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Activision Inc
Arcade: Adventure
Multiple languages
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes

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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

THE SPIRITS of Christmas just passed may not have had the pleasure of the spectres from Ghostbusters in December due to a late release. The ghouls have, however, finally arrived and the results of programmer David Crane's hard work are likely to pay off as it is tipped for the bestseller charts.

The game has three phases each of which includes travelling around a city capturing ghosts with the equipment bought by you with a bank loan at the start of the game.

You can also select your mode of transport, which can be anything from a compact or 1963 hearse to a high performance car which costs $15,000.

As you travel around the city map ghosts will float onto the screen and possess buildings which turn red when inhabited. Your aim is get into those buildings to catch the ghosts while running over and immobilising any spectres which you might find on the way.

When you arrive at the distressed building you must drop your trap and coax the itinerant ghoulie into the path of a mechanical arm which takes a grab at it.

At any point a Marshmallow Alert may sound and you will have to press the 'B' key to trap the mallow before it marshes all over the buildings. If he escapes from your trap then the city and your score will suffer.

Scaring, sorry, scoring, is achieved in two ways. You will gain $100 for every ghost that you catch. If you attract a Marshmallowman, however, the mayor of the city will give you $2000 for your trouble.

The game draws to its conclusion when the ultimate baddies arrive at the Temple of Zuul at the centre of the screen. If you have enough dollars you can take part in the final conflict, perhaps win the game, and gain access to a secret pass number which will give you access to any other Ghostbusters game in the universe.

The game is not much to shout about but cannot be damned just because it emulates the plot of a film and contains nothing new. One of the more interesting features of the game is the soundtrack, coupled with a nifty voice synthesiser which insists on shouting 'Ghostbusters' and 'Behind you' in a passable imitation of Ray Parker Junior's strangled wheeze.

John Gilbert

Memory: 48K
Price: £9.99
Joystick: Sinclair. Kempston, Cursor