A point and click adventure game … are you excited yet? I can hear the extra exhalation, but Poltergus seems like something that could be really fun due to its interesting premise. Poltergus presents itself as a reality TV show, meaning that the story will bounce around, there will be interviews with cast and crew, etc. All of this goes on while you try to figure out some kind of mystery going on as well. Oh, and it takes place in a world where the paranormal is just, well, normal now, which explains why one of the main characters is a ghost. If that doesn’t have you interested … well, not much else I can do for you. Maybe the below trailer will help out.
If you took a look at the trailer, the game definitely has a rough around the edges look, but the writing is clever enough for me to forgive a lot of that. There is definitely a great deal of potential for something really great to come out of Poltergus.
The titular character, Gus, was known for unmasking frauds, which led him to a book where he “kinda sorta accidentally” brought the spirit realm crashing into reality when he read it. Ancestral ghosts moved back in and people began to just accept they’d be around. Gus then meets Nancy who is the ghost of the world’s greatest teenage detective. Gus and Nancy team up to investigate the ghosts who have decided to keep haunting the world.
Oh, then they get a TV deal to chronicle their adventures in investigating.
The completely unique premise, on top of some of the funny dialogue shown off in the trailer, seem to be the perfect combination for a great adventure game that leans heavily on the writing, which seems to be a strength for developer Rad Sandwich Studios.
In terms of gameplay, Poltergus promises a “fresh take” on the classic gameplay of point and click adventure games through the use of a full 3D world. One has to wonder what that could mean exactly, as it seems to be nothing more than a walk around and explore sort of thing. Of course, time will tell whenever we see the game, but right now what is presented doesn’t seem to show off too much in the gameplay department. Of course, having an engaging area to explore, examine, and comment on would be solid enough to put Poltergus firmly ahead of other 3D adventure games.
The only real worry I have is what I alluded to earlier: the presentation. Some of the way the game looks seems hit or miss, with the characters definitely standing out a bit (negatively) from their surrounding environment. Poltergus is still in development, however, so that can definitely be hammered out.
My biggest worry is the voice acting. While the jokes in the trailer weren’t amazing, they still gave me a chuckle. However, they were almost ruined by the not so great delivery. I don’t know if it’s too late to fix or that’s what they’re going for, but for something that will probably have a lot of dialogue, the voice acting should be top notch.
All of those worries aside, I am super optimistic for Poltergus. In a world where Telltale continues to disappoint, it’s refreshing to see someone try something new and original. Poltergus has that potential to be a sleeper hit for sure. Of course, the game and genre isn’t for everyone, but anyone remotely interested in narrative driven games should keep an eye on Poltergus.
As always, be sure to give Poltergus a thumbs up on Greenlight if you are interested in it. It is also currently running a Kickstarter, so if you feel like supporting it that way, check out the page there.
What other games on Greenlight are worth looking at? What do you think of Poltergus? Is the interesting concept enough to pique your interest?