One of the most unique and fun platformers I have ever come across, Obake from Japan plays like what Messiah would probably be without the third dimension, religious/sci-fi overtones, and 'real-world' graphics. The gameplay is similar to Nintendo's Kirby console games, which allow you to use the enemies' skills once you defeat them. The (rather thin) plot: you play a young ghost named Obake Kid ("ghost kid") who must stop his father, the ghost king who has gone berserk.
Although you play a ghost in this game, you do take damage from various enemies, and contrary to logic, can only hop around similar to Mario. On the other hand, you can 'possess' the bodies of enemies, of which there are over twenty types ranging from little robots to mutant pigs. What makes Obake a lot of fun is the wide variety of skills you gain while possessing enemies. You can climb walls, glide over the ground, become invincible for a short while, and even walk on ceilings. The enemies also give the game a considerable 'puzzle' element: specific abilities are required to pass certain spots, and part of the challenge lies in figuring out what you need. And while you can possess enemies, you can only do that temporarily: once the possessed's energy bar falls to zero, you revert back to your vulnerable ghost form.
Another area in which Obake shines is the sheer number and diversity of levels. There are fifty levels in all, divided into worlds of various shapes and styles, each with its own set of unique enemies, navigation styles (some worlds force you to go in one direction, while others allow you move horizontally and vertically at your leisure), and even individual puzzle elements. For instance, the castle world requires you to find keys to open different doors (like Super Mario 64). Each world features a classic console-style end-level "boss" that is appropriately hard to beat, although unfortunately they resemble each other too much. Last but not least, the game contains a lot of secrets. If you collect all the hidden "G" icons, for example, you unlock the final eight levels.
As an added bonus, the game is also fairly easy: I don't consider myself an "expert" at action games, and yet I was able to beat this game in a few sittings, enjoying every minute of it. If you are looking for a crisp-looking, smoothly animated, anime-style platformer that is unique to boot, check out this freeware underdog. Two thumbs up, way up!
Note: This game doesn't seem to run in Win 10 even with compatibility settings. It can't get past the intro screen. You could try virtualization or dual booting (Win XP works) if you know how to set it up.Reviewed by: Underdogs