"New Ghoul in School" is the second Monster High game to release on the console. There has been
significant design changes between the previous game and this one, making NGIS a much better game.
This time around the game centers around YOU, the player, as the “new Ghoul in school." We start off by creating our Ghoul through a limited “Create-A-Character.” You get to choose your species (zombie,
werewolf, vampire, etc.), hair style and color, and a few small extra options before you are off to your
first day at Monster High.
The game itself is simple in design and consists mostly of collection quests; grab Item A for Ghoul B, who may send you to get Item B before they give you Item A. There are a few puzzles mixed in to give the game a bit of a change of pace. These puzzles are a welcome sidetrack to the game’s “fetch design” as I found myself kind of bored doing the tasks and then BAM... interactivity!
The days are broken up into Morning, Lunch, and After School. Each having separate available quests as
the NPCs will move around as the day progresses; so if you got a quest in the Morning, it will not be
available to turn in After School. Use your time wisely, and collect as many Spirit Coins as you can
through the “block”, but the game’s time will ONLY trigger if you “Go to Class”.
The goal of the game is to make as many friends as you can, help the school win the "Fearleading
Championship," as well as aiding other after school clubs through their troubled times. I actually had to
watch a few episodes of the show to see how it compares, and it does a good job staying in tune with
that story line.
Spirit Coins, or currency, will allow you to purchase things through the MonStore that you can change into when you are back at home and in your room. As you run around the school, there are numerous
collectibles to get that will either earn you money directly, or when a day is over, tally up giving you a
good start for the next morning.
You can buy out the MonStore every day if you have the Spirit Coins. There is a daily sale that drops
the cost 50%, which is kind of reminiscent of a well-known online shop (if you know what I mean).
Everything purchased here will be available to the player once the day ends and they are in their
The White Spider here is one of the few collectibles the game has you chasing down; collect every one
you see as they are worth Spirit Coins at the end of the day!
You will also run across numbers written on the wall, which are locker combos and will unlock coins or
collectibles once you open the locker. Do not worry about memorizing the codes as the game will show
you which locker the code is for when you run near it, and it will even display the code for you. (I tell you what, that was a relief as I didn’t write down the first two thinking there would be something in my iCoffin that would allow me to review what I collected previously).
Thank the gaming gods for the auto-detect and remembrance of locker codes!
When in your bedroom, you can enter the wardrobe and change your clothes. This gives purpose to
spending the coins the previous day, a little extra customization to make the monster more “you”. Just
do not forget to “Tidy the Room” after entering the Wardrobe.
The music in the game is pretty catching and upbeat, it has a few different tracks that play throughout
the day and I found myself bopping along with the music. The voice overs are pretty on-par and may use the same actresses from the TV show, (not sure as I didn’t delve deep into that), but there was nothing grating when listening to them talk.
Now that we went over all of that, let us take just a brief moment to discuss some of the problems the
game does run into. My biggest complaint is the overabundance of loading screens, I mean this is NOT
Playstation 1 era and there is no excuse for this. The simple level design and limited use of what is
loaded into the game’s memory is not taxing on any system. The developers could have done a loading
screen per floor and been safe, but every single room and hallway had a loading screen tucked into it.
There are repeating objects, NPCs who do not speak to you at all, and objects that can only be used
once per “time block," pretty light on the system requirements.
Then there is also the problem with not having a dash button, even if it is a limited use one. In the
hallway sections there are strings of floating Spirit Coins that you need to collect all of to get them all
counted and stuck in your purse. They have an option to just collect the 5 Coins and receiving +5 Spirit
Tokens, or you can collect them in the order the want you to get them in for a +10. So you either collect them in Front-to-Back order and can just stand there and collect them, or you have to collect them in reverse order. There is a gold coin that will either be the first or last that visually shows which way to collect. If you have to get them in reverse order, you have to chase them through the hall, but they do move faster than you so they will eventually get away. Just a small peeve, but one that frustrated me a few times that I declined the extra 5 Coins.
I ran into a few problems getting stuck after a jump, like in the attic I had to jump up some boxes to get some coins, landed between them, and got stuck in the falling animation. Not a hard thing to do in this space with all the objects in the room, something any QA Team testing collision could have caught and had fixed.
+ Good visual level design (My Little Pony and Tim Burton lovechild).
+ ESRB rating.
+ Great music.
+ Good Voice Acting.
+ The Dress Up.. I mean… Customization… okay Dress Up piece.
- Loading Screens… GAH!!!!!
- Not enough Puzzles, the Fetch Questing got ruined by the loading screens.
- A mini-map that was on screen or always on on the tablet would have been awesome.
- A short dash ability, for collecting coins.
The game is available on Amazon or any other software store.