The last time we found ourselves carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on our back– in Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast— the experience wasn’t all that we hoped it would be. Simply put, busting didn’t make us feel good, which naturally made us wary: Would another Ghostbusters title in the App Store so soon after the last be worth checking out?
The answer? Not just yes, but a surprisingly emphatic yes.
Whereas Paranormal Blast was lacking in that patented Ghostbusters charm, you can see that this simply-titled game gets it right from the word go, as you’re greeted with the iconic Ray Parker Jr. theme song and caricatures of the main Ghostbusters on the title screen.
From there, it dives into a story that features a surprisingly clever, amusing, and oft-overlooked element of the original movie as its starting point. We won’t spoil it for you here, but suffice to say, it quickly becomes clear that the developers have done their homework are are apparently fans of the franchise like so many others.
The gameplay has you take a squad of Ghostbusters to calls of varying difficulty around a map of New York City, where the busting sequences play out similarly to Battleheart. Enemies appear, and you draw a line from one of three types of Ghostbuster– scientist, blaster, and wrangler– to the ghost or character you want them to perform actions on. Doing so allows you to level up your Ghostbusters and gain money, slime samples, and more to use to help progress.
There are some drawbacks, however. For one, once you get past the tutorial, the main four Ghostbusters become pay-to-play with a hefty price tag attached to each (on the upside, at least they keep the story going around and during missions). And speaking of price tags, just playing costs energy points, which are restored over time or more immediately with an in-app purchase.
Finally, the gameplay during jobs has a few kinks in it, as the touchscreen isn’t as sensitive to your presses as it needs to be at times, leading to missed opportunities to trap ghosts. On top of that, despite trying to move the individual members around, the blasters and wranglers in particular tend to stay close enough together that it can be tough to direct the actions of a specific member when you need to.
For the most part, these are minor quibbles, though having the energy points dictate how much you can play is a serious drag. But that’s how it goes in this game’s freemium pay structure.
That aside, Ghostbusters is still a fun game to play and features a decent amount of fan service for those who love the movies. If you don’t mind the pay-to-play model and having to wait out certain things, then this one definitely comes highly recommended.