Ghostpia Season One Review – Where the Night Comes Alive
Ghostpia offers an intriguing visual novel experience set in a town perpetually blanketed in snow and inhabited by ghosts. The narrative unfolds at a leisurely pace and is populated by a cast of memorable characters, all presented in a style reminiscent of a children’s book.
The story centers around Sayoko, the socially awkward protagonist. In this unique town, ghosts are not spectral entities but rather individuals who can only exist during the nighttime. Bereft of many of their memories, these nocturnal residents live much like ordinary people. For Sayoko, who is somewhat of a recluse and feels out of sync with the rest of the community, the story becomes a deeply personal journey.
Ghostpia takes its time in world-building, gradually revealing the rules that govern this ghostly town, the reasons behind its residents’ spectral existence, and their motivations for enduring their unusual lives. Visually, the game employs a clever use of old-school filters to enhance its art style, which is both distinctive and aesthetically pleasing. The English localization is well-executed, adding to the overall enjoyment of the game.
Ghostpia is a text-heavy visual novel that, as the name suggests, doesn’t aim to provide a conclusive narrative. The game essentially forgoes traditional gameplay mechanics, focusing solely on text accompanied by atmospheric music. This lack of interactive elements may render the experience monotonous for those not captivated by its world and characters. The first season comprises five episodes, and with a potential second season on the horizon, Ghostpia offers an enriching read for those interested in themes of daily life, relationships, and mental health.
The story follows Sayoko as she forms new friendships and gains deeper insights into her town. Despite its sparse population, the town is undergoing subtle changes, largely due to the local church, which serves as the sole governing authority and is resistant to new arrivals. Sayoko and her friends, however, choose to welcome newcomers, crafting a narrative that underscores the significance of friendship and social bonds.
The absence of gameplay interactions means that the story progresses in a linear fashion, which contributed to my finding it challenging to engage with the game for extended periods. Ghostpia is best experienced in short gameplay sessions, making it an ideal fit for portable platforms like the SteamDeck or Nintendo Switch. The game’s limited controls allow for fast-forwarding or rewinding the narrative, features that are useful primarily for revisiting specific story segments.
In terms of presentation, Ghostpia impresses with its retro-inspired visual filters and well-crafted opening and closing sequences. While it may not cater to everyone’s tastes, the game’s deeply personal narrative, striking visuals, and overarching themes make it a worthwhile experience to consider.
Ghostpia Season One Game Information
- Price: $19.99
- Publisher: Room6
- Developer: Chosuido
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher