Ghost on the shore is a game that will stick with players for quite some time after they watch the credits roll. Developed by Like Charlie and published by Application Systems Heidelberg, the story behind it is one of sadness and sorrow but has cute little moments to help make the journey a little easier on the heart. Pairing the simple art style with the subtle and peaceful music helps make this game a wonderful experience from start to finish, even if it does take a some time to get started. Do you want to know more about Riley’s journey as she tries to find out the mystery of the islands? Well grab a life jacket and hop on board as we set sail for the Rogue islands in Ghost on the shore.
The game starts off with Riley navigating a small ship through a terrible storm as she sets off on a personal journey to see what the world has to offer. As things start to take a turn for the worse, a voice chips in and begins to walk our protagonist through some helpful steps in order to make it safely to her destination. This catches Riley off guard and she begins to struggle with the idea of having someone supporting her who isn’t physically there.
Once she manages to steer the ship to a dock, Riley finds herself on an island that looks like it has seen some better days in the past. Buildings lay wasting away by a tattered dock with no signs of anyone else on the Island as. As Riley adventures through the Island and uncovers its mysteries, the voice of Josh is there to help shed some light on things as they peer into the lives of those who were here before. The relationship between the two of them is tense at first but as the hours pass, players can make decisions that will help shape their relationship. These dialog options aren’t just for flavor text though and can have an impact on the ending that players will see by the time their adventure comes to an end.
Ghost on the Shore is a first-person adventure game that puts players in the shoes of a woman named Riley who is also accompanied by Josh, the mysterious voice in her head who seems to know a little bit about the island that she is on. The game has some accessibility options that should be an industry standard but sadly are not, with the ability to turn Head bob on or off being the major one that stood out. The game also supports multiple languages and even has subtitles that players can adjust the size of to help with visibility. This is something that I genuinely appreciated since I was sitting a little further from my desk due to the game featuring controller support. Ghost on the shore supports both Xbox and PlayStation controllers and it was nice to be able to plug and play without any hiccups or spending extra time in the options menu.
As players travel across the island, they will find a multitude of items to interact with. Most objects can be turned around and examining them will often lead to either Riley talking to herself about an observation or a conversation between Riley and Josh about the residents on the island. Riley will occasionally take notes in her journal as well as draw sketches of the things that she has seen along the way. Players can look at these notes to help get a little more information and revisit any letters or tapes that they have picked up throughout the game.
One of the best aspects of the game is how the relationship between both Riley and Josh continues to develop and unfold. Players are given dialog options throughout the game and Ghost on the shore does a really good job of utilizing these choices to help expand on the characters. Riley can try to convince herself that the voice isn’t there, or she can fully embrace the situation by talking to him during their journey. Sometimes there will be moments where the two get real snarky with one another and players can get the feeling that the pair is starting to get a little more comfortable with each others presence. These dialog choices will have an impact on their relationship and can even impact the ending that the players see which will provide a reason to come back once the initial playthrough is finished.
Ghost on the shore is a slower paced adventure that is sure to capture the hearts of those looking for a bit of mystery. The story is captivating and the ability to interact with different objects to get an understanding of the different lives that used to inhabit the island really helps bring the player along. The mystery of who Josh is and his connection with Riley is sure to have players glued to their screens. If you are a fan of story heavy games with a sense of mystery, Ghost on the shore is definitely worth your time.