Nickie's First Impressions of Ghost in the Sheet by CBE.

Imagine meeting an untimely death and then finding out that the Afterlife is not quite what you expected. You find yourself covered with a dirty sheet (to hold your parts together) and are immediately sent on an investigative assignment by a boss who doesn’t appear to like you very much. There doesn’t seem to be any choice at the moment, so off you go to solve a mystery involving a destroyed factory and to determine why people who perished there haven’t made it through the tunnel to the Beyond.

What caused the factory to have such a tragic accident, and did it have something to do with what was being made there? During your explorations you’ll meet other disembodied spirits that can assist you in learning bits and pieces for your investigation with their recollections of their employment. Unfortunately, the factory was enmeshed in secrecy, and no one seems to know the entire story.

The dead are a strange lot too. From a beautiful shadow taking an eternal shower to a fireman happily smoking his pipe inside a changing room locker, to an obsessive porter and other characters – all will provide something about their lives that may be useful to our hero ghost. Scattered documents throughout the factory may shed a new light on their stories.

“On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down” – Woody Allen

For purposes of this First Look, I played more than half of the game. It is most definitely unusual, a dark comedy rather than a horror game. It may make you laugh, but it never intends to make you tremble in fear.

The game is played from a first person (ghost?) perspective via point and click. Each screen is self-contained, and a text script indicates where another scene can be accessed by a sweep of your cursor. For instance, the script may indicate that you can go down the hall, or that a door can be accessed.

Since you don’t have a physical body to manipulate objects, a new skill system has to be learned. This is very clever and most appropriate for your ghostly status. You begin with the skill of telekinesis -- the ability to move objects at will. As you play, you will discover other skills, such as being able to push levers or shed light in dark corners. Your skills accumulate in the top left hand corner of the game screen, and are easily accessed with the cursor. You discover items with your cursor, and then click on a skill which becomes the cursor and enables you to do supernatural things. In the beginning of the game there's a quick tutorial, so this is all very straightforward.

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” – Isaac Asimov

As Ghost in the Sheet takes place in a factory, after all, you can well imagine that there are machines with which you must interface to solve puzzles. But there are many other unexpected puzzles contained in the game that are fresh and different, and sometimes deep into the dark comedic realm. Most are simple logic problems, and a handful require inventory items for a solution. There are also a few mini-games which demand some dexterity, but they aren’t timed. I haven’t seen any sliders or mazes, no timed sequences, and there is never a "game over" prematurely because your character has died. (He’s dead already, of course.) There is one sound puzzle that is different from the typical adventure norm to be sure, and most amusing, with one of the most engaging characters you will encounter in the game.

There is some cursing sprinkled throughout the game, and some minor gore.

You can save at any point outside of cut scenes, and this is apparently unlimited (I saved sixteen times). When you save, a picture will appear to remind you of where you are in the game.

“ Death is nature’s way of saying, Your table’s ready!” – Robin Williams

The graphics are delightful in 2D and impressive for such a small developer. The factory is very believable as the site of a disaster, what with smoke-damaged walls, discolored and chipped paint and other surfaces, and scattered papers everywhere. I found myself admiring a well-worn desk with elaborate graining. I spent way too much time appreciating an unusual character that appears with the sound puzzle, but I’ll let you meet him on your own. The cut scenes are almost all black and white drawings, necessitated by a small operation, I would imagine.

The background music is, as expected, very professional -- for one of the two developers, Jan Kavan, is a trained musician. The music is dark, but more the sort you would expect from "Ghostbusters" rather than "Psycho." The ambient sounds are likewise excellent; I could almost believe I was in that factory. The voice acting is adequate, and has to be appreciated for existing at all in a low budget game.

“ Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed.” – Mel Brooks

The bad news – and there always is some, isn’t there? I did experience sound looping, where entire sentences would be repeated, or the game would seem to freeze with a musical looping. I encountered a glitch in one area that might possibly have been a game stopper (you are supposed to automatically be transported out of a room but I wasn’t), and the game crashed on me several times. Although alt/tab can be accessed, it seemed to cause some graphic distortion upon returning to the game. I hope these problems will be polished away when the game is reproduced for sale.

All in all, a very different offering for adventure gamers that appreciate dark humor, with some unique puzzles.

For more information about Ghost in the Sheet, visit the game's website.

Would you like to learn more about Ghost in the Sheet? Read the full review by Becky.