Midnight Ghost Hunt is a horror take on prop hunt, which I love, so it was a fun game to preview. Spooky hijinks are abound in this game. The strong level design and additional mechanics are a good twist on the classic game. It’s almost a shame this didn’t come out in the pandemic as the 4vs4 game is a great time to play with a group of friends. There are a lot of prop hunt games out there at the moment, but I found Midnight Prop Hunt to be one of the better recent versions of it due to it’s twists on the formula.
It may still be in early access but it’s shaping up to be a fantastic release for developers Vaulted Sky Games. They’ve been responsive to criticisms and keen on feedback. Fingers crossed for more maps as that is the only downside yet.
Midnight Ghost Hunt is currently available in Early Access for $19.99 on Steam.
It’s a simple set up for a wicked game of prop hunt. Given it’s a multiplayer game there is no proper story mode, but for preview purposes, this is the background for Midnight Ghost Hunt. In a world haunted by ghosts there are professional ghost hunters. The spirits restlessly stalk numerous locations, with hunters being tasked of clearing them out. The team of hunters must search asylums, theatres and mansions with an assortment of ghost themed weaponry to track down and eliminate these spectres. If the hunters can banish them before midnight they win, if not, the ghosts come back with more power for the witching hour to hunt the hunters.
I think it’s a good choice as the gameplay loop wouldn’t fit a story for this game. However, it would be cool if they added in some lore for the ghosts and hunters. What can I say, I love reading the backstories for ghosts. A little extra world building wouldn’t hurt, but it’s not necessarily needed.
The gameplay will be mostly familiar to anyone that’s played prop hunt or any of it’s many manifestations. However, Midnight Ghost Hunt has it’s own twists on the formula that is welcome for a game type that could get stale. There are 2 teams, each with their own set of abilities and tools.
The first team for Midnight Ghost Hunt is the hunters. Your job is to track down the ghosts hiding throughout the levels. Whilst the large number of choices for your loadout it can be a bit intimidating for new players. However, Midnight Ghost Hunt does a great job of explaining the way the game works to make it new player friendly. You also level up at a good rate so by the time you’ve figured out one weapon, you’ll have a new one to try out.
To help you destroy the ghosts you have 3 different types of tools: weapons, gadgets and perks. Guns range from short range shotguns, melee weapons and SMGs to snipers and mini guns. All of which are delightfully ghost themed, such as the shotgun that shoots salt. These are your main damage dealers. More damage normally means you move slower. Gadgets have a number of different uses. Some will detect ghosts, for example the radar will show you when a ghost is nearby, or the pathfinder will show you footsteps and paths the ghosts have taken. There are also healing items, traps, and explosives, all of which are pretty self explanatory. There is also the vacuum that prevents ghosts from reviving each other.
Fail to find and destroy all the ghosts before midnight (5 minutes after the game starts) and they will come after you. If this happens you need to knuckle down, arm up and get ready to fight for your life. All this plays really well together. I, as do most prop hunt players, normally prefer playing as the hider, but the hunters are set up well. It’s easy to quickly ping locations and coordinating with the team is a blast when it works well. It gets very hectic, and you’ll need to keep your eyes open.
Always the best part of hide and seek, being a ghost is a lot of fun. You can possess most items in a map, big or small. The longer you stay still, the more your ectoplasm builds up, which in turns makes you more detectable to the hunters’ gadgets like the radar.
Ghosts also have a whole heap of abilities to trick, attack and mislead the hunters. You can release a miasma that causes damage and can deny an area, make items float and attack hunters, or my personal favourite; transform into a doppelganger of a hunter. There’s nothing as fun as casually walking past an unsuspecting hunter. There are also more passive upgrades, such as slowed ectoplasm build up or being able to see hunters through walls.
Unlike most prop hunt games you aren’t entirely helpless. Your best bet might be to hide, but aggressive plays are also totally viable. Some props, such as suits of armour and cannons have their own attacks. You can also throw items at hunters to cause damage. It’s nice to be able to mix things up and escapes are all the more satisfying as the tools add an extra layer of skill.
Whilst you can go on the attack before the witching hour, you are much more powered up if you wait. You will deal more damage and be launching fridges and globes at the poor hunters. If the hunters survive the 5 minutes after midnight they escape, but I’ve yet to seem them escape the blood bath.
I really enjoyed playing as the ghosts. The heart in mouth feeling of being in plain sight as the hunters look for you gets you tense.
There are additional features that helps build on the prop hunt template through your afterlife. Both ghosts and hunters can be revived if their soul or remains haven’t been collected by the opposition. If you are a ghost, you can also mess with the hunters after dying (can ghosts die?). This includes chilling them to slow them down, creating false readings for equipment, or even pushing them off ledges. I love these features as one of the most annoying parts of a prop hunt game is the wait time if you die early. Midnight Ghost Hunt’s mechanics help keep you engaged, which is a nice touch as you can still help your team even if you get caught.
Graphics and Audio
I really liked the visual style of the game. The gun designs are a lovely mix of high tech and DIY. The flamethrower has a blender for a fuel canister, the spectral cannon uses a lawn mower engine, and the submachine gun is a tricked out nail gun. It’s a great choice of style, kind of reminiscent of a low budget Ghost Busters kit. The level designs as well are nicely put together and themed around spooky settings such as an asylum, theatre, and pirate cove. Each has it’s own special props that gives each map a sense of identity. The flailing arms of the skeleton in the museum is a hilarious way to get a kill.
The audio is great as well. The ghosts noise are weird and haunting. The guns have great sound effects that fit the weapon types and ghost themed munitions. There are also some great tunes that play in the hunters loading screen of the van or boat, which is an underrated feature in games to make wait times less dull. All in all it’s a very well made game with a lot of pizazz and style for it’s genre.
Midnight Ghost Hunt was previewed on Steam with a key provided by Swipe Right PR.