Vera White: Ghost in the Castle brings Vera Blanc’s main character to life: The full moon as she embarks on a new adventure with her boyfriend Brandon. White, who can read minds, must investigate a series of murders and suicides that point to a ghost living in the city castle.
Vera White: Ghost in the Castle is based on a visual novel, where you spend most of your time reading the conversations between the various characters as the story progresses. As with most visual novels, you have conversation options to further the plot. In most cases, you will be able to see different answers with different options, but in other cases, you will find your own way by choosing the options.
What sets White Vera games apart from most visual romance games are the various mini-games. You can turn them off, but it is highly recommended to leave them on, as they add variety to an otherwise monotonous game. In some conversations, you can read the other person’s thoughts. You have to choose the letters and complete the person’s thought; like Wheel of Fortune. In each mind reading minigame, you have 3 tries; choose the wrong letter 3 times and you miss it.
Another fun mini-game is Spot the Difference. You will be shown 2 images that look very similar and you have to find some differences. Tap the touchpad on the PS4 controller to see the differences. Since there are usually a few opaque black dots scattered across the image, the ability to turn both images on/off is essential for success. There is also a little mini memory game where you have to remember a few numbers and then type them in.
Unlike its predecessor, the game seems broken at times. Even though I fell at a few points in the game after the breakthrough where I could do absolutely nothing to advance. At all the places I wanted to visit, I was told there was nothing to do, which meant I was completely stuck; I couldn’t go anywhere and since I had no recoverable states, I had to start the game over. Twice. Sure, it’s not that long, but when you get to the penultimate chapter, it’s boring. If the area is not unlocked by playing normally, there is nothing you can do to reach it later.
Vera White: Ghost in the Castle is a comic book-like presentation where you see your characters through a text that scrolls across the bottom of the screen. It’s really unique, and the conversation options and mini-games make it feel like an interactive comic book. On audio, the game lacks voices (boo!) and the agreed upon score. Most of the time it is silent, unless there is a tragedy on the screen or an annoying piano sound is detected when a new signal is sent out.
Just like her predecessor, Vera Blank: Ghost in the Castle is a must-read for fans of visual novels and those looking to take their first steps into the heavy genre. With conversational features and various mini-games that add some much-needed fun to the otherwise simple Vera White genre: Ghost in the Castle is a great game. I highly recommend it.