Eggcode's Pixel Ghost [0.99] is a retro side scrolling game, with the same style of play as Squareball [$0.99 / Review] from 2009. Your pixelated red ghost bounces up and down automatically, as you try to maneuver it through the level within the time limit, by moving the background. That's right, you don't move the ghost, you move the maze, by dragging the entire level left or right.  And you help the ghost avoid stuff, like spikes, bats, shooty things or holes in the maze. Some blocks disappear after being touched and sometimes there's no floor on the maze, so there's little room for error.

This game is quirky, because you're looking at your IOS screen, which has a television screen inside of it, which has the game playing on it-- It's like you're watching the game being played on a television set, hence the word 'pixel' in the title.  Because the whole TV doesn't fit on the IOS screen, your perspective pans up and down, following the bouncing ghost.  Plus the game background rotates continuously and to top it off, the television is on a slight angle, which all adds to the overall visual quirkiness.

The scoring is also unusual. There's coins to collect which earn points, but if you don't finish the level, you score zero. After several attempts, my high score was still zilch, so I started ignoring the coins and just tried to finish a level, which isn't easy as they're quite long. During this, the music plays, which is some form of unusual experimental electronica. Not necessarily bad, but let's call it different.

Why did I play this game? It's the delight of completing a level, finally getting a score, and unlocking the next frustrating level.  The maze looks colorful and pixelated. I started to enjoy the satisfying beep of coins being collected and the unusual soundtrack. This game is so obscure it's not listed on the developers website, has no posts in the TouchArcade thread and is barely recognized by Google. And, I guess, the little red pixelated ghost looks cute when it arrives at the start or squeezes into a gap between two blocks.

Pixel Ghost has five worlds, with five levels in each, making 25 levels in total. I've finished exactly three levels, which is probably embarrassingly poor performance, but I'd like to see how World 2 is different, which probably means reduced sleep tonight. If you pride yourself on collecting the weird things the App Store has to offer, don't miss Pixel Ghost.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Anonymous

    0 points for not finishing is a bad game design decision.

  • Steve

    Bought it. Instant death on one touch, go all the way back to the beginning of the level. After a few of those I got frustrated and just tried to speed back to the place I was at. Quick, repeated deaths. I guess I don't have the patience for precision platforming games

Pixel Ghost Reviewed by Troy Woodfield on . Rating: 3.5