A strategy/puzzle game where you take on the role of an undead civil servant, a Ghost Master in charge of a group of ghosts tasked with scaring the living for a variety of reasons.There are ghosts of people, animals and even general feelings, each with their own powers. These are further divided into Elementals, Frighteners, Sprites, Vapors and Horrors.Each ghost has its own 'Fetters' or objects/areas they can be attached to while in the mortal world.Missions involve scaring 'mortals' or tricking them into doing you bidding. It's not that simple though: to scare effectively you need to work out what the mortals fear, their conscious and unconscious fears as well as what is likely to rattle them enough to cause them to go insane.Hailed by PC Zone as a 'Sims beater'; you can guess how that went.
This game provides examples of:
All There in the Manual: There was an official strategy guide. This supplied one with useless informative tidbits that couldn't be found anywhere else, such as that Old Man Carter once commissioned a self portrait from The Painter, Harriet is Irish-American (you wouldn't tell — she's Not Even Bothering with the Accent), and the reason Fingers has cement shoes is because that was how they disposed of the body.
Buried Alive: One ghost, the spirit of a Native American chief, can do this to mortals.
Elemental Powers: Anything's a go...except maybe the element of void and space (if you count it as an element).
Emotion Eater: Mortal fear gives you power, in the form of Plasm.
Ending Fatigue: The bonus level Class of Spook'em High gives the game a legitimate ending in which you and your minions leaving the town by entering a bright light in the sky. Unlock all or most of the ghosts in the game, and the sequence seems to go on forever. Each ghost rises up, does a pose, and flies off. Did I mention there's a lot of ghosts in the game?
Fear Discover Power: Various powers can uncover a mortals conscious or unconscious fear, using this against them fills their terror bar faster.
Ghostly Chill: An ability of many ghosts is to create a chill in the area near their fetter.
Guide Dang It: You'll have to think a bit to figure out how to accomplish anything other than scaring people, but the only way you'd find the two secret ghosts without a walkthrough is through pure, blind luck.
Actually, every single scenario and mortal (and many of the ghosts) are all pop culture references.
Incendiary Exponent: Arclight, Firetail or Sparkle can make any cutscene more awesome by setting fire to mortals in the background, or the foreground.
Incredibly Lame Pun: 'Deadfellas', 'Poultrygeist'...not to mention the description of 'The Painter' stating 'No one wanted to hang his paintings, so he hung himself'. The list goes on.
Indian Burial Ground: And somebody built a shed on top of it. Also parodied in the "Poultrygeist" mission, with an ancient chicken burial ground.
Kavorka Man: Dr. Seth Greenwood. Half-bald. Wears glasses. Has an affair with half the nurses in the hospital.
Luck-Based Mission: Any mission that involves getting mortals to do a particular thing has an element of this, at least if you want to complete the level quicklyalmost entirely involves goddamn luck.
Mirror Scare: There are a few ghosts who inhabit mirrors (Rose, Tricia, etc).
Obvious Beta: Not in the typical fashion, but the game ended on a cliffhanger, despite the lack of sequel. Thankfully, the final mission, bringing a more satisfying end, was released for download via the internet and packaged with the Steam version.
Odd Name Out: The emotional ghosts are Shivers, Fingers, and...The Painter.
Off Screen Teleportation: One doesn't have to wait after binding a ghost to one room before binding them to another — which must lead to a peculiar effect for the mortals, as they can see the ghost they just ran away from in the room they just ran into.
Shapeshifting: Two ghosts (a Seductive Female Bunny (no, not that bunny) and Coyote) have the ability to transform into a visible mortal that isn't their fetter, before being able to walk around without need of proximity to same fetter, and then they commit Bodily Horror, oh The Exorcist reminiscent horror...
Shout-Out: Many of the names of the mortals, the names of the missions, and even some of the ghosts are shout outs.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: All mortals have two fears (conscious and subconscious) for the player to exploit, ranging from creepy-crawlies to storms to water to being hunted. Things that relate to their fears will scare them as well (i.e. a mortal scared of water will also be scared by storms).