’re all thought out.

The power shot reminds me of versing a tricky character (Exhibit A: Boo) in Mario Tennis with the addition of spin. However this timing mechanic seems to be the be-all-end-all of the mechanic as not utilizing it becomes a net negative. Whenever I ended up missing the timing I was more or less disappointed as it, without fail (unless you’re battling in the pipe arena), meant I missed an opportunity to score. The disparity between a normal shot and power shot is so large that it makes it feel BAD to do a regular shot. This could easily be fixed by adding some redeeming mechanic to a regular shot.

The other gripe I had was with the AI. I booted up a doubles game and saw that they all behaved in exactly the same robotic fashion - following the ball precisely. It really revealed the illusion of the game and took away from the unique personality of the whole experience. Adding a hint of randomness into the AI would really go a long way to making a more solid single player experience (of course, I’m sure single player mode was not the intended mode, but it is offered soooo).

There’s a few shortcomings in the gameplay department, but the personality and polish more than makes up for it all. The gameplay is very decent as a result but, with just a few little pushes, it could truly be excellent!
10 / 10

Everything looks perfect to a fault.

The way you press enter and the screen zooms into the door. The after image effects and the way the ghosts pop out of the goal when you get a point. The way the Mario Maker audience claps for when you score. Everything is on point, even things like the transparency effects have so much personality; it’s infectious!

Bravo, the presentation is on point.
8 / 10
The playlist idea is very fun and has a good mix of tunes. I’m so glad you went to the extra effort of showing the song name when it begins playing! The only gripe I have with the music is that the celebration music feels a bit too jovial, light and is uncharacteristically loud compared to the rest of the audio in the game.

The sound effects fit their role, and the taunt button sound clip randomizing each game is a great touch. It makes me wish even the AI opponents could taunt on the odd occasion to both put the player off and inject some extra personality.
Final Words
9 / 10
Ghost house stages have always been my least favourite in Super Mario games, but this game makes me rethink that mantra. The raw charm and personality more than carries this game, but with a bit of tweaking the mechanics the game could be carried in style.

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