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Activision Inc
1984
Arcade: Adventure
£9.99
£1.99
Multiple languages
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes

76,77
Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

When there's something strange - in your microchips (Tum, tum, tum). Who you gonna call? (All together now...) Your Sinclair!

I feel haunted. Will they never go away? The Activision money-spinner of 18 months ago returns for a re-run and the excuse for its ectoplasmic re-emergence is the expansion of Noo York to 128K.

I never actually played the original (too young for such scary stuff, my parents said) nor even saw the film (not scary enough, said I - gimme Texas Chainsaw Toolbox Killer anyday), so I came to this fresh.

I do remember that it debuted on that haunted house of horrors, the Commodore though, and that it was highly praised for its music. Further dredging back through the files and I see that reactions to the Spectrum version were subdued... as was the soundtrack.

But all that's been put right. As the game opens there's a rousing cry of 'Ghostbusters!' (and I could actually understand this - most impressive) and then the Ray Parker Jnr hit rings out (complete with bouncing ball guide to sing-along lyrics) and continues throughout the action - very jaunty.

I made my initial selection of ghostbustin' goodies and an auto to carry them. With spondulicks severely limited I was strapped for cash, but no worse than during my twice yearly search of the sales, so it was stock up with ghost bait and traps, image intensifies and marshmallow sensors.

Properly equipped, it's out onto the streets, and pretty soon the Floater ghosts are coming into the Big Apple from all corners. Running round paralyses them in mid path to the Temple of Zuul, then it's off to the nearest haunted house, which flashes red, indicating a Slimer's slimey presence.

Before you get stuck In there you need to hoover up the hovering Floaters though. Providing you invested in a Ghost Vacuum, this is a simple task, merely sliding your Ghost-mobile from lane to lane as the ghosts descend. A simple suck em up, really, though you may get a migraine from the graphics which make your car look like it's going through a bacon slicer.

Now to spring a Slimer for real. Arriving outside the infected building, you'll find the evil critter floating around. Drop the trap centre screen, position your Ghostbustin' buddies, one either side, and let go with the ionizer streams to pen it in above the trap. Pow! - you gotcha self a ghost.

The idea is to collect enough of these creepies, for which you are paid handsomely, to raise your bank balance until you can afford a face-to-face confrontation with the Marshmallow Man (yummy) in a terrifying confrontation which has you creeping-into-the-crypt... or the Temple of Zuul, at least.

Ghostbusters is a fun game combining strategy with simple but novel arcade interludes. It does suffer from some graphical shortcomings and may not be all that addictive. Still, it's old enough for many people not to have a copy, so if you were a fan of the film go grab a (128K) ghoulie.

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Screenshot Text

No, not Pacman, but your path round the Rotten Apple needs to be concise if you're to freeze those floaters before they reach Zuul.

Red alert! An amber hue over a tenement means that the ghosts are already there, while magenta means that the unwanted tenants are on the way.

Lock out! It's the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper making for Zuul and they're unstoppable. All you can do is make your bank balance lies at $10,000 plus.

Ghostbusters HQ is where you go to dump your catch or collect new staff if your roving team has been slimed. But don't waste time because there's a gold in them thar ghouls.

On the road with a 1963 hearse. Not the fastest set of wheels in town but soooo fitting for Ghostbusting!

Well, if it ain't a little spook, ready to be swept up into your Ghostbuster symbol. Just manoeuvre it below the little spook as you approach.

Ghost traps ain't no good without bait and you'll be stuck if you don't have either. Several traps save on trips back to GHQ.

As you rush around the highways you'll need a Ghost Vacuum to elimate the ectoplasm and clean up on the loot, so don't be a sucker - buy one!