Ghouls'n Ghosts MOBILE

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Ghouls'n Ghosts MOBILE App Poster Image
Mobile version of tough arcade game has tricky controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Touch controls can be awkward. Game is notoriously difficult.

Violence & Scariness

Players use swords, axes, magic, and other weapons to kill monsters, but it's cartoony and there's no blood, gore.

Sexy Stuff

When hurt, our hero loses his armor, is shown in his underwear.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ghouls'n Ghosts MOBILE is an old-school action arcade game. While you do use a variety of weapons -- including swords, throwing axes, and magic -- to destroy skeletons, vultures, and other monsters, there's no blood or gore. When injured, our hero loses his armor and has to run around in his boxers until he finds new armor or dies. The game features a number of scary monsters and supercreeps, but the pixelated graphics make them look more cartoony than scary. Otherwise, this has no drinking, drug use, or cursing. Read the app's privacy policy on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Set three years after Ghosts 'n' Goblins, GHOULS'N GHOSTS MOBILE has the brave knight Arthur (no relation) fighting his way through the forces of darkness so he can save all the people who were killed by Lucifer, including his beloved Princess Prin Prin. A side-scrolling action game that originally hit arcades in 1988, this has players using a variety of weapons, including swords and throwing axes, to take down a pantheon of scary monsters.

Is it any good?

While this app faithfully recreates the notoriously difficult '80s arcade game, the awkward button layouts make it even more challenging. Ghouls'n Ghosts MOBILE is the sequel to 1985's Ghosts 'n' Goblins (available on tablets as Ghosts 'n' Goblins MOBILE) with all the pixelated visuals and old-school sound effects intact. As a knight trying to save his girlfriend and others from the clutches of Lucifer, you have to use swords, throwing axes, and magic to defeat a seemingly endless army of monsters. This isn't easy, since this side-scrolling arcade game also has you dealing with deadly doorways, irritating vultures, and other hazards. But while this game, like its predecessor, is known for being really, really tough, this version also has you contending with awkward touch controls. Because the on-screen buttons are so big, they often cover up the action, making it hard to see when there's a skeleton with a scythe coming up behind you. That said, there are multiple control options, and some don't block as much of the screen as others. This also corrects one of the previous game's more irritating mistakes, as it doesn't reset back to the default controls every time you start a new game. This is why, if you're a fan of the original arcade game and you don't need 20/20 vision when it comes to spotting evil skeletons, Ghouls'n Ghosts MOBILE is like going to an arcade with a whole roll of quarters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Do you feel differently about the violence in the game given that it's against monsters and not people?

  • Talk about violence against animals. Along with monsters, you also get attacked by vultures, so how does it make you feel to kill an animal in this game? Would it be different if it weren't a vulture but a bunny?

  • Discuss monsters. Do the creatures in this game scare you? Why do we get scared? What does it teach us?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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