Ghostbusters (Activision) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

By Activision
Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #19


Having heard the record and seen the film, you can now play the game, courtesy of Activision. This is the game everybody has been shouting about on the Commodore 64 (Not that machine again!) and the same scenario is present on the Spectrum version.

The game starts with you being granted a franchise to rid the city of ghouls, and to set you on your way the bank is lending you the hefty sum of $10,000. Instead of retiring there and then, you have to purchase various items to help you achieve fame, fortune and rid the city of all these evil spirits.

There are three screens where you select all your equipment, from transport to the intricate ghostbusting traps. Having loaded up your vehicle, a map of the city appears and all the places that are having trouble with the fiendish ghouls flash red, and once at these haunted venues, "ghostbusting" can begin.

Whilst travelling around the map, if you should pass over a "Roamer" (a wandering ghost), he is frozen and can be vacuumed up just before you arrive at the haunted venue. After directing the Slimer (technical term for ghost) into the trap and capturing him, it's onto the next one folks, before the energy from all the ghosts gets too large or the centre spot of the city, the Temple of Zuul is reached by the Gatekeeper and Keymaster.

A marshmallow alert can happen at any time, where all the Roamers will quickly join forces to form the Marshmallow Man. A dollop of bait must be immediately dropped to prevent him crushing any buildings. The game will end if you can sneak two ghostbusters into the Temple of Zuul, but be prepared as this can take time while the forces of the spirit world join up to turn the city into mayhem.

Although this game does not create the same atmosphere as the film, it is quite fun to play, but I can see it at the bottom of my tape rack after a few months. Putting all this aside, the speech synthesis and theme music of "Ghostbusters!" at the beginning of the game should even put Ray Parker Junior to shame.