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28 Jul 2022

REVIEW: Avenging Spirit on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis

The great Ratalaika Games are back once again with another classic title. This time it is 90s cabinet arcade game Avenging Spirit by Jaleco.

Originally released in 1991, Avenging Spirit tells the story of a man who was out with his girlfriend Gennifer on a romantic walk, a crime syndicate killed the man and kidnapped his girlfriend. The man rises as a ghost or spirit and joins forces with his girlfriends father who is a paranormal researcher, and he now not only wants to rescue his girlfriend, but also get revenge on those who killed him. Ironically the crime syndicate is researching ghostly energy and their aim is to force Gennifer's father to help them and give them the secrets of the ghostly energy.

For a simple arcade game, that is quite the backstory!

You start the game as the spirit, and you can possess one of four initial characters. As you play however if you do get killed, your spirit is released from the possessed character and you can simply go and possess another character, even if it was one your were just fighting. But be quick as you have limited energy as a spirit, and if it runs out, your will die forever. Since you can possess any enemy (except bosses), when you do, you also control their individual abilities, this usually manifests as different types of weapons or abilities. The levitating guru guy is good fun.

While playing you mainly have two buttons to worry about, one to jump and one to fire your weapon, weapons depend on the characters and can range from simple guns, ninja stars, grenades, a simple kick, snowballs, lasers, there really is quite a selection to see when you possess the different enemies, which include the likes of Gangsters, Commandos, Robots, Hitmen, Vampires, Spirits, Ninjas and so on.

There are 6 Stages in total, play is 2D side scrolling, navigate a level, find doors to pass through, eventually face a boss, beat them onto next stage, collectables include your health, as well as energy for your spirit self to survive longer outside of a body. You will also need to keep an eye out for keys to collect, for when you reach the end of the game, if you don't have the keys you cant rescue your girlfriend, and you need to do that, and then possess her before you can fight the final boss.

The Good

This is classic arcade platforming done right, the kind of arcade machine I would spend countless 10p coins on, back in the day. I played this on my Nintendo Switch Lite and it works really well on the small screen too. Also a great story with plenty of layers.

The Bad

Perhaps a little short, but if you don't collect all the keys you will have to start from scratch anyway.


Thoroughly enjoyable arcade game, that I think would attract both the older gamer like me for nostalgic purposes as well as the younger gamer who likes retro style games.

I score Avenging Spirit on Nintendo Switch a solid 8/10

Released on 29th July 2022

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