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November 2003

US 'PC Gamer' Awards Ghost Master 90%/Editor's Choice

The largest distributed and most influential PC magazine in the world, the US edition of PC Gamer, has awarded Ghost Master a review score of 90% and a coveted Editor's Choice Award, which is historically synonymous with a Top 10 chart hit.

The arrival of Ghost Master in the North American territory has been greeted with extremely strong reviews, averaging 90% across the board, with the game already building a global cult following after its release in the European territory. The PC Gamer score, however, is considered to be the clearest indication of the game's design being matched to the US market.

International Hobo's Managing Director Chris Bateman had this to say: "We designed this game with the US market in mind. It's PC based, and the US has the strongest installed base for PC, contains a strong element of experimental play, and draws from pop culture influences well suited to the needs of a typical US gamer. The PC Gamer review score is a satisfying validation that we did our job right."

The game has been selling steadily in all territories, although awareness of the game has not been widely distributed. Mr. Bateman comments: "I'm not entirely sure why, but Vivendi seem to have dropped the ball in promoting this game. Good game design will get strong review scores, but then it's up to the marketing department to convert that into sales figures. For whatever reason, Vivendi seem to have missed the chance to have a Halloween blockbuster."

Despite this, the game continues to sell at a steady pace, and rumours of a sequel are rife although Empire Interactive (whose Sick Puppies studio developed the game) refused to publicly confirm or deny whether a sequel was on the table.

Ghost Master Reviews

Action Trip

Action Trip

"Ghost Master turned out to be a successful mixture of various genres, which establishes excellent gameplay mechanics and presents an extremely challenging experience."
The review gives it a rating of 'Excellent - 9 out of 10' and an Editor's Choice Award

PC Zone Essential

PC Zone

Major UK Consumer Games Magazine
"The most fun I've had with a game in ages... it displays innovation and imagination in an industry that can often be accused of putting the almighty dollar before genuine creativity."
The review gave Ghost Master 87% and awarded it a 'PC Zone Essential' award

The Guardian

Major UK Broadsheet Newspaper
"It's rare these days to find a game that feels genuinely fresh as well as fun, but Ghost Master is truly one of the most original games around... Ghost Master is the most fun you can have on your computer."
The review gave Ghost Master five out of five stars.

Games Domain

Top Game

"Ghost Master has turned the whole horror genre on its head... an original and entertaining idea that has been excellently implemented."
The game is awarded a Top Game award

ESC Magazine

"Ghost Master is probably going to be one of the most overlooked games of 2003. That's a shame, because it's a smart, fun and best of all unusual sim in a genre too often crowded by clones."
The reviews gives the game 9 out of 10.


"Ghost Master is one of the most creative and enjoyable games to come around in a long time. Its mixture of creativity, solid gameplay, and sense of humor make it a game to die for."
They give the game a perfect score - 5 out of 5

The Adrenaline Vault

"It's a fantastic game especially if you are into strategy puzzlers. Even if you're not, it's still a terribly addictive venture that's easy to pick up and you'll find yourself haunting with the best of them in no time flat."
They give the game 4.5 out of 5 stars


"Without a doubt, this is one heck of a creative and fun game that can provide a great addition to your PC library."
The review gave it 9 out of 10 and an Editor's Choice Award


"It's a great novelty, first of all, but it's also a real success in terms of gameplay, thanks to outstanding scenario design and an irreverent sense of humor."
They give the game a ranking of '8.8 - Great'

Gaming Illustrated

"Ghost Master is a highly playable title with a lot going for it... it's sheer originality carries it through. One of the best fun games I have played in a long time, full of humour and detail."
They give the game 86% overall.


"In this day and age, when originality is scarce, Ghost Master shines out."
The game scores 9 out of 10

Gamer Nation UK

"Ghost Master will just have to rank of one of the best games we'll see this year for it's wit, charm and sheer wealth of options."
They give the game 87.6% overall.

Gamer's Hell

"Ghost Master is a totally unique and original idea. If you like The Sims, you will be right at home, watching humans go about their usual daily routines. And if you don't like The Sims, it will be right up your street too! Think of it this way - after all those times they messed up your house and made you take them to the bathroom, it's time to get even. Scare them witless - it's fun!"
They give the game 88% overall.

IGDA Launches New Game Writers' Special Interest Group with White Paper

On behalf of the International Game Developers Association, International Hobo Ltd is proud to announce the formation of the Game Writers' Special Interest Group, which is officially announced by the IGDA this November.

The SIG was set up by International Hobo's managing director Chris Bateman, in association with Canadian game writer Raphael van Lierop, who had originally started the ball rolling by setting up a discussion forum for game writers at the IGDA website. After attracting a series of other game writers to the fold, including Richard E. Dansky (Red Storm Entertainment), Marc Laidlaw (Valve Entertainment) and Sheldon Pacotti (Ion Storm), independent writer Robert Buckley was chosen to be the third member of the SIG's Executive Panel, along with Bateman and van Lierop.

The first official action of the SIG has been to produce a white paper - the IGDA's Guide to Game Writing - which is available for download from the SIG's webpage. The paper provides an overall picture of the current state of game writing, and advice for people interested in becoming game writers - both existing writers looking to move into the interactive media, and newcomers with little prior experience.

"The formation of this Special Interest Group is a landmark event in the history of games development," Mr. Bateman asserts, "since the field of game writing has been largely brushed under the carpet until now. Providing a mechanism to reflect the needs of game writers, and to promote good narrative practices in games can only represent a positive step forward for the industry."

International Hobo and Media Training North West will be providing copies of the white paper to attendees at the Game Writer seminars, being run by Chris Bateman and Richard Boon (Head of Script Services at ihobo) this November, to tie in with the SIG's launch.

Mr. Bateman will also be hosting a group gathering for game writers and people interested in the field at next year's GDC conference in San Jose, on behalf of the special interest group.