The Afterlife, Ninja, And Poop – A Ghostpia Season One Switch Review

Wandering around the empty streets, Sayoko tries to make sense of it all in Ghostpia Season One - out now on Nintendo Switch.

When ‘visual novel‘ appears in a game description, it’s like seeing ‘may contain nuts’ if you have a nut allergy: this might not be a good idea. However… seeing PQube attached to Ghostpia Season One tickled my fancy, so I gave it a spin and can confidently say that the results speak for themselves. This is a very unique tale, and for all the right reasons.

Developed by Chosuido, the story tells the story of Sayoko – a young girl who has a penchant for taking strolls at dawn, in fear of bumping into the other ghosts or disappearing before sunrise. Wait – what…? Yes: our protagonist is a ghost, but you wouldn’t immediately know that. It’s not like she walks through walls or resembles a tablecloth, but she is candid about what’s going through her head. When she remembers.

Sayoko is an amnesiac, and when you forget things as a ghost, they slowly disappear. She’s been living in this town for something like 9,999 years, but time no longer has much meaning. Fortunately, she does have a couple of friends – Pacifica and Anya to keep her relatively sane, but there’s a lot more going on in Ghostpia Season One than we’re led to believe.

Ghostpia Season One Switch Review - Hasta La Vista
Hasta la vista. Source: Nintendo

Ghostpia Season One Switch Review 

It begins with that walk, and Sayoko tells us how ghosts disappear during the day. They don’t need to go into hiding, as the town in Ghostpia Season One is dedicated to ghosts. Surrounded by an ominous blanket of snow, the residents are isolated. More so for Sayoko, as the residents give her funny looks. This might have something to do with the ninja element of the game.

As stated, she’s an amnesiac and can’t quite recall her origin story. Again, her friends help her along the way, but some disturbing dreams might allude to her being a little… darker than we’re led to believe. Without giving any spoilers on the story, it’s thoroughly engaging. The storytelling is quite dream-like, fragmented, and though incredibly surreal, it makes sense the further you press. Press, you say? Yes, Ghostpia Season One isn’t the most interactive of games – it’s a visual novel, so it’s purely spectatorship without any alternate paths etc.

Ghostpia Season One Switch Review - On repeat
On repeat. Source: Nintendo

Usually, I’d kick off, but the story is so engaging that it’s easy to forget that you aren’t exactly playing and more watching it unfold passively. That’s primarily due to the character development, ambitious storytelling, and rather wonderful illustrations. Animated ones, at that. It’s neither generic anime nor half-arsed sketchy stuff that gets boring. It’s beautiful.

The Poop Part

Poop is a cringe word for adults to use, and it soon becomes apparent how young our characters are. It’s pretty juxtaposed with how mature the narrative is; some choice words are odd. Referring to people as poop was just so damn awkward and popped (or pooped?) the immersion bubble. Again, Ghostpia Season One roped me back in, not just because of those visuals or the story but also through the quality lo-fi tunes.

I could drag this out more and go into details about each of the chapters included, but again, it’d spoil the experience. Coming from someone who isn’t the biggest fan of the genre, I recommend this one for anyone looking for an intelligent tale that also looks great – the CRT effect doesn’t wear off and is not in the slightest bit gimmicky. Do yourself a solid and check out some other reviews, but what do I think? I think’s it’s excellent.

Score 8