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 (693 reviews) - 83% of the 693 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 23, 2003

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"Kinda looks like the sims but instead of taking care of the people you try to spook them out of their houses by placing ghosts and spooky traps."

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.
Helpful customer reviews
23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
(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.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Are you one of those people who played The Sims just to torment your little residents? Because I think someone made Ghost Master just for you. As the titular master of ghosts, you take an assortment of spooks and specters into different homes and buildings with the intent of driving out the residents. Each ghost has specific things it can haunt, like electronics or damp things, and several powers that unlock as you scare more and more people. There are also ghosts you can recruit during missions by completing certain tasks, foes to overcome like police and ghostbuster-types, and high scores to shoot for in each level. There are some clever locales to haunt too, like sorority houses, mystery mansions, cabins in the woods, schools, and more.

The game plays like a cross between real-time strategy and puzzle. You can give your ghosts orders and have to manage your spooking power between them, but scaring off mortals and completing tasks is more a matter of getting the right ghost in the right place. It's a terribly charming little game that is unfortunately starting to show its age, and can be a bit frustrating if certain people or ghosts don't path the way you need them to. Since you have no direct control over movement, tasks that require specific placement can be a chore to complete. Minor gripes aside, this a is perfect lighthearted game for the season, and one that most likely anyone can enjoy.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
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.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
this was the only game i played when my internet was out for 2 months. i have like 30 hours on it. whenever people asked what i was up to i was like "playing ghost master, better than sims"
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
it's an old game that is still good.

it felt like a casual strategy game.

Have you ever wanted to scare people? Or do you have something against "The Sims"? Or do you want a ghost sim?

Get this game, You can scare the F**K out of humans and ghostbusters.

Grab it on sale for maximum fun and less wallet gouging!
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