Ghoul Academy Review

Old-school consoles and shoot ’em up action games have come and gone. Left in the wake (besides a generation of gamers with sore thumbs) is the wonderful invention of the Internet and Flash, in which these games have been resurrected from the dead for a whole new legion of gamers. So in comes Ghoul Academy from Fizzy Games. It heralds its gameplay from such classics as Contra and Ghouls n’ Ghosts. In short, it’s a rather straightforward shoot ’em up action game with plenty of weaponry and undead smashing but the price may keep away you zombie gamers — instead of saying, "brains….", you’ll say "expensive…".

The story is rather amusing; you have to help Father Patrick Painbringer destroy loads of undead through numerous levels. Each level starts with Father Painbringer teaching a class to a group of stereotypical game characters — the fat nerdy kid (with a bucket of chicken), the elf princess, a dwarf and some baby (I think…). Afterwards, Father Painbringer is called to bash the undead around and that’s it.

Each level generally consists of just one specific screen area with various ledges that you can hop on and you just eradicate undead till your Ghoul Harvest meter tops out. Once it does, the level is over. There are 5 levels per world and there are 4 worlds. At the end of each 5th level, you’ll usually fight a boss.

The controls are rather simple; the arrow keys are your movement, X is jump (you can double jump too) and Z is shoot. Like Contra, you use your up and down arrow keys to aim your gun and you’ll shoot in that direction. That controls compliment the game pretty well, since both are pretty easy.

Monsters can drop various items; including quite a few weapons, hearts to replenish health and treasure. The vast number of weapons is one of the draw points for the game since they are pretty comical. While the flame thrower, rapid fire machine gun and the grenade launcher are staples in shoot ’em up games, other weapons like the nail gun, water cannon, Z cannon and industrial sludge gun draw from past games and the weird areas of the designer’s brain. Be careful though since if you collect a new weapon, it’ll replace whatever you were using prior. Also, if you run out of ammo for your new weapon, you’ll resort back to your pitiful starting weapon.

As for treasure, if you collect 5, you’ll gain extra health and some mega points. These treasures are your rather generic-looking relics and if you’re good at dodging, then there it’s not necessary to scourge the seven seas for these treasures.

There are 3 difficulty levels: "loaves and fishes", "crowns and thorns" and "fires and brimstones". As I’m sure you can assume, they vamp up the number of enemies on the screen and such. If you want legions of skeletons, grim reapers, zombies and the like, then jack up the difficulty.

Regarding the price of the game, its $23 AUD; this translates to about $19 USD. I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t pay that much for a game like this. It just seems a tad much. Sure, the gameplay is rather addictive and fun, but I don’t justify a price of $19 for a game like this. If it was around $10 then maybe, but $19 is too high.

There is a demo you can easily access if you want to try the game out, which you can find here. To me, the demo samples enough of the game that I would want to see and play; it’s also a good way to see if you want to fork over the cash — old-school gamers might.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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