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Find the ghosts in Scare Party

Pass and play as you track ghosts in a cleverly inspired, but ultimately limited app.

Scare Party is the newest in a long line of "scary" apps released in recent months. The small design of an iOS device, the fact that you are almost always wearing headphones, and the fact that the touch screen offers new control schemes are all driving factors in the scary game movement. Some deliver while others are more demos of what the developer is working on. Scare Party is a mixture of the two, managing to offer the right amount of chills in a compelling package, but not quite enough content to keep a group of people happy playing it.

The game is a pass-and-play competition game. You choose how many players will participate and start. There are two game modes that appear randomly during the competition. Ghost Finder asks you to find a ghost within 30 seconds by tilting the screen and moving an onscreen circle. Ghost Static presents a screen filled with static on which ghosts will appear. Tap every ghost you see in 60 seconds to get a high score. You can choose how many rounds to play with up to four players and the game tallies your score at the end.

The setup and execution of Scare Party is actually quite good. The ability to change the number of players and rounds, the game's tracking of your scores, and the ambiance are all very good. The mini-games themselves, however, are not as engaging. Both are simple and will become tiresome after one or two rounds. More games or more-compelling rewards are needed to keep players engaged. At the same time, the game does manage to be at least mildly spooky. Turn off the lights and the ambiance and sound effects alone should put a chill into a slumber party for at least a little while. Just don't overplay the game, lest it begin to grow repetitive and lose that spooky edge.

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