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Ghost Sweeper

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 14 - 2020

No brooms or brushes required.

Gamers who have been around for a long time may remember the 2D puzzle platformer Solomon’s Key from the murky past. Only a couple of years ago 7 Raven Studios took inspiration from this title to make Ghost Sweeper and launch it on PC and mobile platforms. Now, Ghost Sweeper has made its way onto Switch and Xbox One, giving a whole new generation of gamers the chance to enjoy the ups and downs of collecting keys and reaching a door while placing blocks and having to negotiate all manner of obstacles.


Ghost Sweeper is a truly retro game, offering all of the fun and frustration of games from a time when things where perhaps a little less precise. The game comes close to being a clone of Solomon’s Key, for those that remember it. For those that don’t, let’s explain.

The story is that the Dark Lord has risen and, as a result, the whole land is overrun with undead beasties of all types. The player will take on the role of a hero and will work through screen after screen of 2D puzzle platforming, collecting a key and then heading to the exit door before moving onto the next. There are eight levels in each of the eight differently themed worlds to conquer, along with two additional worlds that the player can unlock, giving a whole bunch of jumping, block making and puzzle solving.

It is not a difficult concept to grasp. The player basically has the ability to add or remove blocks to a level in order to reach their goal. This could be to use as a platform, as the little hero can only jump one block in height. The placement of blocks can also be used to remove threats from the undead, such as blocking a projectile for example. Then there is the chance to remove blocks, leaving an enemy to fall to their doom, or a lower level. With a selection of different collectibles to collect in each level, the player will have to make use of plenty of blocks to get everything and reach the exit.


There is a twist in the formula, in that the player has a choice of two different characters, and each character has their own way of doing things. While each of them can place the blocks, and that is all that is really needed to complete a level, they have different weapons to make the game easier. One of the characters has a gun that can stun or even kill enemies, while the other has a Ghost Busters style vacuum that can suck up enemies and then spit them back out. Each of the characters has their own play style and the player will have to choose carefully according to their own way of playing and the obstacles they are facing. Considering the range of different enemies, from some that will chase to others that will throw projectiles, the variety of attacks is very welcome.

When it comes to difficulty, the player is only required to find the key and reach the exit, and doing so is not too hard much of the time. With that said, the introduction of more enemies will turn up the difficulty, and then there is the option to finish levels within a certain time, or find all of the treasures hidden around a level, that will push up the difficulty for the more hardcore players. There is a shop that can be accessed to purchase a variety of different objects to tweak the game somehow, such as a shield or having all of the treasure revealed. It is nice to have the options, but they don’t add a huge amount to the game.

For the younger players, the retro mechanics may cause some concern. To describe the movement as clunky could seem a little mean, but this is how it plays out. Players are now used to smooth as butter and incredibly precise movement in their platformers, but Ghost Sweeper is keeping with the old school style, complete with all of the frustration. It takes a little while to get used to, but eventually the player will be manoeuvring like the platform players of old.

Visually, Ghost Sweeper looks exactly as you would expect from a retro 2D puzzle platformer. There is a simplicity to the visuals, but the colours are bright and the characters distinctive. The soundtrack is pretty good, but does play on a loop and so tends to become repetitive after a short while.


Ghost Sweeper may be a little too faithful to its inspiration to catch the interest of some gamers. While the game may have a modern look, the actual gameplay is much more retro. Still, for those looking for that love letter to either Solomon’s Key or the puzzle platformers of old, Ghost Sweeper could well hit the spot.




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