Ghoulies follows protagonist Cooper's adventure though a monster-infested mansion as he tries to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend from the mansion's owner. Along the way, Cooper meets and befriends various members of the mansion staff, who assist him on his quest despite being on the mansion owner's payroll. The most notable are the butler Crivens, who basically acts as the game's tutorial, and the groundskeeper Fiddlesworth, who provides Cooper with various weapons at certain points in the game.
|Fiddlesworth the groundskeeper.|
Throughout your journey through the mansion, you'll encounter the usual cast of baddies associated with haunted houses: skeletons, large spiders, zombies (even zombie pirates!). Due to this being a game aimed at kids, all these enemies are fairly goofy in nature; skeletons for example will often go into a boxer's stance and dance around while taunting you.
Besides the previously mentioned monsters, there are plenty of other enemy types to encounter, some of which are extremely over the top. Some notable mentions are haunted door and chairs (they sound dull but are actually quite humorous to witness, especially with the sounds they make). Also, who would think that you could encounter a vampire chicken in a haunted house?
The way all these creatures interact with each other is also entertaining in itself. Oftentimes, before they notice you are there, you might witness zombies trying to have a conversation with each other, skeletons playing poker, or undead pirates enjoying a feast. My personal favorite is when you encounter a gigantic dance floor packed with grooving monsters, while the whole party is being managed by a record-scratching disc jockey mummy.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies at first seems like a very simple game to play. The whole game is based around beating down the monsters in the mansion, so you won't find any mind-numbing puzzles here. Cooper has a set of moves limited only to punching and kicking, but he can also pick up various objects scattered throughout the rooms to use as weapons. If you ever dreamed about killing a zombie by throwing a stack of plates at it, then this is your game.
|Vases make for a smashing good time.|
Unfortunately Ghoulies is a fairly repetitive game. Each room has the same basic structure: you enter a room, you get locked into said room, and you must complete a challenge in order to exit. The challenges start off very simple, such as killing X-amount of enemies. However the difficulty ramps up very quickly, and before you know it you'll be faced with a challenge with multiple specifications, such as:
- You have to kill enemies using only your fists (can't use objects in the room).
- You can't cause property damage (don't even think about knocking that zombie onto a coffee table)
- You have to kill alternating types of enemies. So for example, you can't kill two skeletons in a row or you're screwed.
- This whole challenge has a time limit.
Despite the repetitiveness and the sometimes grueling difficulty level, Grabbed by the Ghoulies is still a blast to play. It's a game where you can blow off some steam; pop in the game, play through a couple rooms, and have fun beating silly monsters into the ground. It's too bad we don't see games with this distinctive Rare charm anymore.
To wrap up, have you guys played Grabbed by the Ghoulies? And if so, did you find it entertaining, or too simple for your tastes?