Hauntii Review – Hauntingly charming

Reviewed May 23, 2024 on PS5


PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S


May 23, 2024




Moonloop Games LLC

Hauntii is an adorable and rather unique little game where you play as a ghost exploring the afterlife and regaining your memories in order to ascend. Centered around a quirky object possession mechanic making virtually every enemy and object an element of experimentation, the game’s gorgeous presentation makes it effortlessly enchanting, despite some potential areas of improvement on the gameplay front.

In Hauntii, you play as the titular ghost, a plucky amnesiac phantom who finds themself in the realm of Eternity. After encountering an Eternian, a mysterious angelic being persecuted by the regular ghosts, Hauntii embarks on a quest to regain their lost memories and ascend once and for all.

Hauntii’s plot is incredibly endearing in spite of its minimalism. The player character doesn’t have any dialogue, but their bouncy little design and adorable animations with their Eternian companion sell their relationship and desperation to be with one another excellently.

The game’s presentation goes a long way towards making the experience of Hauntii an engaging one. The incredibly intricate hand-crafted art style is striking, with the designs of the ghosts and other denizens of Eternity ranging from goofy to suitably eldritch and terrifying. Despite Hauntii’s limited monochrome colour palette, I rarely had an issue with distinguishing objects from the background or navigating my way around, which is to the game’s credit. I do wish the player had greater control over the game’s camera, however; the game often helpfully centres the camera on objects of interest, which is generally fairly useful in terms of assisting with identifying key objectives or the next place to go. That said, it also got me a game over screen on more than one occasion by making me lose where my player character was and wandering into enemy attacks.

The actual gameplay of Hauntii is sort of a collectathon with twin-stick shooter combat. To progress to the next area, you must build Constellations by acquiring stars, which are hidden in the environment or unlocked by completing challenges. Most of these challenges revolve around Hauntii’s ability to possess, or “haunt”, objects and enemies to control them and use their abilities.

While the mechanic starts out rather basic by haunting trees to shake them loose of currency, it soon becomes quite impressive how much of the environment is hauntable. These range from enemies to roller coasters to fence posts to giant whales. There is a playful experimental edge to the game where you’ll try and possess everything around you just to see what it does, not unlike the rather similarly themed Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.

Collecting stars in the environment unlocks new areas, as well as short, abstract and touching scenes of Hauntii’s past when they were human. While many of the challenges to unlock them were suitably varied and enjoyable, the fact that there is no central list or menu cataloguing which stars are available in an area to hint at what to do to unlock them was somewhat irritating. Aside from a simple indicator on the map screen of how many stars there are left to collect in an area, there are no in-game hints or proper guidance for how to actually locate them unless you can see them on the map already, or if you see an object randomly glowing as a clear hint to blow it up or haunt it.

It was a roadblock which brought the game’s pacing to a halt on more than one occasion. Upon reaching a new area, I would have built insufficient Constellations to progress, and would need to go back to previous areas and randomly shoot around looking for minigames or hauntable objects to reveal more stars. Considering each star DOES have a name suggesting what you need to do to unlock it, but which is only revealed when you find the star, I feel that Hauntii could have benefitted by having those descriptions in the pause or map menu to provide hints at how to acquire the area’s remaining stars and progress the game.

Completing Constellations also lets you upgrade Hauntii’s core stats, such as maximum health, essence (AKA how long you can fire at enemies before recharging) and number of dashes you can make. I appreciated these light RPG mechanics, but I found the fact that you always start with only two hearts when you respawn, regardless of what your maximum number of hearts is, a little annoying. It made some of the tougher boss fights, which lack enemies or breakable objects to recover your health, more challenging than they needed to by essentially limiting you to two hearts unless you went back and grinded for more health pickups. It also made focusing on increasing maximum health feel a bit pointless when my health was rarely even close to the maximum amount anyway.

“…the score is joyful, energetic and dynamic, growing and shrinking in intensity to match the action onscreen.”

That said, even when Hauntii’s occasional obtuseness was slowing down the experience, at least I had the game’s lovely soundtrack to listen to. Composed by Michael Kirby Ward, the score is joyful, energetic and dynamic, growing and shrinking in intensity to match the action onscreen. From the way the jazzy orchestra would ramp up in tempo when I haunted a rollercoaster to the intensity behind the musical themes during the game’s boss fights, it was hard to not be drawn into the experience with such a varied and captivating score.

While Hauntii is a fairly brisk game if you’re focusing on the minimum number of stars required to reach the end credits, the game has a rather impressive amount of content to keep completionists satisfied. I was also a big fan of the ability to buy and find new hats for Hauntii. In a monochrome world with minimalist character designs, adding in cat ears or a pirate hat goes a long way towards increasing the charm factor.




  • Adorable and expressive character designs and animation, despite monochrome colour palette
  • Energetic and intense score by Michael Kirby Ward
  • Haunting mechanic is varied and fun to play around with
  • Plenty of extra post-game content for completionists


  • Lack of guidance towards undiscovered stars is a little annoying
  • Lack of camera control at times can make gameplay frustrating
  • Always respawning with only two hearts feels a little stingy, and made maximum health increases feel pointless

Despite some very minor bugbears holding back the experience, it’s hard to come away from Hauntii without feeling thoroughly delighted. The game is a testament to how much fluid and detailed art and animation and a great soundtrack can carry an experience. The game’s central haunting mechanic is enjoyable to experiment with, and has plenty of clever implementations as you scour Eternity searching for hidden stars. If you’re seeking a more chill collectathon with gorgeous artwork and musical score, Hauntii is certainly worth seeking out.