Spirit Hunters Inc. is a DSiWare title currently being developed by Nnooo and will also be downloadable from the 3DS eShop.  The innovative RPG tasks the player with hunting down and capturing various ghosts in the real environment through the use of augmented reality.

At E3, I was able to try two demos of the game.  The first had me starting from scratch.  The second placed me far into the game with many abilities.

Upon starting, the player has to choose from one element to lead with (Fire, Ice, Water, Light, Shadow and Fungal).  The player’s element will affect their strengths, weaknesses and the abilities they get from the start.  Upon leveling up, it will be possible to purchase new elements to play as, as well as pick abilities that weren’t initially available for the starting element.

The main gameplay in Spirit Hunters Inc. comes when the player is hunting for a spirit.  When this happens the DSi camera is used to display the real world on the screen and the player has to look around for the ghost.  The type of spirit that shows up is determined by the colors in the room and the time of day.

Once a spirit is spotted, the player can then fight it in real time.  Combat is preformed by using earned abilities and only a limited number of which can be set to the player’s action bar at a time.  To use an ability the player taps it on the action bar with the stylus.  Different actions then can be used in different ways.  Some attacks will need to be flicked at the foe, some require tapping the enemy, and others have the player drawing around the spirit to name a few.  Abilities can also do things other than damage such as freeze, burn, or poison the spirit.  Keep in mind that the spirit does fight back, so there is a challenge to overcome.

If they player defeats a spirit they will be rewarded with experience and get money to buy other helpful items.  These include traps, which can be used to capture spirits to add to a collection, but beware, trapping a spirit will double the money earned, but lower the experience gained.

Similar to Pokémon, two versions of Spirit Hunters Inc. are going to be released simultaneously (Light and Shadow).  Each version will have a unique story and some spirits that can only be captured in that version of the game.  Players looking to capture spirits not found in their game don’t need to worry since it’s possible to send captured spirits to either version for friends to battle with the in game challenge system.

Nnooo promises that Spirit Hunters Inc. will offer over 100 hours of game play, over 100 levels to achieve, over 288 different spirits, and more.

Spirit Hunters Inc. was a unique game, but it’s one that I’d need to spend more time with before coming to a solid conclusion.  This isn’t a knock against the title in anyway, but I think anyone that has tried to play a game with RPG elements knows that they are hard to judge based on a short amount of hands on time.  As previously stated, the guys at Nnooo did their best to show off the game at both the beginning and deep into it, but I need more time to determine if the game will really suck me in since the game will offer a decent amount of content.

Regardless Spirit Hunters Inc. is a game to watch out for.  I’m hoping that it will be a fun game to pop open once in a while to find new spirits in different areas that I may be traveling through.  It really could end up being one of the last major DSiWare titles.

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