In Ghost Grab 3000 ghosts are flooding the screen, and the only way to beat them is to grapple, chain and zap them.
The latest outing from Matt Glanville (Dungeon Deathball) is a return to the quickfire-arcade format that he mastered with Switch ‘N’ Shoot. It’s a single-screen game of clearing increasingly dense waves of increasingly difficult ghosts, and it uses a pretty cool grapple and chain mechanic — Ghost Grab 3000‘s protagonist comes with a hook which can be launched onto the nearest ghost.
Once latched onto a ghost the real focus of the game opens up — you can chain ghosts by catching them in the cord between the hook and the hero. Doing this will increase your combo, which is naturally good, and will also shift their state slightly. Chain up the screen and you’ll get a massive bonus, but you can always detonate the chain at any point. This is incredibly useful when it’s getting simply too hard to move around the already quite small but now flooded with ghouls screen.
There’s a couple of other tools at your disposal if you don’t want to simply trash your combo to save a life. You can let off an EMP surge, which seems to damage ghosts (electrical ghosts), and you’ve also got a dash button. Both the EMP and dashing drain your energy down — which doesn’t seem like much of a problem until you suddenly run out and really need them.
Ghost Grab 3000′s gameplay often feels like standard arcade fare, however the choice of bonuses between levels — as well as the persisting unlocks and upgrades between runs — gives reasons to push forward and, ultimately, return. It’s incredibly uncommon for me to immediately dive back into a roguelike without looking back at the upgrade menus, but I did it a handful of times because I felt like I’d learned something new, or just gotten better, as my last life fell away.
Ghost Grab 3000 is available now for PC, Mac and Linux through Itch.io.