Ghost Mania is Legendo’s latest offering to the falling block puzzle game field. It is being published by Nintendo as part of their WiiWare series of downloadable games. The advantage to this is that anyone with a Wii can grab it, and also these games are normally pretty inexpensive. Ghost Mania easily falls into that category.
At it’s heart, this is simply a falling block puzzle game. However, in an attempt to distinguish themselves from other falling block titles, Legendo has incorporated several interesting features.
In addition to the standard arcade style play where you try to clear as many blocks from the board in a prescribed amount of time as possible, there is a puzzle mode, which has no time limit, but you only get one, two or three drops to clear a board. Of course the boards are a bit smaller than normal to make up for the limited block drops. It requires a lot of spatial thinking and is my preferred style of play.
There is also an unlimited mode and a two-player mode. I confess I didn’t ask anyone to join me in two-player, because I’m not very good at beat-the-clock games, and my ego couldn’t handle the steady butt kicking.
The "story" of Ghost Mania is that Becky and Tim, two ghost guardians, have fallen down on the job and let a bunch of ghosts loose. You have the choice of playing as either Becky or Tim, but frankly, I couldn’t tell a difference in game play.
I also think that using "story" in games like this is really stretching the use of the word. This isn’t a story style game. It’s a falling block game, and while it’s nice to place the boards in interesting locations, that doesn’t really constitute a story.
In truth, I found Becky and Tim to be more annoying than cute, and I got tired of the continuous eerie noises in the background music as well.
The real story of Ghost Mania is that it’s a good entry in the falling block puzzle game category. There are a lot of game play options and the WiiWare price is certainly right. In some respects, you get what you pay for, and this game proves that. If you were to pay more for it, you would be disappointed. As it is, you will probably end up liking the game when you factor in that you only paid a few dollars for it. That’s assuming you like falling brick titles.
If you’re a fan of the genre, check Ghost Mania out. You won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t enjoyed falling block games in the past, this one probably won’t change your mind.
Editor’s Note: Game reviewed on a Wii with a copy downloaded from the WiiWare service.