The Outbound Ghost is an interesting demo that blends genres to create a unique experience. It’s a game with the overworld of Paper Mario, combat similar to Undertale, a story reminiscent of a lighthearted Murdered: Soul Suspect and a sprinkling of doing its own thing. I was amazed by all the different things crammed into a 45 minute to hour-long demo.
The game opens with our main character’s murder via a car accident. I woke up a cute ghost who remembered nothing about my old life. It should be noted all the ghosts in this game are adorable. They’re done in a delightful Paper Mario Esque style set against a nonpaper world. I really like them.
Anyway, being murdered and all, things are not right with the world. In fact, there’s been a lot of murdering going on. Our main character stumbles upon a whole town of folks who were killed by a mysterious entity, and are coming to terms with their death. The one combat sequence in the game actually has the main character consoling a ghost through the stages of grief, which I thought was neat. Unfortunately, given how short the demo is, there wasn’t a whole lot of story. It was enough to get me interested, and I definitely see this being a goofy adventure that turns around and breaks my heart, which is my favorite sort of thing.
The story is fairly linear, but it had me doing so many different things it’s hard to know where to begin. I did fetch quests, gathered items, picked locks, did light platforming, made ghost friends, and entered a strange sequence where I dodged killer blobs and got told I was a coward by a mysterious force. My only complaint is that I wished my ghost character could move a little faster. There’s a dash button, but I could only move in bursts and found the speed my character moved across the overworld a tad sluggish.
All in all, this game has a lot of potentials. The demo is free on Steam, and it’s short and sweet. Definitely recommend checking it out!