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With a title like
Ghost Chaser I was expecting some form of Pacman derivative. Thankfully it's nothing quite so bad -- it's only a platform game and a very standard one at that. The graphics are the most impressive and appealing aspect of the program, with some nicely drawn, atmospheric screens and effective use of bland colour (!). The various ghouls and nasties are also of a high standard in definition as is the main character, Harry. Other than the tune played on the title screen there is little else to speak of in the way of sound, except for the occasional spot effect. There are a lot of games of this type available and Ghost Chaser simply mingles with the crowd rather than standing out.
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Ghost Chaser
1984 Artworx Software
Programmed by Frank Cohen
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the sixth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (October 1985).
 

GHOST CHASER
US Gold/Artworx, 9.95 cass, 14.95 disk, joystick


Latest from the US Gold production line is Ghost Chaser, yet another flip-screen platform game from the States. As Harry the Ghost Chaser your main aim in life is to capture all the spooks at Fairport Manor. Not easily achieved as you have to get to the treasure room which can only be reached once you've negotiated sixteen tricky rooms choc-a-bloc with the local psychic phenomena. Progress is further hindered by a series of locked doors that can only be passed after collecting one of eight keys scattered around the mansion. As you might guess, the keys have not been placed with ease of access in mind!

The various baddies include grey spooks, which can be jumped over quite easily, and random appearances from the Phantom Ghost He follows your trail until you deal him a bad dose of ectoplasm. On later sheets there are bats, skeletons, fireballs and other deadly entities lo be encountered. If you get touched up by a nasty, you go into a fit of fright. Three such fits and you lose one of your four lives. As is often the case with long drops, bottomless pits are also worth avoiding, as these can prove slightly deadly.

Control over Harry is fairly standard, using UP for jump plus left and right to move him. Fire will unleash a burst of the gooey Ectoplasm. After you have completed the top half of the mansion, a painting slides aside to reveal a secret passageway leading to the cellar. At this stage you are given a password so that from then on you can always start on the cellar level.

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Ghost Chaser
is yet another platform variant that hasn't even got any special features to make it stand out from the crowd. I have a sneaky suspicion that when this was first released it was quite acceptable but now it's showing its age, having only just reached us after appearing in the States some time ago. The graphics are fairly detailed and atmospheric, the lack of colour on most screens adding to the game's feel rather than detracting. One minor gripe is the control over Harry's jumps -- he pauses for a while before jumping, making those all-important leaps over moving ghoulies difficult to judge. To be honest, such an ancient game shouldn't really be released at such a modern price, even though Ghost Chaser does present a reasonable challenge with it's meagre 16 rooms.
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Presentation 76%
Good options and facility to jump levels.

 

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This platform/arcade adventure looks as absolutely ancient as the spooks that inhabit the Mansion. The graphics are really muddy, with only a few colours on screen at once, rather like an old Apple game. The game itself is quite good fun to play, although it does seem a bit dated. My major niggle is the actual control of your man while jumping about the place, it's terribly easy to totally misjudge a jump and end up plummeting down a hole. Perhaps it'd be better off with a price label of about a fiver, but as it is it doesn't really stand up to one of a tenner.
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Graphics 85%

Atmospheric and detailed locations and good sprites.

Sound 51%
Equally atmospheric title screen tune but few FX.

Hookability 71%
Initially, some interesting locations to explore.

Lastability 61%
. . . but standard platform action does pall with only 16 screens to get through
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Value For Money 52%
Expensive for such old hat.

Overall 63%
Antiquated American software.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (30 Apr 2003)

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