Ghost Parade is a Metroidvania game developed by the Indonesian studio Lantera. The story begins after Suri, our 9-year old protagonist, gets lost in the Svaka Forest. With the aid of the ghostly inhabitants, Suri must venture through the forest in hopes of finding her way home. However, as Suri later learns, the danger isn’t with the spirits but the humans. Soon her struggle to find home becomes a journey to save the Svaka Forest.
Visually Striking Design and Cultural Appeal
One of Ghost Parade’s appeals is its culturally-significant characters. Many of the ghosts have designs that invoke Indonesian culture and myths. Adding to this, the gorgeous artwork brings life to the environment, inspiring both mystery and further exploration.
From the onset, Ghost Parade has a duality to its adventure. On one hand, players are exploring the world as presented by Lantera. On the other hand, for players unfamiliar with Indonesian myths, there is an opportunity to learn culture through the game’s presentation.
System Mechanics and Ghost Allies
At the beginning of the game, mechanics are limited to simple commands. For the PS4 version, movement is controlled with the left analog stick and jump with the X button. As the player explores further, the game grants player’s a melee attack, multiple ghost skills, a dash, a ghost inventory, an ultimate, and a glide/range attack.
All of these open up a range of strategies as you approach new environments and challenges. Furthermore, there are dozens of recruitable ghosts, all of which provide different abilities. Finding the right three ghosts will be vital to conquering the obstacles ahead or traversing into new areas.
Crafting, Item Systems, and Skill Trees
To incentivize players, rewards are hidden throughout the environment. Whether it be unique routes towards the end of the level or hidden areas with items, Ghost Parade satisfies your curiosity with its platforming.
While my time with this was brief, items can be used as crafting material or to aid directly in battle such as a healing potion. Defeating enemies can also net the player with gold for later shop encounters or experience for improving your skills.
After receiving enough experience, Suri can gain a skill point and use that in the game’s Skill Tree. The Skill Tree is divided into three branches. From what I’ve gathered, each branch modifies certain expertises: ghost abilities, Suri’s abilities, and passive buffs. With the Skill Tree system, dangerous fights can be their own reward.
Ghost Parade has a simple yet interesting premise. Visually, its aesthetics are one of its greatest strengths, inviting curious players to explore the world and become familiar with Indonesian myths and culture.
Having up to 70 ghosts, 30 of which are recruitable, incentivizes players to dive deeper into the game and immerse themselves in several strategies. If you’re looking for a unique addition to Metroidvania games or interested in Indonesian culture, Ghost Parade releases on the Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC some time in November.