The Ghost Crew is a micro campaign meant to test your skills in a restart until you succeed format. Part 1 consists of 3 well done missions and you can certainly tell a lot of effort was put into these.
Of course, there will be gameplay and minor story spoilers ahead.
- Gameplay for missions 1 and 2 is simple but fun. It's like a series of puzzle/action levels where you have to figure out the right actions in a certain amount of time. They're not massive missions and you have a good idea of how much there is left in the mission, making restarting a section feel less of a chore.
- The gameplay has reasonable breaks. Despite missions 1 and 2 on a fairly set time limit, there are plenty of lulls in the action where you can quickly make a save or start a game from replay, which is of course very helpful giving how punishing mistakes can be.
- There's a lot of minor details that improve the experience. As an example, whenever you paint a target for your mission 2 escort to attack, he'll speak one of a few voice lines before bombarding it. Bits of polish like these go a long way.
- The terrain is well made and has plenty of detail.
- The difficulty curve is well done, except for one or two places covered in the next section. You'll have casual sections that introduce you to stuff with a minor penalty for failing, then later on you'll have to do that trick again but it's harder to pull off and more devastating to fail. To again state an example, in M2 there's an area after the first objective where you're encouraged to bodyblock. There'll be a narrow area and a stream of light melee units that won't deal much damage. Later on though there'll be a place where you have to bodyblock some very deadly units, along with a minor twist to the blocking that I won't spoil.
- The 2 achievements for each mission is a great way to encourage players to challenge themselves, adding a 3rd difficulty without having to physically change the mission.
The cons. Despite it being only a little shorter than the pros list, each one of these is a lot more minor.
- Despite the project page claiming that you need to "manage your resources", all you end up doing is getting through as much as possible without using anything then blow all your charges on the hardest puzzle/a puzzle that requires charges.
- Mission 2's 7-ultras puzzles is just frustrating for achievement hunters and requires aggro drawing, something that you'll never use outside this puzzle, making it rather jarring on top of it's already hard difficulty.
- The 2 infested egg clusters feel like a Simon game except you have a second to memorize the order, and a second to destroy the eggs in the right order.
- Mission 3 pace is a little slow and the puzzles tend to be a bit duller, boiling down to "do the 3 ghosketeers go first or the 3 rays". There's not enough boundary pushing in the puzzles, I feel. Being able to "pass" the rays would have allowed for some more interesting puzzles. Felt like too much effort was put into the aesthetic rather than the gameplay.
Is The Ghost Crew worth playing?
If you want to try, try, try again and enjoy a well done map, then yes! Play this! Hopefully a 2nd part to this comes soon.