For the week of Halloween, we’re going to celebrate here at GamerDad with some spooky kid-friendly iPad games! The first is based on one of my favorite Cartoon Network TV programs: Regular Show. In the game, Mordecai and Rigby are horsing around while driving the park golf cart when they crash into the hot dog stand. The impact sends hot dogs with a special ghostly sauce into the graveyard, awakening thousands of ghosts that threaten to invade the park. Luckily the hot dog vendor gives our two heroes special ghost weapons to stop the spirits from taking over their park. Ghost Toasters is available for iOS devices, but reviewed on iPad here.
Ghost Toasters is a single-screen, platform shooter that’s similar to arcade classics like Bubble Bobble and Buster Bros. You can run left to right, jump, and fire your weapon. Shoot as many ghosts as you can and try to survive the time limit to pass the level. If you get hit, it’s Game Over. You start out playing as Mordecai and Rigby, but you can unlock more players as you go. Some of the other players include Pops, Margaret, Skips, and nearly all the rest of the cast. Each character has a different kind of gun with a unique effect. Mordecai can charge his shots, Rigby has rapid fire, Pops has a spray weapon, etc.
To change characters, simply collect one of the green portals that pop up in the levels from time to time. Collecting green portals is also how you unlock most of the hidden characters (I wanted to unlock the Bunch of Baby Ducks before this review, but it was too much of a pain in the butt). If you collect the rarer purple portals, another character will join you for more firepower and an extra hit. So those purple ones come in handy. Other pick-ups include coins for buying and unlocking things, exploding cakes, and sometimes even the hot dog guy will appear to sell you a power-up. Other abilities include the screen-clearing keyboard: The Power, double jump boots, and more! After every stage you can spend coins to level up each of your unlocked characters, giving them new abilities and skills. You can also visit a shop in the main menu to buy powers, characters, costumes, and more with collected coins or real money.
The main problem I had with this game is the play control. Move left and right by sliding your finger on the bottom left side of the touch screen, and fire and jump by pressing virtual buttons on the right. But this is really hard to do. I think the game would’ve been best played with a controller. Because of the awful play control, the game isn’t as good as what I would’ve hoped it would be. Earning stars to unlock new stages is tough, too.
Violence is very minimal. You use cartoony guns to shoot ghosts that disappear when you blast them, and if you get hit, you just spin off the screen. I like how the game handles requiring a parent for in-game purchases, and you can lock up the shop, too. Reading skill is helpful for the instructions, and younger gamers might get frustrated by the high challenge and bad controls. If you’re OK with your kids watching the Regular Show cartoon, they’ll be OK with this game, too.