Your Sinclair1st October 1986
Published in Your Sinclair #10
When there's something strange - in your microchips (Tum, tum, tum). Who you gonna call? (All together now...) Your Sinclair!
I feel haunted. Will they never go away? The Activision money-spinner of 18 months ago returns for a re-run and the excuse for its ectoplasmic re-emergence is the expansion of Noo York to 128K.
I never actually played the original (too young for such scary stuff, my parents said) nor even saw the film (not scary enough, said I - gimme Texas Chainsaw Toolbox Killer anyday), so I came to this fresh.
I do remember that it debuted on that haunted house of horrors, the Commodore though, and that it was highly praised for its music. Further dredging back through the files and I see that reactions to the Spectrum version were subdued... as was the soundtrack.
But all that's been put right. As the game opens there's a rousing cry of 'Ghostbusters!' (and I could actually understand this - most impressive) and then the Ray Parker Jnr hit rings out (complete with bouncing ball guide to sing-along lyrics) and continues throughout the action - very jaunty.
I made my initial selection of ghostbustin' goodies and an auto to carry them. With spondulicks severely limited I was strapped for cash, but no worse than during my twice yearly search of the sales, so it was stock up with ghost bait and traps, image intensifies and marshmallow sensors.
Properly equipped, it's out onto the streets, and pretty soon the Floater ghosts are coming into the Big Apple from all corners. Running round paralyses them in mid path to the Temple of Zuul, then it's off to the nearest haunted house, which flashes red, indicating a Slimer's slimey presence.
Before you get stuck In there you need to hoover up the hovering Floaters though. Providing you invested in a Ghost Vacuum, this is a simple task, merely sliding your Ghost-mobile from lane to lane as the ghosts descend. A simple suck em up, really, though you may get a migraine from the graphics which make your car look like it's going through a bacon slicer.
Now to spring a Slimer for real. Arriving outside the infected building, you'll find the evil critter floating around. Drop the trap centre screen, position your Ghostbustin' buddies, one either side, and let go with the ionizer streams to pen it in above the trap. Pow! - you gotcha self a ghost.
The idea is to collect enough of these creepies, for which you are paid handsomely, to raise your bank balance until you can afford a face-to-face confrontation with the Marshmallow Man (yummy) in a terrifying confrontation which has you creeping-into-the-crypt... or the Temple of Zuul, at least.
Ghostbusters is a fun game combining strategy with simple but novel arcade interludes. It does suffer from some graphical shortcomings and may not be all that addictive. Still, it's old enough for many people not to have a copy, so if you were a fan of the film go grab a (128K) ghoulie.