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Ghost Giant Hands-On Impressions

You get to mess with people with your ghostly appendages in VR.

by Dylan Siegler

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In the days leading up to the PlayStation E3 presentation, Sony made a new announcement every day until the day of the event. One such announcement was for a game coming to PlayStation VR called Ghost Giant. This is a game being developed by Zoink Games, the indie developer behind such games as Stick It to the Man!, Fe and Flipping Death. In this new game, players take control of a giant ghost who befriends a small boy who has previously lacked many friends. As the ghost giant, you help the boy out in various ways, usually interacting with the various citizens and buildings of his hometown.

Ghost Giant is a puzzle game in which you’ll have to use the world around you to figure out the solutions to your various predicaments. The demo seems to take place shortly after you, the giant ghost, have met Louis, the young boy, for the first time, as Louis appears to be aware of your existence, but is still freaked out by a giant ghost trying to interact with him. So the goal of this short trial is to get Louis to accept you. He runs around the town and hides in various places and you have to figure out the solutions to get him to come out from hiding.

The other residents of the town don’t notice you and your ghostly form, so you can mess with them all you want. And you’ll have to in order to solve many of the puzzles. For example, at one point you need a key to unlock the door Louis has locked himself behind, so you have to steal the key from a grumpy old man watching TV. The main mechanic of Ghost Giant is using your ghostly hands to grab things, and you’ll be doing a lot of grabbing. To get the key from the old man, you’ll have to turn his house around until the doorknob is facing you, then open his house using the doorknob. All this doesn’t seem to faze him, but you still need that key, and he’s holding onto it very tightly. So you have to start changing the channels on his TV by continually pressing a button until you find one that bores him, putting him to sleep and giving you an opportunity to take the key.

The solutions to many of the puzzles like this are very simple to execute, but not always as simple to figure out. Since you’re given free reign of this giant ghost’s hands and have a large VR space open to you, you’ll probably grab a million of the wrong things, and even try to grab a bunch of things that you won’t be able to grab, before finding the correct solution to your current puzzle. One of the trickier puzzles in the demo is when Louis starts running around the town, yelling about a ghost that’s after him, at which point some bullies start picking on him. You have to get the bullies to stop picking on Louis by proving to them that there is in fact a ghost after him. But no one except Louis can see you, so you have to scare away the bullies with something else that looks like a ghost, rather than trying to scare them yourself. I learned this the hard way after spending a lot of time trying to grab the bullies, poke them, pick up objects and have them float around them and even dropping objects on their heads, all to no avail. Eventually, I found a fake ghost in some other townsperson’s room (why they had a fake ghost in their room I don’t know) and was able to use that to scare away the bullies.

Maybe I’m just dumb, but I can see some people complaining about not getting enough explanation as to how to solve some of Ghost Giant’s puzzles. That being said, with enough looking around and experimenting, you should probably be able to eventually figure everything out; nothing that I saw was too complicated. Aside from the puzzle-solving, the general atmosphere of the game is charming and the whole presentation is pretty adorable. If nothing else, you’ll probably just find it fun to mess with the world, picking up random objects and throwing them around and whatnot. Ghost Giant will eventually launch on PS VR.

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