You know a game has done well for itself when it gets a seasonal spin-off. So it proves with Mikey Shorts, BeaverTap's excellent speed-run platformer.

It's reached that time of year where Mikey Shorts should really become Mikey Trousers, but there's a different kind of chill in the air. We’re approaching Halloween, and the game's chirpy retro-platformer style has been given a spooky makeover.

But this is more like Super Mario World's Ghost House stages than anything truly sinister, and the bright and breezy gameplay remains relatively unchanged.

Ghost of platformers past

So, we have four more levels of running right, touching statues (here pitched as spirits that need to be freed), jumping gaps, and sliding under overhangs - all in the name of finishing the level as quickly as possibly and topping those online leaderboards.

It plays exactly like Mikey Shorts, in other words. In fact, other than those all-new levels, the only really new bit of note is the provision of a bunch of Halloween-themed hats to try on.

At least here, in keeping with the holiday spirit, you're given enough money to purchase a bunch of them from the start.

Still, four levels? It's not very generous, is it?

Trial run

Four levels isn't especially stingy, either. Mikey Shorts Halloween is simply a cleverly skinned and impeccably timed demo for the main game. Its four levels give you a neat cross-section of the kind of challenges you can expect from the game proper.

If BeaverTap had charged anything for Mikey Shorts Halloween, we might have objected. But it hasn't, and so a brief and rather familiar game becomes a lovingly constructed taster plate for the main course.

Which, of course, you should all have by now. But for all you doubters and skinflints, you now have the perfect entry-point for this spookily addictive fledgling franchise.

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