Spotlight on Greenlight: Poltergeist: Pixelated Horror

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Welcome once again to PCGamesN’s Spotlight on Greenlight, our regular Saturday feature where we look at the best and the most interesting Greenlight games that are hoping to make their way onto Steam. We’ve already looked at dozens of other titles in weeks past, so do take a look at our back catalogue.

It’s isn’t easy being a poltergeist. With no corporeal form you’re not able to tear open the plastic wrapping on your magazines. Being unable to coherently communicate with those of the mortal world, you’re not even able to cancel the subscription. Then some people come and move into your mansion and start moving your things around and repainting the walls.

They’ll have to go.

Poltergeist: Pixelated Horror captures this struggle of the recently dead in the form of a puzzle game. You’ll need to terrify the new tenants, petrify the priests they hire to exorcise you, and get rid of the ghost busters that they employ.

Your task in Poltergeist is pretty simple. You’ve a limited spread of powers you can use to scare the denizens of your house. If you can get them all to run screaming from your home you win. If not then you’re exorcised into oblivion.

Each level is a different section of your mansion. The rooms are filled with objects like tables, chests, and grandfather clocks. You can manipulate them, giving them an eerie bump, which will unsettle anyone who sees it move, or throw them across the room, which will scare witnesses even more.

You’re powers aren’t limited to just affecting inanimate objects. You can possess people, call up spectral shades, and even open a portal that sucks in all the people in a room, closing behind them and capturing them in another plane.

The challenge comes from the restricted supply of powers you have on hand and the limitations of how you can use them. If you run out of powers you’re left with no way to scare the house’s visitors and you lose. Also, some powers can be blocked by certain characters. If a priest sees someone is possessed then they counter it by performing an on the spot exorcism. The same goes for your spectral shades.

The main limitation, and what will see you trying to herd people to different rooms of the house, is that to scare someone they have to see you flexing your otherworldly powers. At the start of the level there may people in different rooms all over the house. With only a few powers in your utility belt, your job is to lead them into a single space where you can use a single power to scare all the mortals in one go.

Poltergeist looks like a dark little puzzle game. While Haunt the house and Ghost Master had a similar premise Glitchy Pixel’s game spins the elements into something that looks new and a good deal of fun.

Go give Poltergeist the big thumbs up over on Steam Greenlight. Or, if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can support the game’s Indiegogo campaign.