Google’s celebrating Halloween 2018 with an extra-special Doodle game that’s first of its kind, but be sure to wear headphones because the spooky music makes it that much more festive and fun.
On Tuesday, Google released its annual Halloween Doodle, and this year it’s the first-ever multiplayer Doodle game called Trick-or-Treat: The Great Ghoul Duel. Four purple Ghouls face off against four green Ghouls (the specific avatars are randomly chosen) to collect the most “wandering spirit flames” that look like will-o’-the-wisps. Players can randomly match with strangers or host their own game and invite their friends.
These spirit flames spread across the several randomized maps like Pac-Dots from Pac-Man, but as they’re collected, they trail behind the player akin to a traditional snake game. Enemy players can steal the flames by passing through the other team’s tails, so it’s necessary to return to the base to bank the flames before someone else swoops in to steal them.
If you’re looking to get an edge on your opponents in The Great Ghoul Duel, they key strategy is simple: Don’t be greedy. It’s fun to rack up as many spirit flames as possible, but that just makes you a target for enemies.
It’s surprisingly similar to Destiny 2’s new-ish Gambit mode, which also has team of players working to collect special items and store them in a bank.
In both games, there’s a threshold where conservative strategy pays off far more than risky behavior. The Great Ghoul Duel might be simplified but the fundamentals remain the same.
Players want to stay as close as they possibly can to their home base where they have a greater chance of banking their flames rather than losing them. Making three quick trips with five flames each to get 15 flames is far more efficient than getting 18 by wandering further but then losing half of them on the trip back. Risky behavior is almost never rewarding.
In fact, even moving beyond the midway point between the two bases is never worth it because even if it’s possible to acquire a ton of flames, enemy players will have an even easier time stealing them. That being said, if any enemy wanders too close, stealing from their tail should be your top priority.
Generally speaking, always dive right toward any tail you see because you’ll either steal flames from an enemy or pick up a +5 bonus from touching a friendly tail. As a player gains momentum, they’ll also pick up seeming random power-ups that increase speed or even let them pass through walls.
Why these ghosts couldn’t pass through walls to begin with is a mystery, but Ghoul Duel is still incredibly fun and addictive for such a simple game.
Trick-or-Treat: The Great Ghoul Duel is currently available on Google mobile and desktop.