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

20,21
Richard Eddy, Paul Sumner, Ben Stone
Chris Bourne

Professor Twilight, the proud owner of Nightmare Mansion, has offered a reward for the eradication of the stately home's ghosts and ghoulies. Chuck Studbuckle took up the challenge, but after five days inside the horrid house he still has not returned. As his brother, it's your duty to go and rescue him.

In order to make a room to room search, you can jump up and down, move to the left and right and climb walls. The Mansion's lifts move between floors and are activated by touching flashing objects; including a crystal ball, goblet, necklace and document. This action also increases your score, as displayed at the bottom right of the screen, but beware - the objects are not necessarily close to the lifts which they control. A map of Nightmare Mansion is called up to verify your present position.

Vampires, hands, skulls, and slime materialise to thwart you as you progress. When close, these cause the Terrometer reading to increase and your Macho Energy level to fall. These creatures can be avoided, but only with difficulty and a great drain on energy. Your remaining reserves are shown on the left hand side of the screen, and are replenished by drinking the frothing beakers of magic potion which are found about the house.

Your only weapon is a sub-compact anti-matter Phantom splatterer, one shot from which temporarily returns demons to their astral plane. Some creatures are indestructible, but those which are destroyed earn more valuable points.

The program features an unusual two player mode. Unlike other two player games, Ghost Hunters does not place the participants in competition or allow them to control two separate characters. Instead, One player controls the character's movement while the other operates the weapon.

CRITICISM

'Now this is interesting - all the fun of a platform/exploration game combined with the joy of killing for a second player. Played alone, Ghost Hunters can get rather monotonous, especially as there isn't that much to look at. However, if you tackle the game with two players it can realty be most enjoyable. Solving the tasks isn't too difficult, but ft should keep you playing for long enough to get your money's worth.' RICKY

'The loading screen and title music set the scene perfectly for what is a very atmospheric game. The graphics are superb, with the screen containing a lot of characters and furniture - all of them detailed and recognisable. Ghost Hunters is fiendishly addictive, so make sure you have a good few hours to spare before loading it up. The Terrometer and Macho meter work well together and are very useful. I loved every minute of this, it's a giveaway at £1.99.' PAUL

'I have a lot of respect for Code Masters, they have avoided releasing the sort of rubbish that emanates from other Budget Houses. The atmospheric graphics hold together well despite lacking colour, and the characters move realistically. Roaming the haunted house becomes absorbing once the control system has been mastered, and the two player mode makes it slightly easier as you don't have to concentrate both on running around and shooting up the ghoulies. The appeal may be short-lived however, as Ghost Hunters isn't that big a game and completion should be easy.' BEN

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable; Up, Down, Left, Right, Fire
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Use of colour: you can choose one of two colours and black
Graphics: atmospheric, well detailed and realistically animated
Sound: excellent title music and reasonable FX
Skill levels: one
General Rating: An entertaining game with the added bonus of two-player mode, playable but might shade off in long-term appeal.

74%
70%
78%
78%
82%
77%

Screenshot Text

Fearless Chuck Studbuckle prowls Nightmare Mansion hellbent on eradicating everything that goes bump in the night.