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

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47
Tommy Nash
Chris Bourne

Who ya gonna call? Ghost Hunters! Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? Never mind, 'cos this rather weird game from Code Masers doesn't resemble that celebrated original at all. What seems at first sight to be a dull platform game turns out to be an unusual and tricky test of skill best played by two - and that's a shock in itself.

You're Hunk Studbuckle, which sounds more like a medical condition than a name, but so it goes. Your brother is trapped in Nightmare Mansion, in a maze of passages and rooms surrounded by hordes of undead ghouls and zombies. Unless you save him, he won't have a ghost of a chance. Serves him right, if you ask me, but you're a hero, so off you go to do your stuff and almost certainty get killed yourself. What a mollusc.

As you walk around the 21 screens. you aim to pick up various flashing goodies which activate hits in other parts of the maze. As the undead rise from the ground, your Terrometer goes haywire, and this depletes your Macho Energy (don't push me!) until you pop your clogs. This is where the two-player option comes in useful. Playing by yourself, you control Hunk with your joystick as normal. Keeping fire pressed down activates your gun sights and you can then zap all the ghouls, vampires and what not with your thermonuclear phantom blaster. It's all a bit of a rush, though, as you can't move Hunk and fire your blaster at the same time. But with two players you can! It's not often that you get a Speccy game for two with both people on the same side, so it makes a change.

Even with two of you blasting the ghosts in the ghoulies you'll need the beakers of energy that lie about here and there. And watch out for those spidery lifts that often seem like the only way to get up to a particularly inaccessible ledge - Hunk (being a bit wet) is awesomely afraid of em! EEK!

Graphics are only single-coloured (though you can change the colour from red to blue - gasp), but quite effective in a fussy sort of way. My fave nasties are definitely the skulls, which look remarkably like Neil Kinnock, even down to the way they never stop talking. There's even digitised speech to keep you occupied. Ghost Hunters is hardly a huge step forward in Speccy programming, but it's a reasonable cheapie and worth its modest price.

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