Spooky Spirits – Absent of Absinthe

(written by guest author Tim Giron. follow Tim on Twitter @timgiron)

When I first heard the phrase "spooky spirits", I immediately thought it might be some kind of Absinthe connoisseur’s app, allowing the user to chronicle their dalliances with the wormwood infused liqueur romantically referred to as "the Green Fairy".  Upon firing up Spooky Spirits: Puzzle Drop!! [iTunes $1.99] by Innogiant, however, I was pleased to discover it to be an imaginative and entertaining game of the highest caliber.


The story’s premise is that a couple of "spirit wardens" (think "ghost guards", "poltergeist probation officers", "specter watchdogs") fell asleep on the job (you’ll soon find out that these two fall asleep quite easily) and let a bunch of the groovy ghoulies escape.  These AWOL apparitions then worked their way into the various puzzle blocks that you, the intrepid player, will encounter.

When creating a profile, you pick which of the two characters will accompany you.  For me, the choice was easy… See, one of the characters is named Tim.  I took this as a portent and an omen.  He’s a sarcastic little dude who blames the other character, Becky, for their predicament.  Becky, not to be outdone, throws some zingers right back at him.


Game moves are simple yet effective.  You interact with a set of blocks that are arranged in two rows at the top of the playing field.  You drop the blocks onto the playing field in pairs and can also swap the positions of adjacent blocks (successively to move a block from one edge to the other if necessary).  When a "spirit infused" block makes contact with others of identical color, the whole group disappears and the ghost is recaptured.


There are three basic game modes: Panic, Puzzle and Eternity.  Each will appeal to a different kind of player.  Me, I quickly gravitated to the Puzzle Mode.  Here, the goal is to solve the puzzle within the number of drop moves you have been given (which often seems impossibly low).  I have yet to experience one of the puzzles where I was able to solve it in fewer moves, so the number you are given is likely a hint as to the order in which things must proceed.  The puzzles are very well thought out, progressing nicely, level by level, from basic to head-scratching.

In Panic Mode, you must quickly drop blocks to clear a certain number of ghosts before the screen fills up.  This mode is aptly named as the games begins to speed up and you start dropping blocks willy nilly in an attempt to avoid destruction.  In Eternity Mode, which is Tetris-inspired, you rack up as high a score as you can until you can’t make any further moves.


The graphics are outstanding and the music and sound effects are top notch.  Well worth the price of admission which is, at the time of this writeup, $1.99 [iTunes] or a free lite version is also available for trial [iTunes].