When I was little, and I mean like four to six years old, I remember going to our local pizza place and playing arcade games while we wait for our food. This was the 80s so arcades were pretty big then (stop doing math, I’m 30). One game that particular gripped my attention was Joust. Partly because it was a game I had at home on our Atari, but mostly because it was different than the other games. It was one of those original Arcade style games. The graphics were simpler, the game play was easy, but most of all it just worked well is arcade sized bites. That’s how I felt about Spirit HD.
Now before i dilute my experience with this game to a ball in a cup, I should come straight out and say that I really enjoyed Spirit HD. Everything about it just feels solid and polished if that isn’t too redundant. It also has a very heavy Arcade like experience. A single play will last somewhere from two to seven minutes from the second you pop in that quarter press the start button, until the timely event of your re-death. Well, unless you’re badass of course.
In Spirit you play as a agile little ghost, which you move by tracing your finger around the screen as it follows. This leaves a trail behind you as you move. By circling quickly around and touching the end of the trail a vortex is created sucking everything it comes into contact with deep into the abyss (aside from the ghost). There are various enemies that pop up in the screen which chase or shoot at the ghost while it dodges and attacks with vortexes. Simple enough right? Well it is for the first couple levels.
Like many other arcade games your accomplishments in Spirit are gauged by your score. You get a handful of points for each enemy you banish into the oblivion of emptiness, but the points awarded are exponentially higher if you can capture multiple enemies with a single vortex. The bigger your vortex the more risk you take. To create massive vortexes you have to be very quick and run a high risk of running into enemies, quickly ending your afterlife. However if you’re able to create a super vortex the points payoff will be generous.
Spirit has three play modes to chose from. Classic and Extreme are very similar giving you the standard vortex creation approach to capturing enemies which I’ve explained. Extreme is simply a more difficult mode of the classic play. Pulse, which is a mode that has been added on since Spirit first launched, gives a slightly different approach. In Pulse you are put into a survival arena mode where enemies get faster and more numerous as you progress. Also, rather than quickly circling to create the vortexes small pulses appear randomly and when touched they expand into a vortex. The size of the vortex created depends on when the pulse circle is struck. As an added scoring factor each enemy captured leaves behind a golden ring that when collected adds to a score multiplier. Pulse mode is a pretty welcome addition, and feels more like an entirely separate game rather than an add-on.
Overall Spirit is a solid arcade style game this is great for anyone looking for some bite sized arcade style entertainment. Spirit can be found on the Android Marketplace $.99.