Retro Review – Haunting: Starring Polterguy (Genesis)

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It’s the month of October, the month of Autumn colors, the start of chillier weather, and of course, Halloween. With the notion of ghosts, goblins or anything else spine-chilling, let’s look at the frightfully fun retro title, Haunting: Starring Polterguy.

In this unique and oddly fun title, you’ll take control of a ghastly teenage ghost off to continuously haunt the family responsible for your untimely death. As the selfish and greedy Sardini family – consisting of the mother, father, brother and sister – move into their new extravagant homes, Polterguy follows and consistently scares the living daylights out of each member, thus forcing them to move into another house.

Using the helpful “Fright ’ems” powers, Polterguy can harness ghostly powers into one of 400 objects found throughout the story campaign. As you float around the huge mansions in search of the next family member to scare, Fright ’ems are found in various objects like paintings, lamps, furniture or even a variety of tools in the garage. Interacting with these items when a family member is present in the room will effectively increase their scare meter.

Though scaring the life out of the Sardini family is your main objective, there are consequences for unsuccessfully horrifying family members. Each time you use the Fright ’ems power ups, a bit of your ecto meter depletes. Once the entire bar is empty, you are thrown into the Underworld, the only world where Polterguy is at danger. Gathering ecto puddles which drop from the ceiling is your main objective here, while dodging deadly enemy attacks. Once all of the ecto has been collected, Polterguy returns back to the house where he left off. Of course, the Underworld can be avoided by adding ecto to your meter after each successful scare.

Often times it can be difficult finding the next family member to scare. With tons of rooms to explore in each house, the different members will be scattered throughout the maze-like houses. Luckily, an in-game map appears at the push of the start button, revealing the location of each family member, and yours, in a useful manner.

Taking on the role of a haunting poltergeist and taking revenge on the disrespectful and rapacious Sardini family is something so unique, it has yet to be repeated. Haunting: Starring Polterguy provides excellent, casual play style with rare and uncommon gameplay mechanics.

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