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Love, Ghostie cover art featuring a ghost shining a heart-shaped light on a couple.
Image courtesy of Janbeh Games

Love, Ghostie Demo Impressions: A Promising Matchmaking Sim for Spooky Fun

Love, Ghostie is a unique dating sim packed with personality, charm, and supernatural puns.

Cozy horror games are all the rage right now, and Love, Ghostie delightfully prepares to join the category come late 2024. To call the game from Janbeh Games “cozy” might not be entirely correct. After all, Love, Ghostie is a dating sim — or, more accurately, a matchmaking sim — at its spooky, little core. However, low-stress gameplay, delightful soundtracks, and cute graphics are what truly earn the cozy moniker, and Love, Ghostie delivers all this in spades.

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Love, Ghostie Gameplay Involves Supernatural Matchmaking

The Frog resident in Love, Ghostie
Image courtesy of Janbeh Games

Love, Ghostie begins with an introduction to your titular playable character, Ghostie, a new ghost trying to get a handle on their matchmaking responsibilities beyond the grave. Ghostina, a seasoned matchmaker loaded with supernatural puns, is more than happy to show you the ropes through a clever (and entertaining) tutorial.

Gameplay is simple enough. After selecting four residents to move into a “definitely not haunted” manor, you’re tasked with growing their relationships. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including:

  • Planting gifts (giving a gift to one resident but saying it’s from another) can increase relationship stats and unlock resident personality traits.
  • Assigning chores and self-care tasks to boost relationships and affect happiness, respectively.
  • Coordinating dates.

As mentioned, it’s simple, but don’t be deceived. Each of these actions requires you to spend Action Points — a limited resource only replenished (at least in the demo) by starting a new day. While you can upgrade the number of daily allotted Action Points in the skill tree later, using them still requires strategy. Deciding which couple to prioritize or how to earn more impressive gifts on eep!Bay means using your brain. Not every day goes as planned. Sometimes, you end up with just a lousy apple (come on, who’s going to want an apple as a gift?!) in your inventory and little else.

Loads of Romance Options

The manor filled with residents in Love, Ghostie
Image courtesy of Janbeh Games

While you only get to select four starting residents to move into the manor, you have 12 to choose from. This means, according to the math done for me by Janbeh Games, over 66 couple combinations — all with unique storylines. The residents themselves are adorable, anthropomorphic individuals with varying personalities and pronouns. Looking to get inside the mind of a goth giraffe with a broken heart? You got it. Want to delve into nerdom with a cosplaying dragon? Yup, you’ve got that, too. All residents are shippable with each other, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or level of angst.

When first selecting your residents, you’re likely already plotting who would make good matches. However, once you’re floating around the manor, that game plan is likely to change. Maybe two residents have more in common than you initially suspected. Maybe you can’t help but notice them interacting in the common areas and think, “Hey, what’s that about? Are they bashfully smiling at each other like I think they are?” In contrast, you might want a little drama and decide to create a love triangle just because you can. (I didn’t encounter jealousy during the Love, Ghostie demo, but that’s not to say it isn’t a thing.)

A Good Dating Sim for Those New to the Genre

I want to be clear that these impressions come from someone who’s never really played dating sims. I’m not a hardened dating sim veteran who has swooned over fictional romance candidates or gleefully broken hearts. I can’t say whether some of the mechanics mentioned above are old hat; however, from my brief delve into the genre, that doesn’t seem to be the case. What I can say is Love, Ghostie hooked me. As an FPS aficionado and lover of survival horror, I didn’t expect to become emotionally invested in the love lives of cute anthropomorphic singles. Yet, here I am.

What I appreciate most about Love, Ghostie is the strategy element. You get to play as the matchmaker instead of the one looking for love. The minigames and limited allotment of Action Points result in each decision feeling impactful and personalized. The gameplay is stress-free, and humor slices its way into almost every interaction. If you’re not a dating sim person, Love, Ghostie might change that. If you are, I suspect it will leave a lasting impression anyway, especially if you like a touch of spookiness.

Wishlist Love, Ghostie on Steam now.

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Image of Jeanette White
Jeanette White
Jeanette White is the Managing Editor at GameSkinny. When she's not writing about video game, she's playing them. Asymmetrical horror and FPS titles are personal favorites, but she also isn't afraid to shoot chickens in Skyrim. Her previous work can be found at CBR, Fangirlish, and Dread Central.