Release Date: 1985
Publisher: Activision
Controller: Joystick
Players: 1
Genre: Arcade
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: AZ-108
Rarity: 4
Programmer: Dan Kitchen

This sub-par game based on the popular movie is a slog to get through.

You are the world famous Ghostbusters, and it’s up to you to prevent the city from being destroyed by Zuul and the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. This is accomplished by completing the same menial task over and over and over again.

The game begins with you on the shopping screen, with four potential items to purchase. There is an Image Intensifier that makes the ghosts easier to see, some Bait that prevents the Marshmallow Man from destroying a building, a Ghost Vacuum that will collect ghosts while you drive, and finally the Traps, which are a must purchase as trapping ghosts is the only way to make money.

Once leaving the store you’ll be taken to the city map, where a few ghosts will be flying towards the top of the screen, and there will be a single building somewhere blinking red. This is an indication that they are under assault from a ghost. Simply move the cursor over to it, hit the button, then sit back and watch as your giant oversized car drives up to it.

On the ghost battle screen you can place your trap wherever you like it before positioning your Ghostbuster. After calling your buddy over to help, the two of you shoot out your proton streams in an attempt to corral the ghost somewhere over your trap. When it looks like he’s there, hit the button to catch him. If you are successful you get $800. Miss and one of your Ghostbusters will get slimed, which if this happens too many times you’ll have to retreat to Ghostbuster headquarters to heal up.

As you are ghost hunting, the PK meter continues to rise, and will eventually top out at 9999. Your mission is to collect ten thousand dollars before that happens. If you are successful then you’ll get an opportunity to try and sneak past a hopping mad Marshmallow Man to get bonus money. Get two across and you’ll be greeted with the lamest victory screen ever, with your two Ghostbusters crossing their streams. If you don’t have ten thousand dollars by the time the PK meter is full, then it’s game over.

The biggest sin this game commits is that it simply isn’t fun. Attempting to catch ghosts is both frustrating and tedious, and there is a certain sense of unfairness when the Marshmallow Man randomly appears and destroys a building, which empties out your bank account unless he goes for the bait you lay out for him. If you are looking for entertaining arcade fare, there are far better options out there.

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Derek Slaton Derek Slaton (61 Posts)

Derek began playing video games in the early 80s, cutting his teeth on every Atari 2600 game he could get his hands on. This kickstarted a lifelong love of games, which continues to this day. No matter how advanced the systems and games become, the love for Atari remains supreme, which is why the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia project was done. With this massive project completed, Derek looks to begin work on another system encyclopedia, hoping to pay tribute to the games that shaped his childhood.