I remember when I was asked by my four-year-old’s kindergarten teacher to draw our family tree. My son was supposed to bring it to school and present it to the class. I had not imagined how hard it must be for orphans to draw their family trees, until I read The Great Ghost Chase.
It’s an adventure game book from Audois & Alleuil, the developer who brought us SOS Dinos in Distress and The Poppin Princess. Reading the book requires you to pay close attention, make decisions, and solve riddles. It’s a great fit for kids ages 8+ who want to be more than passive readers.
A Journey Inside the Phantasmagoria
The story revolves around two orphaned siblings, Alvina and Alistair, who want to reconstruct their family tree. Unfortunately, their only relative is blind and deaf. This leaves them no choice but to find out about it on their own.
This involves going on an adventure to the family castle, Phantasmagoria. Guided by the castle’s keeper, a ghost-dragon named Hugh FitzHugh, kids collect information about the ghosts of Alvina’s and Alistair’s relatives that reside there.
As kids walk into the castle, they will find diverging paths and riddles. Only by paying careful attention to the hints provided by the ghost-dragon would they be able to solve the riddles.
For example, in the music room they will find various instruments such as piano, harpsichord, violin, harp, and bass drum. They need to identify which instrument the ghost loves to play by thinking through this clue:
“Her fingers fly from note to note, from string to string.”
If they choose the wrong answer, they will lose a life point. They get three lives at the start of adventure; losing all three will force them to start from the beginning.
Parents Need to Know
The Great Ghost Chase is not your typical storybook. It requires sufficient reading and problem solving skills. But should you get stuck, the game provides hints to let you know where to go next or what hint you can use to solve the riddle.
The app also uses an unusual gesture for navigation. You can only swipe right on the dialog bubbles to move the conversation forward. You also need to tap on a specific part of the illustration, such as doors, windows, or secret passages, to move to another part of the castle.
The Great Ghost Chase is available in English, French, and Chinese.
Things I Like
I like how the storybook is designed to mimic a game with three lives allowance. You can lose all the lives before reaching the end of the story, so you may find yourself retrying the game several times. Thankfully, you can save your adventure so you can return to the game later.
Sometimes you can also take the wrong paths, and end the story without fulfilling the required ghost quota. This further encourages you to replay the game. Another reason to replay the game is to experience the adventure as both Alvina and Alistair.
The Great Ghost Chase is a unique app where kids follow along an exciting adventure and deduce riddles along the way. It communicates the importance of family, and knowing one’s family tree. If your kids are into mystery and ghost stories, this is going to be right in their wheelhouses. Suitable for kids ages eight and up.
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.