Code Masters Ltd
1987
Arcade: Platform
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

74
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

This is Ghost Hunters, where Rambo meets Dracula in a gruesome follow-up to Vampire, Code Masters' early, and actually pretty successful game.

Three days ago Professor Twilight, who owns Nightmare Mansion, offered your twin brother Chuck Studbuckle a substantial reward to rid his house of ghosts, ghouls and been heard of since and it's your duty, as big brother Hunk, to go look for him.

At the start of the game, after a voice-synthesised 'Ghost Busters' - sorry 'Hunters' - you've got a choice of setting all characters and backgrounds in red or blue, depending on how good your telly's definition is, and whether you prefer blood or light. Authors Philip and Andrew Oliver have taken no chances with colour clash.

Hunk may be a muscle man, armed with a machine gun, but the terror meter at the bottom of the screen fills with blood as he bumps into monster upon monster until, when he's petrified, he dies. His strength is shown on the macho meter which decreases as he fires his gun and fights monsters. Strength can be replenished by drinking from bubbling cauldrons, yak.

There are several gothic stereotyped monsters which inhabit the 13 - at least I counted 13 - floors in the house. The plan of rooms etc is a sort of flattened version of the castle in Cauldron. There are bats which change into cloak- spreading vampires, zombies with arms outstretched, spiders which bounce down from their webs on the ceiling and crawly sneekers which slime over the floor.

All of them can be killed by pressing Fire and moving your gun's cross-hair over them.

You'll find your baby brother somewhere near the top of the mansion, but to get there you must use the lifts which are activated by picking up objects such as goblets of blood and scripts.

It's an intriguing dodge, collect, and climb game, a low-rent, very viable alternative to Cauldron.

I could even just about put up with those dread-awful horror cliches.

Label: Code Masters
Author: Philip and Andrew Oliver
Price: £2.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert

****

Big, smoothly animated graphics, and a chilling voice-synthesised 'Ghost Hunters'. Big value for money.

4/5