Ghost Town Adventures: Mystery Riddle Game is a story-driven puzzle adventure by Kovalim. Though this game is fairly old, Kovalim is still updating it on a regular basis, and there is more to do in the game now than existed a year ago when I first downloaded it. AT level 48, I feel I’ve played enough of this game to give a thorough review and my honest feedback.
The story revolves around Anna, a young woman who receives a letter from her long-time missing grandfather. She discovers that she is a sorceress and her grandfather is part of a magic community that been overtaken by the mysterious Dramatist. Every resident in Ghost Town is indeed a ghost, but the dramatist has fused masks over their faces and turned them into personalities unfamiliar to them. Each house belongs to a resident, and Anna must clean, fight monster ghosts, and piece together clues to set them free. Eventually, with the freed townsfolks’ help, Anna will uncover the Dramatist and put an end to his or her madness.
The game’s main screen is the infected town. The town starts out as mostly dark with ominous green glowing elements. As you complete houses, the darkness lifts. Above the houses, flying creatures and a fairy can appear. Click on flying creatures to grant bonus experience and potions. Clicking on a fairy will prompt you to watch an ad. Watching fairy ads rewards crystals.
One of the minor complaints I have about this game is the cluttered UI. The buttons are too big, and the sale banner draped over the crystal counter frequently gets in my way when navigating houses.
Sometimes I refer to this game as the Maid Simulator because a core component of this game is cleaning up run-down houses. This is not a bad thing. In fact, what I enjoy most about this game is that element of turning a trash heap into a clean slate. I think that may be a mentality left over from my Harvest Moon days.
Often, each messy room is itself a maze. Some piles of garbage can’t be reached unless a specific monster is killed or a different pile is tidied up. As you clean, experience stars will drop and so will potion bottles. Most houses have secret doors or hidden components that can only be discovered by tidying up everything in the house. These secrets give you more access to junk for more potions and chests with crystals. If you’re not sure what can be cleaned, pause for a moment, and see what lights up with yellow sparks.
The potion bottles are the most vital component of the game. They are used to progress through barriers that require crafting, and each house has at least one. The more of these you can get and hold onto, the better off you’ll be farther into the story.
Be careful of what you click on, as you may end up completing a house before exploring everything you want to. Once a house is complete, there’s no going back in. To quote Mad-Eye Moody: “Constant Vigilance!”
Out of potions? Visit the storage room. Every two hours, the room will generate another mess of books to clean up.
Frequently used in Ghost Town is the Cauldron. Mandrake Roots, Spirits of Magic, Voodoo Dolls, and Philosopher’s Stones are created in the cauldron and are used to craft items to complete resident houses. If you’re in a pinch for a specific potion, other potions can be combined to make what you’re missing.
A year ago when I played this game, each time an item needed to be crafted it required a cauldron and length of time. That is why there are three cauldrons on the Cauldron screen. Now, it appears crafting is instant, which means gameplay is no longer time-gated. Thank you, Kovalim.
Click the green adventure tab at the bottom to see all the available side quests. These can be done regardless of finishing the main storyline. It costs nothing to start a side adventure, and it can be used to generate more potion bottles if you don’t intend to finish it. However, each side story has a one-week time limit and will completely reset once the time is up.
If you find yourself stuck or maybe put the game down for a few months and picked it back up, check the book in the lower left corner of your screen. This journal provides details of your next steps. If you require a conversation with another resident, you can call them from that screen, too.
Fairly new to this game is owning your own house. There is a quest chain associated with it, so make sure to check your house journal as you go. Use your coins to furnish your house however you’d like. Furniture pieces are gated by level, and the number indicated tells you how many more levels you need to unlock it. I wish there was a way to change flooring and wallpaper, but I’m assuming that is probably in the works for a later date.
Overall, this is an enjoyable casual game that can be played as slowly or quickly as you want to. The story is an intriguing mystery. The art style and direction is well done besides the over-cluttered UI. Spend your potion bottles wisely and clean everything you can get your hands on. That will set you up for the best play experience.