Grim spectres, howling banshees, and sly gremlins are yours to command as you unleash ghastly spirits on the town of Gravenville and scare the wits out of its citizens. In the world of the Ghost Master, spooks do your bidding, as you solve puzzles and unlock mysteries in a challenge that combines the best of strategy, adventure, and...
User reviews:
Very Positive (846 reviews) - 83% of the 846 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 23, 2003

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Ghost Master®


About This Game

Grim spectres, howling banshees, and sly gremlins are yours to command as you unleash ghastly spirits on the town of Gravenville and scare the wits out of its citizens. In the world of the Ghost Master, spooks do your bidding, as you solve puzzles and unlock mysteries in a challenge that combines the best of strategy, adventure, and resource management games.
  • Up to 15 unique, hair-raising adventures with multi-branching scenarios - all within a coherent plot and complete virtual world.
  • Spook's-eye view - an innovative 3-D camera lets you view the action from the perspective of humans or ghosts.
  • Revolutionary special effects, incredibly detailed characters, and macabre settings inspired by classic horror films.
  • Groundbreaking artificial intelligence-interact with up to 30 AI-driven characters at every level.
  • Eleven expansive and distinctive locations, including the town's lunatic asylum, military base, sorority and frat houses, and police station.
Ghost Master © 2003 Empire Interactive Europe Ltd. Developed by Sick Puppies, a studio of Empire Interactive. Europe Ltd. Ghost Master, Empire and "E" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Empire Interactive. Europe Ltd. in the UK, Europe and/or other countries. All rights reserved.

System Requirements

    Minimum: Pentium® III 450. Windows® 98,ME,XP,2000. NVIDIA® TNT2 3D card. 128MB of RAM. 750MB of free hard disc space. DirectX® 8.1. Mouse, keyboard.
    Recommended: Pentium® IV 1.5GHz. ATI® Radeon™7500/NVIDIA®GeForce2 3D card. 256MB of RAM.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (846 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
529 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
78 of 82 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Background: Bought for pennies in the steam sale, never heard of it before.

The Good:
* Brilliant premise, locations and characters
* Decent tutorial (does miss out a few useful hints)
* Tons of ghosts to play with with fun interactions
* Varied scenarios are brilliantly Scooby Do fun to explore
* Trial and error hauntings are both good and challenging
* Good balance between creepy and fun
* Fun voice acting on the ghosts, Sims mumbling from the humans
* Most missions are sub 30mins for quick diversions
* 20 hour campaign, some replay value

The Bad:
* Graphics are dated.. looking Sims 2-esque
* NPC Characters get hooked on the scenery, other glitches in pathing
* The ghost/human menu is clunky and could give better feedback
* Golden Plasm too easy to waste while learning the ropes
* Replay and Upgrade-mansion interfaces are more awkward than seems necessary
* Some hints on releasing bonus ghosts very vague
* Cries out for more direct control and visually targeted attacks
* Some scenarios have triggers you have no control over make the game too easy

Impressions: Some games look great but are boring, others the reverse, this is the latter. It reminds me of the Commandos crossed with Hitman and The Sims 2 games.. looks dated but the game play shines. The game lovingly tiptoes around remaking famous setups from horror movies (the Evil Dead one is great) without getting so close they get sued.

Recommended for: Strategy fans who like replay value and Sims fans who like to drown their vassals in ladderless pools.

Conclusion.: 8/10. A game that triumphs in mechanics over visuals.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
51 of 52 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
Oh, god! I remember this one from my teen years as a hilarious strategy simulation with an innovative concept, especially for its day. I spent days with my retail copy of the game, trying to find ways of releasing those trapped ghosts so I can recruit them! Ghost Master was developed by Sick Puppies Studio in 2003 and enjoyed some critical acclaim due to its intriguing concept. Yet, the game failing on a commercial level, the company closed its doors and Ghost Master remained to be a one shot wonder. Now looking back and enjoying the gameplay yet again, I can positively say that the game lost little in its fun and aged quite nicely anyhow.

Welcome, Ghost Master! You are an incorporeal entity: a commander of the spirits of long deceased, haunting this realm to drive those silly mortals out of their wits! ...and you got summoned by a bunch of teenagers via an Ouija board for kicks. Immediately, you get rid of those pesky mortals by summoning your servants and set HQ in the abandoned school in Gravenville. Your next task: scaring the heck out of all those mortals inhabiting your town, teaching them paranormal lessons for their various misdeeds and recruiting new members for your team while you are at it. Enjoy!

Okay, this all sounds wonderful. You are a big, bad ghost master capable of controlling various ghosts and scaring people... But remember that mortals are not defenseless. You'll face witches, mediums, mad scientists and ghostbreakers - actually ghostbusters, but you know, copyright issues - and try to overcome many challenges in each new mission you are introduced with. Gravenville also comes with its own distinct setting, consisting of countless parodies centering paranormal horror stories like Blair Witch, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Phantom of the Opera etc. Characters have their own stories wrapped in situational comedy.

Talking about gameplay dynamics, in each mission you are to choose a team of 4-8 ghosts in your repertoire and go on for the haunting. As you win missions, you are given gold plasm based on the success of your haunting, calculated according to how much of a havoc you've managed to wreck in the building: how many mortals scared, any of your haunters get banished, how many new recruits you've managed to save etc. At the end of the haunt, you can visit your HQ and use gold plasm to train your ghosts to unlock many new abilities, building up different strategies for different missions.

The game environment and graphics basically seem like The Sims 2 with a couple story buildings, AI people interacting with the environment and each other. Main difference is that you are the intruder. All your ghosts, depending on their types, need different fetters - items or places that they can be bound to, so their area of influence is limited. This is where the strategy part comes in. You collect plasm during the mission by scaring them and use collected plasm to activate their power levels, also arranging orders for when to use certain powers. Most levels come with puzzles to figure out and as you unlock new missions, things get harder and harder. All missions contain various other ghosts that you can newly recruit if you are to figure out how to free them from their mortal entrapments. They all will ask for certain obscure conditions in riddles to be met and figuring those conditions out is the half of your job. Once figured out, you are left with strategy and patience.

Well, I think that would be all. The game isn't that long, but you are welcome to revisit old missions to gather gold plasm, unlocking new abilities and trying new strategies. The Steam and GOG versions of the game contain a new level at the end that wasn't presented in the original version and it is insanely hard. There is some talk that a fan-made Ghost Master 2 is in development at the moment, so fingers crossed!

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
48 of 56 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2013
Ghost Master is an absurdly old game and kinda reminds me of the Sims of it was crossed with Evil Genius. You are a Master of Ghost, they are yours to control. You have spesfic locations that require your hauntings and the peramaters change between locations from 'Scare everyone' to 'Scare no one and compleate this objective' Each ghost has a spesfic 'fetter' or requirement to place, some are as loose as Inside and Outside, some are more spesfic like Electrical, Violence, Murder, Corpse, Child, meaning you have to better adapt for each situation, levels are replayable with ghost you have unlocked, the story is alot of fun and this is one game that truely deserves a sequal. You should stop reading and be buying this right now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 31 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 22, 2015
I love details in this game like bio of people you are scaring, the story of places where you are scaring, stories of ghosts you can obtain in game. You can also get your goals multiple ways which is always nice. The graphics are not really that good but since its older game it's to be expected. You'll instantly fall in love with the sinister voice of your guide!

Overall this game brings back memories of my early teen years and one of the first games I played. I love it and I really wish they'd make Ghost Master 2.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 36 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2015
(I have the game on disk and played through it at least 3 times now, don't mind the steam time played)

Ghost master is one of the hidden gems of gaming, an old game with a sims lookalike feel, but with completely different mechanics. In Ghost Master, you control an organisation of ghosts, spectres and horrors. Your objectives range from the simple and amusing frightening of mortals to gather energy from their fear to more complicated matters such as making sure the mortals find the bodies of murder victims to appease their spirits and many other tasks that are suitible for one controlling ghosts and spirits.
Many levels have oppertunities to pick up new ghosts for your future missions, with their requests ranging from complicated tasks such as proving the corruption of one mortal to an other to the relatively simple tasks of freeing them from a fetter or bond placed upon them by breaking it in some way. The key aspect here is that you can not go and just smash or destroy the object yourself. You will need to use either your team's powers to control the circumstances such as the wind and rain or the mortals in a mission. Ghost Master will let you feel like you're playing a god...All while delegating these tasks to your ghosts and having goals set by someone or something higher up the chain of command. You organise an invisible force that tries to acomplish its goals through subtle manipulation of the mortals. Mortals who themselves might intervene in your plans - maybe they call in a medium to try to banish your ghosts, or perhaps they're just incredibly stubborn and refuse to believe in ghosts. Whatever the case, you can choose to do the absolute minimum needed, you can just scare off the mortals in as entertaining matters as you can...Or you can subtly manipulate them to do your bidding, get all the potential ghosts freed and play with those scared fools by checking on their individual fears and phobias to scare them as best as possible for as little energy as possible, or try to drive them insane(Though complete insanity is a thing that usually only works on those who are already unhinged, or with a LOT of time). Every one of them is different, with their own fears and a bio, their own jobs to do, their own behaviors their own relationships, and so on.
Many of the levels include a puzzle-like request by a ghost, having you complete a task to set them free(At which point they join you for future missions). Usually this is a matter of resolving a last grievance they had while alive, or to do them a favour or break the item that holds them there. Some are easy, and others are incredibly hard.

The ghosts are controlled by placing them at a fetter, something that they identify with and can use to stay in the physical realm. Something that fits them that they can inhabit in the physical world. It could be an electrical appliance for a gremlin, or a fireplace for a fire elemental, or objects with an emotional charge to them, a place, or even a child. You control what powers they have access to by feeding them energy, which you extract automatically from the fear of mortals(And powers with a bigger effect tend to have a higher cost).
Mortals who do not believe in ghosts are harder to scare, so you need to boost their belief in the spirit world by odd events, such as rain indoors, unnatural cold, heat or luck, a sudden storm coming out of nowhere or several other things that don't quite fit or erode their mental barriers...Which coincidentally makes them easier to scare.

But then there aren't only good things. The story ends on a cliffhanger, and sometimes the favour needed to free a ghost can be annoyingly frustrating and appear based on random chance more than your own actions. The game's recommend haunting team does not always have the powers needed to complete these favours, and you do not know what you're going to find in a level until you check it out. There are no missions aside from the story ones, and in my personal opinion there weren't enough that were simple missions to scare away everyone, or a sandbox mode - Just for the fun of it all.

Whatever the case, you'll spend hours enjoying building your team, toying with the mortals or just trying to do the missions, in the end it is well worth the price. If you're not entirely sure even then, it goes on sale quite often and you can pick it up for incredibly cheap almost every steam sale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
62 of 88 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
Whimsical and downright fun. Just get it already!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 28 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
This is one awesome game and I wish they would make an update, sequel or a remake of it. You are the ghost master and are in control of where to place different ghosts with different abilites. At the beginning of the level you select your team of ghosts and try to solve the problem for the level. Might be something like having the authorites come to a certain room to find out about a previous murder, or scare everyone out of the building. This game can be frustrating when you are trying to figure out what to do next, but it is hard to beat when everything is working. If you like different kinds of puzzle & sim games I would highly recommend this one. It is very original and fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
50.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 10, 2014
Cheap and cheerful. Great gameplay with a fun atmosphere, and functional cartooney graphics. Only the slightly clumpy controls let it down. Deffo a sleeper hit from bygone times.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
In Ghost Master, you command an army of ghosts and are trusted with completing an array of different objectives.
The story takes place in Gravenville, a town where a lot of paranormal activity takes place, after a group of teenagers summons you – the Ghost Master.
Before entering a haunting, you must choose which ghosts you take with you. You can pick anyone you want, but sometimes, especially when you are trying a level for the first time, it is better to press “Recommended” which will pick the best available ghosts in your army for said level.
Once you’re in, there are 4 main features you must worry about: Haunters, Fetters, Plasm and Mortals.
There are 47 playable ghosts and you can choose where to place them and which powers they can use. You can’t directly control them, so you need to learn when and which powers you want each of them to use and which orders to give (Allow a ghost to go after someone on its own or even use a certain power when no one is around). You start off by commanding a small army of classic horror characters, like the jack-of-all-trades ghost Boo or the glowing poltergeist Whirlweird. You will also be able to rescue restless spirits throughout the game (every level has at least one of these), increasing your army’s size and versatility. These trapped ghosts need to be set free but that is easier said than done. During the first levels, most ghosts are fairly easy to recruit; maybe you’ll need to destroy the fetter they’re on or scare someone they hated when they were alive. Later, though, there are a couple of complex puzzles you need to solve that require a lot of planning – make a certain person use a fetter or carry something across the building to a certain location. These are hard to figure out but extremely satisfying when solved.
There are 6 kinds of ghosts in the game: Sprites, Disturbances, Elementals, Vapours, Frighteners and Horrors. Each type of ghost has a certain area of expertise. Sprites, for instance, consume little to no plasm (the game’s “resource”), which allows them to use most of their powers early on. They are usually bound to smaller fetters, usually electrical, and can make them malfunction and cause blackouts or power surges. Horrors and Frighteners, on the other hand, consume large amounts of plasm and can terrorize mortals like no one else can. They can possess humans and materialize into gruesome sights, making them useful to get rid of humans who are harder to scare.
Ghosts can also level up; the more you use a certain ghost in the field, the higher its training level. Higher levels mean you will be able to give said ghost a bigger number of ever more complex orders, making its powers more effective and allowing you to let it haunt on its own, while you focus on something else. There are 8 training levels for each ghost.
Fetters are where you can place your ghosts. You can’t just simply place them wherever you want, which makes planning ahead and ambushing something to consider. Certain ghosts can only be bound to mirrors, for example, making them very useful if used strategically, while others can be bound to sleeping mortals, children, water or even emotional objects.
There are 2 kinds of plasm. Normal and gold.
Regular plasm is something you need to summon ghosts and to use their powers. The stronger the ghosts, the more plasm they need to be bound to a fetter and the harder it gets to manage used and available plasm. Plasm is not spent – rather, you allocate an amount of available plasm to a ghost. If you need a certain haunter to use a more powerful spell, you can just unsummon one of the other fettered ghosts so the used plasm doesn’t surpass the maximum amount of available resources or make it use a weaker power which does not use as much plasm. Scaring people is the only way of earning a bigger plasm threshold – that is quite simple and straight forward when you need to scare all the mortals away from a level; on the other hand, when you get to levels where you can’t scare any of them away or you have a more subtle objective that doesn’t involve scaring, it is a rather tense experience. It is all a matter of balance. Failing to do so will have you banned from the mortal realm and you’ll have to try again.
Gold Plasm can be used to buy new powers for your ghosts. You can usually choose different powers for ghosts in the same category, making a more versatile army. Gold Plasm is earned by completing levels and time trials.
Each mortal has a Terror (Red), Belief (Blue) and Madness (Yellow) bar. Some powers cause belief; mortals with low belief are less affected by terror – so you’ll want to increase all sceptics’ belief before attacking them with your terror powers; this will generate more plasm – so you can power-up stronger powers or bind more haunters. You can also take over a human’s mind, making them go insane. People with phobias or older individuals are more susceptible to this. When a mortal’s willpower reaches its Terror or Madness cap, mortals will either flee or go crazy. Mad mortals provide great entertainment and can also help you – terrorizing the rest of their fellow humans with their insane actions.
A big part of humans you use to your advantage is fear – conscious and subconscious. All mortals have them. There are some powers that allow you to uncover said fears. When you know what a certain person is afraid of, you’ll be able to use powers which are absurdly more effective than most others. If someone is afraid of blood, for instance, you can just attract the mortal to a bathroom and use a power that turns water into blood, or make it come out of the walls or even flood the whole room with it. Same goes for spiders, darkness, being trapped or even loud noises.
Fortunately, mortals are not defenseless. You will meet humans that can banish your ghosts from the mortal realm, thus, making them unusable until the end of the haunting. From witches that summon protective circles, to exorcists, you’ll have to battle with all of them to be successful.
Mortals’ AI isn’t all that great; they get stuck fairly often and they tend to do the opposite of what you want them to do. Pathfinding is also an issue when the action takes place in smaller areas.
You do feel like you are haunting a small town because some of the characters you meet during the first levels will show up later in different locations and they also have the same fears and personalities.
Levels are extremely well designed and varied– Mortals have a lot of escape routes to temporarily run away from your ghosts and you will need to improvise new tactics and approaches because humans will react to pretty much everything you do.
Graphics are colorful and the game doesn’t take itself too seriously – which is quite refreshing, in my opinion. It is quite rare for a game about being a ghost and scaring people to embrace such a tongue-in-cheek, comedic approach.
Ghost Master also features a soundtrack I consider perfect. It sets the right atmosphere from the very beginning and I still listen to it from time to time.
This game pays clear homage to classic horror tropes; you’ll get the ghost bride that was left at the altar and even the headless horseman who was killed during the civil war. As you can see, movie references are scattered all over the game and characters and levels are smartly named “after” classic movies –“Phantom of the Operating Room” or “Blair Wisp Project”.
A game that I recommend to everyone. It may look a little bit dated and it may have flimsy AI, but Ghost Master is an inventive game that brings us new gameplay mechanics and is undeniably a game brought to us by people who love and care for their work. The attention to detail and the countless amount of movie references and replay value make it my favorite game of all time.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 5, 2014
Definently worth the cheap price of $5 it's currently listed at.

A strategical game where your target is to scare everyone until they run away in fear. You control a set of ghosts with different abilities & properties, you unlock ghosts as you progress and can upgrade them in different ways.
It gets increasingly difficult and you need to use your wits, imagination & curiosity to solve the different little puzzles on the levels in order to get a human to do the tasks you want it to do :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
1.5 hrs
Posted: October 4
scared the crap out of girls with nothing but towels on ..... story of my life

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Oscarjames | PRIVATE BUYER
0.3 hrs
Posted: September 20
Highly recommended! :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
9.1 hrs
Posted: September 12
Why this was never followed by a sequel is beyond me.

This game is ♥♥♥♥ing hilarious, buggy, but hilarious.

if a second one is made, then there should be:

> Freeroam option (no limits on ghosts, etc, except in-game buffs, debuffs, etc.)
> More types, maybe some of darker variety
> Better abilities (move furniture, drag victims, etc.)
> Ability to play as humans (maybe in Freeroam, only while possessed)

I love this game, redownloading it now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
18.5 hrs
Posted: September 10
Played this game as a kid and even now its still entertaining. The game keeps itself from being repetitive by introducing new locations and strategies without actually making you learn new mechanics. Very worth the price and its easy to clock 15-20 hours on this game before you complete it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 31
have you ever wanted to scare sims out of there homes, set them on fire, turn them to skeletons and basicaly cause chaos? well this game is for you. with many ghosts and abilities to customise with the game feels so fun. though everything isn't given to you at the start you will have to unlock most of the ghosts and abilities are required though the game doesn't state when and where. i loved this game back in 2005 and i love it now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Unlimited Final Despair
11.2 hrs
Posted: August 28
Honestly, good game but horrible port. Even on a good PC this game runs like ♥♥♥♥. There are also no options for running it at a high resolution so it WILL look horrible unless you play it on an old CRT.

It's unfortunate because the game is fun. Using your hordes of ghosts to spook targets and clear the house is great but god damn it just runs so bad.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 22
tihs game does NOT open on my LAPTOP .
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.1 hrs
Posted: August 16
Played this as a kid, always loved it.
...never beat it, though, can't get past some later places because it actually creeps me out so much x__x

Basically, awesome game. And if you're a fan of supernatural horrors, the atmosphere in this game really helps.
You get to control ghosts, make them scare the ♥♥♥♥ out of people while you're laughing evilly, and you can free new ghosts to add to your team! Freeing often needs a good bit of thinking.
And those backstories, damn.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 10
Product received for free
Just like the ghosties of Ghost Master this game should be dead and buried, complete garbage.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: August 9
Product received for free
Helpful? Yes No Funny