Girls ‘N Ghosts
What’s a gamer to do when his oh-so-cute daughter looks at him with puppy-dog eyes and asks, “Daddy, why can’t the girl rescue the guy?” You could do what veteran video game designer Mike Mika did when his daughter asked him the same thing. Mike Mika put his fatherly duties to task by replacing Mario with Pauline, making the helpless princess a bona fide heroine in the classic Donkey Kong. So when indie developer Christopher Obritsch’s daughter asked to be the hero of one of her and his favorite games, Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, Christopher decided not just to make Arthur a girl, but to create a whole new game building off of Capcom’s famous franchise.
Battle Princess Madelyn is Christopher’s birthday present to his 5-year-old daughter and is one of the most beautiful franchise love letters that I’ve ever had the pleasure to get my hands on. The game just oozes with charm and had me smiling from ear to ear as I performed jumps and attacks just as Arthur did back in the good ol’ days of the Sega Genesis & Super Nintendo. Madelyn also borrows the mechanic of the 2-hit damage system of Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, but this time Madelyn will find herself in a nightgown instead of heart pattern boxers. Madelyn will not have to battle countless demons on her own though, as her deceased dog Fritzy lends a helping paw and has a few attack powers of his own.
In this early build of Battle Princess Madelyn I was able to get a taste of what developer Casual Bit Games has created. The first area is set in a graveyard just as the first level in Ghouls ‘N Ghosts is, but Madelyn had a bit of help to cover her back when needed. Madelyn’s grandpa will assist by taking out enemies with his sword if the action is getting too overwhelming, but fear not if you enjoy the difficulty of the original Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, because Grampy must head back to castle after the first area. The graveyard twisted and turned as I made my way through it eventually leading me to an underground tomb that is guarded by a screen filling skeleton in battle armor wielding a sword that has an extremely long reach. This area is full of dread but its art style is so gorgeous that it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
With amazing hand-drawn art and a soundtrack that can be enjoyed in either classic chip-tune style or a more modern orchestral score, Battle Princess Madelyn is a game you’ll want to keep your eyes on. It’s currently on track to be released 4th quarter of 2017 on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.