Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your retro gaming room? Have you or your family ever seen a bad reboot of a classic 80s movie? If the answer is "yes," then don't wait another minute. Pick up the phone and call the professionals... Ghostbusters
And thanks to Activision's early acquisition of the tie-in licence in 1984, every ten year old with an 8-bit micro was on call to serve their neighbourhood's supernatural elimination needs.
|Who you gonna call?|
|Spend your money wisely on your first game...|
Once the main game has started, you typically get a single call to a slimer that needs trapping before everything stops for about ten minutes allowing you to go out and spend the last of your petty cash on a Chinese, the only hint that the game hasn't actually crashed being the (slowly) increasing PK Energy meter at the bottom of the screen.
|Needs some suspension work and shocks. Brakes, brake pads, linings, steering box, transmission, rear-end...|
The calm before the storm can be a bit tedious, but once that Twinkie starts to grow, you'll soon be chasing ghostly sightings all across the city. This is complicated by the fact that you have to return to Ghostbusters HQ if you either fill all your traps or get all your colleagues slimed - and in my first time playing this in 20 odd years it was much more frequently the latter.
|Nobody steps on a church in my town!|
|Did you bring the trap, Ray?|
While all this is going on, the Gatekeeper and Keymaster are aimlessly roaming the streets, slowly at first, but picking up pace as the city's PK Energy level increases, until things suddenly reach melting point, they meet at Zuul, an interdimensional crossrip occurs, and...
|This looks extraordinarily bad.|
Objectively, Ghostbusters is a game that takes too long to get going, is stupidly repetitive, and has a crap ending; but it also remembers your winnings without the tedious business of saving game data, and has speech - although, because I played the game before I saw the film, for ages I had no idea that my stick Venkman was saying 'He slimed me' when I failed to catch a ghost.
|Um, wasn't there a black Ghostbuster...?|
(Oh, and I haven't seen the new film yet, and am hoping it won't turn out to be as bad as some seem to think it will!)
Review by Steve Trower