- Manufacturer: Sega
- Machine: SMS
At certain portions of the game, there are overhead lamps that hang down. To temporarily freeze the action on-screen, jump up and hit the lamp with Mick's head. This will stop everything in its path for about four seconds.
Also, to make Mick momentarily invincible, you must jump over and capture 16 arrows. This is fairly hard to do, but the benefits, though short-lived, are enormous.
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Ghost House is a simple and mindless game.
Now that I've got your attention, let me hasten to say that the above is not necessarily a criticism. There's no rule anywhere (at least, not one that I've run into) that says that all video games must be complicated and thought-provoking. It all depends on what you want to get out of a game. And even that changes from day to day.
The object of Ghost House is to find and retrieve a number of jewels hidden throughout Count Dracula's mansion. The mansion is, of course, overflowing with nasty creatures, all of which are out to prevent Mick, your onscreen character, from getting the jewels.
The Derobats and the Fire Blowers are particularly annoying. The bats are constantly coming at you, usually in pairs, and it's difficult to punch them. In most cases you can get the first one, but the second one gets you. To kill the Fire Blowers, you must jump on top of them, and depending on where you are in the mansion, this can be easy or difficult, in some corridors, there's no room to jump above the Fire Blower, so you have to come up with a more creative solution. There are other obstacles placed around the castle. For example, you must be always ready to duck under flying knives and arrows, and hidden traps, which, if you don't jump over, will drop you down to the next floor.
Placed throughout the mansion are five coffins which contain vampires. Each of these vampires has one of the jewels you need, and to acquire the jewel, you must kill the vampire. The vampire flits at you in his bat form, quickly draining away your power. Once in a while he'll change back into his normal form, giving you a better chance to get at him, but the transformation won't last long.
Each of the creatures in the mansion are worth points toward your score. In addition, there are treasures scattered about that not only increase your score by varying amounts, but also add some power to your power meter. The power meter (located at the top of the screen) keeps you up-to-date on Mick's health: When all the power is gone, Mick dies. You get three lives with which to try and complete your mission.
There's a trick or two you'll discover in your wanderings around the mansion--things that are not mentioned in the game's brief manual. For instance, if you jump up and touch one of the ceiling lights, everything on the screen will freeze for a short while, allowing you to punch the creatures with no risk to yourself. However, this manuever will work only a limited number of times, so use it sparingly. Though the sound effects in Ghost House are nothing special, the graphics are interesting and fairly detailed. They're not as well done as the graphics found in some of the other games from Sega, but this game comes on a "Sega Card" instead of a Mega cartridge; so one shouldn't expect the game to be able to compete with its larger cousins.
If you like a lot of action and don't frustrate easily--or if you find yourself in the market for a simple game requiring little thought to play--Ghost House may be a good addition to your game library. As for myself, I doubt I'll be spending much time with it. I like a game with a lot more depth.