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Ghostbusters

MobyRank MobyScore
Commodore 64
...
3.8
Apple II
...
4.0
MSX
...
4.0
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Description

Based on the 1984 film of the same name, the Ghostbusters are the ones to call to "bust" any ghost hauntings. They do this through the use of nuclear-accelerated "proton packs" and "ghost traps", whereby the ghosts can be captured and transferred to a secure storage facility at their Headquarters. However New York City has suddenly become a very haunted place, and the number of ghosts has suddenly and dramatically increased. The Ghostbusters must reduce the paranormal psychokinetic energy, the "PK level" in the city, which represents ghost power, before the Temple of Zuul awakens and resurrects an evil goddess called Gozer.

Ghostbusters is an action game that features an overhead-view and a side-view. From Ghostbusters HQ, the player must monitor a map of midtown Manhattan for "ghost alarms", as well as for casual, roaming spirits, and plot a route to the alarmed area. Once the route is plotted, the player then controls the purchased Ghostmobile as it drives through traffic. Here, the player is able to capture casual ghosts on the way if they are en route. When the haunted location is reached, the game switches to a side-view. Two of the Ghostbusters will take position, activate their proton beams, and toss a trap to the ground. The player must then use the two Ghostbusters to attempt to lead the ghost(s) over the placed trap. Once activated, the trap springs to capture any ghosts directly above it. A successful capture will earn the player money, which can then be used to purchase new Ghostbusters vehicles and new modifications for it. An unsuccessful capture will see the ghost fly away (after nastily sliming one of the Ghostbusters).

As the game progresses, the PK energy in the city increases. The Ghostbusters must keep it under critical levels by being constantly successful at busting ghosts. Eventually the Temple of Zuul will activate, and if the PK levels are still manageable, the Ghostbusters can venture there for a final showdown with Gozer.

Screenshots

Ghostbusters MSX Driving to a ghost site
Ghostbusters Commodore 64 Trying to catch a ghost
Ghostbusters MSX Starting out
Ghostbusters Amstrad CPC Ghostbusters HQ

Alternate Titles

  • "S.O.S. Fantômes" -- French title
  • "Cazafantasmas" -- Spanish Spectrum reissue title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Let me know when we get to twenty. I’m gonna throw up. NES Adzuken (702)
Some Games You Just Have A Soft Spot For. Apple II Guy Chapman (1745)
Not as bad as some people may make you think... NES leon101 (63)
May be worse than the NES version? ---UPDATE--- Amstrad CPC Wertzui (174)
Who ya gonna call? Commodore 64 OlSkool_Gamer (99)
You want to be a Ghostbuster? PC Booter Kees Cook (30)
A cool little game, especially if your a fan of the movie... NES Cormana6868 (16)
suprisingly fun PC Booter Andrew Carter (9)

The Press Says

TeleMatch Commodore 64 Dec, 1984 3 out of 3 100
neXGam SEGA Master System Dec 27, 2009 8 out of 10 80
Atari Gamer - XL-XE Game Review Edition Atari 8-bit Dec, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Pixel-Heroes.de SEGA Master System Nov, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Power Play SEGA Master System Nov, 1989 60 out of 100 60
Just Games Retro NES May 09, 2004 31 out of 100 31
The Video Game Critic Atari 8-bit Aug 06, 2009 D 25
The Video Game Critic Atari 2600 Dec 17, 2000 D 25
The Video Game Critic SEGA Master System Jun 04, 2001 F 0
The Video Game Critic NES Mar 10, 2000 F 0

Forums

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Trivia

Development

From Brad Fregger, Producer of Ghostbusters:

The game developers at Activision would often take the afternoon off to see a new movie that was exciting to us. One day we all decided to see Ghostbusters on the opening day. After the movie David Crane (Pitfall and Pitfall II) announced that he was going to do the game. As a founder of Activision, he had the power to get the wheels in motion and within a week we we're beginning development.
Crane had already been working on what would become the game, and made a beta version with the driving and franchising elements, but it wasn't until getting the Ghostbusters license that he had a setting for those game elements. The title screen sing-a-long feature of the computer version was not added until the week before the game was finished.

License

Like the cartoon based on the movies, Activision was not allowed to use the likeness of the actors that performed in the movie.

Music

The game title music and speech based on the original theme music from the movie written by Ray Parker Jr.

NES version

The NES version of the game differs in a few ways from its computer counterparts. First, the driving sequences feature a "zoomed out" perspective, meaning that the Ghostbusters car is smaller on the screen and that there is more road to manuver over. Also, gone is the ability to purchase different vehicles (which was in all versions of the game). By contrast, there are more items to buy and equip from the shop than other versions. Finally, the NES version features a unique Temple of Zuul sequence at the end of the game where the Ghostbusters must slowly climb the stairwell of the building to the rooftop, avoiding the touch of enemy ghosts that fly around.

Sales

According to the magazine Retro Gamer (issue #1), the game was Mastertronic's #2 best selling game (412.922 copies).

Winston Zeddmore

Interestingly, the game does not portray, or even reference, Winston Zeddmore – Ernie Hudson's character in the film, and the sole black Ghostbuster. He does later appear in the game version of Ghostbusters II.

Spectrum first version

In the rush for a pre-Christmas release, the Spectrum version did not work with the popular Kempston joystick interface. Even worse, the game crashed on selecting this joystick add-on. According to ACE (issue #15), thousands of copies had to be replaced with a working version.

Awards

  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 02/1986 - #4 Best Game in 1985 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by BurningStickMan, Garcia, Scott Monster and WildKard

Related Web Sites

  • Computer Chronicles (David Crane presents the C64 version on the TV show Computer Chronicles in January 1985. (Youtube))
  • Legends of the C64 (Dedicated to legendary pioneering companies and programmers, includes an original article with additional reproduced articles from classic gaming magazines - featuring David Crane and Ghostbusters.)
  • Retro Remakes 2006 Competition (A complete windows remake of Ghostbusters was one of the entries.)
Contributed to by Old man gamer (302), PCGamer77 (3028), Martin Smith (63168), Terok Nor (18323), Servo (55897), Игги Друге (39978) and *Katakis* (37744)