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Released soon after the film back in 1984, the original Ghostbusters computer game is one that is inventive, appealing and very frustrating all at the same time. You start off with very limited resources and must choose from a bunch of clapped out old automobiles which you can then choose to modify by adding numerous pieces of equipment that aid you in catching ghosts as you control your car from a top-down perspective as it travels through the streets of New York. These top-down sections only occur after you have initiated a 'mission', which is done by moving the ghostbusters logo through a map-style representation of the city grid, chasing other ghost symbols in what feels like a deeply inferior version of Pac-Man. Following this you go to the mission sub-game in which you must move forward two ghostbusters angling their proton streams diagonally towards eachother as they attempt to catch a fast-moving ghost in between, before carefully choosing when to activate the ghost-trap which, if you are skilled enough, catches the ghost. If you fail however, the ghost will attack one of your team, at which point you are treated to a badly digitised, heavily-slurred sample of Bill Murray saying "He Slimed Me!!". This sub-game game is admittedly nicely designed with and mildly diverting and it does feel great driving down the road in the old-ambulance ECTO-1 vehicle (after you have saved up for it) with sirens blaring and the iconic ghostbusters tune playing in midi in the background, but the game nonetheless feels disjointed and unfinished, and indeed it turns out that the game was already in production under the name of 'Car Wars' before the film was released,with the license slapped on and the sub-games worked in in an effort to make a quick buck after the film became such a huge success. The game is worth a quick play for its nostalgia value, but if it werent for the ghostbusters licence then there would be nothing to really recommend here and the game would ahve long since sank into obscurity without a trace.
This was a bit of a bizarre addition to the computer gaming world...although certainly original. Basically you follow the films plot(sort of) and must capture ghosts whilst preventing the Gate keeper and key master from getting it on downtown. At the start of the game you get to kit out your car with your ghostbusting stuff inclduing such things as the traps, gghost detector and the vital Vacuum cleaner(why?) to suck up the ghosts... The main play area is a map of the city streets and buildings. Ghosts float in from the four corners and you must drive your car around the streets, sucking them up in the vacuum cleaner on the front of the vehicle. These sequences tend to take ages and are blatantly boring and unnecessary but hey...what the hell... If ghosts remain on screen for too long then the city's PK energy rating goes up and some of the building may become inhabited by a ghost. But not to fear! You can go there and catch them in one of you traps. Two of you ghostbusting team have to lay one of the ghost traps, and then trap it within the beams of their lasers, before pushing the plunger on the trap and hoping it will grab it. Cross the beams however and you'll fuse the packs and have to return to base for a recharge which not only wastes time but aso allows the ghosts to get a stronger hold on the city by raising the PK energy rating. Catch the ghost however and you get money..yeyyy!!! If the city's Pk energy rating gets too high then there will be a marshmallow alert and the big man will appears to walk across some of your buidings, infestng them with ghosts and raising the PK rating. So why do you care about PK ratings? Well when this gets higher then the gatekeeper and keymaster move faster in their search for each other - something you must prevent at all costs. I have no idea whether this game has an end - ie. whether you can actually defeat the gatekeeper/keymaster as I always got bored afte r a while, but until then its quite good fun. With the money you get from trapping ghosts you can buy add-ons to your weaponry/car arangement and it all looks quite advanced for its time. The main problem with this game though was the playability. Yes it was fun...unless you were driving in that damn car which took absolutely ages to get to places. Even if you weren't trapping ghosts on the way you had to watch the entire journey, which was blatantly boring. The ghosts catching bits were good though, and souping up the car was always fun. Overall, not a bad game, but with a few niggly bits which let it down greatly. ***Some Good News*** With all the emulation sites I've found recently, you can play this and games like it free of charge...whoohoo!!! check out sites like www.spectrumarchive.freeserve.co.uk/ www.classicgaming.com you might have to search around for an emulator which suits you best though, some are a bit iffy to say the least.