12th Jan2022

‘Ghost: Elisa Cameron’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

Based on the best-selling Dark Horse graphic novel, “Ghost”, comes Ghost: Elisa Cameron. A game that sees you wake up in a cold, desolate bathroom without any memory of your whereabouts, as a surveillance camera tracks your every move. Can you piece together the mystery and find your way to safety? As the titular character you must work to save your sister, your future, and possibly the world.

The gameplay in Ghost: Elisa Cameron is essentially the same as many other Ocean Media titles such Faircroft’s Antiques: The Heir of Glen Kinnoch, Myths of Orion, Black Rainbow and the Tales from the Dragon Mountain games. You’re presented with a scene and you have to navigate your way around, locating objects and solving puzzles – typically by finding items and using those items to unlock other items and/or areas. You can also, like typical RPGs, combine items in your inventory. Thankfully the Switch’s touchscreen is built for games such as these – such a shame then that the screen size hinders your discovery of items. I honestly found myself either squinting at the screen or using the “show objects” hint waaaay too many times. Though in terms of graphics it’s VERY hard to not do these types of static hidden object badly; and to be fair to both games they do look good, with pin-sharp detail throughout.

As with many of Ocean Media’s other PC to Switch ports (because thats what a lot of these games are), the developers have chosen to replicate mouse-like controls using only the right joycon: the right stick is the pointer control and the ZR trigger is a mouse click. It’s something I found incredibly odd the first time I played one of these Ocean Media releases but after a while it becomes second nature – in fact using a pro controller or third party wireless controller, in my opinion, works even better than a detached joycon!

My issue this time round was not the controller but rather the odd occurence of audio “sticking,” or as we nick-named it given this games story “haunting,” the rest of the game – it happened on a couple of occasions and the only remedy was to quit out of the game entirely and restart. It’s a minor bug bear but one that does impact the game – unlike the random very minute cases of screen tearing that pops in and out when opening your inventory. However that bug is only really visible when playing in docked mode – perhaps its too small to see on the Switch’s smaller screen? – so its not any sort of major issue.

The only other downside to Ghost: Elisa Cameron is that it’s short. Really short. You’re not going to get more than a few hours play out of this – so bear that in mind before purchasing. But then most, if not all, of these hidden object game are that. Short. They’re pick up and play – a quick blast on a commute, maybe finishing a chapter at a time. Not playing through the whole thing in one sitting!

I’m a sucker for the hidden-object puzzles that fill these Ocean Media titles, and there’s plenty of those here. Ghost: Elisa Cameron is a relaxing game for all ages, and being able to sit and merely press the screen to solve these puzzles is a lot of fun. You get a myriad of puzzles, mini games and quests that are easy to jump into and will, if you like this kind of thing, tick the right boxes. I know these point-and-click puzzlers aren’t for everyone, but they have their audience, and this is one of the BEST examples of this style of game yet; with a brilliant story and mystery plot that really helps set it apart from the various similar games out there. Yet the core gameplay is similar enough to appeal to fans who want more of the same. The story is enjoyable, and the puzzles, which come thick and fast, offer varying degrees of brain twisting difficulty, with some being as easy as you like, and others causing you to sit and think for a while before jumping in. Plus you don’t really need to know the source material to still enjoy this one!

Ghost: Elisa Cameron is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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