From the original Harveytoons to today, Casper is still the friendliest ghost around. It seemed only natural for him to materialize in a game, and this effort (based on last summer's hit movie) makes an interesting attempt at bring life to yet another comic book character in video game form.
"p"The player, as Casper, roams the enormous Whipstaff Manor, looking for puzzle pieces, keys, and other objects that help him along the way. Casper's ultimate goal is to assemble the Lazarus, a machine that can bring ghosts back to life. Standing in your way is the Ghostly Trio, who pop out of couches, walls, and treasure chests to bully Casper around (they're relatively weak, so "dying" in this game can be a real chore). Casper's higher-than-average difficulty comes from the mansion itself - where the player spends a lot of time shuttling Casper through places he's already been, looking for the one doorway or vent he missed.
Casper looks good. The rooms and halls are well-stocked with decorative paintings, statues, chairs, and other clue-hiding items. The ghosts themselves have a translucent quality and feel like they're taken right out of the movie. And instead of using full-motion video for the between-level sequences, Interplay chose a more tasteful series of still pictures, with lots of voiceover, to link the game levels together. The music is also a plus, and the score is perfectly matched to each part of the game. The load times are also fairly low, which means going between floors isn't too time-consuming. Controlling Casper takes a bit of thought though, but it's easy to get the hang of it, so to speak - players will do well to remember that he's a ghost who can float above most obstacles.
All things considered, Casper is a pretty good game. It works graphically, the sound and music are great, and it has an acceptable level of control. However, it falls short in terms of challenging puzzles and action sequences, leaving the player with little more to do than a haunt the venerable Whipstaf Manor. --Jeff Gerstmann
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