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Ghostbusters for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch review

Sections: Gaming News, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Reviews

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Category: Games
Developer: Beeline Interactive
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5, iPod touch 3rd/4th/5th gen, iPad
Requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
File Size: 104 MB
Price: Free
Age Rating: 9+

In reviewing the new Ghostbusters game on iOS from Beeline Interactive and Capcom, I had the enlightening dilemma of answering a thoroughly unimportant question. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like the Ghostbuster movies? Although the ’80s throwback response would be “obviously no,” the actual answer isn’t so clear cut. Most people like the movies, some people love them but I couldn’t find anyone who hated them.

I can see that Beeline seriously considered this thought when developing Ghostbusters. They knew there was a core base of mega-loyal Ghostbusters fans who would pour much scorn on any attempt to deviate from the sharp Murray wit and art-deco locales of the movies. But they understood this following was dwarfed by the vast majority of the market who just enjoyed the movies for what they were and fancied a bit more Slimer!

So, newly released on the App Store comes the much anticipated Ghostbusters game on iOS. Before I start, it’s free, so download it now if you have any interest in the Ghostbusters franchise whatsoever and a bit of extra space on your iPhone. If you’re like me however and you procrastinate over every purchase of everything no matter the cost, you’ll want to read on and find out whether the enormous task of pressing the “free” button is really worth it.

The game is set in New York in modern times. You start the game and navigate through it from an isometric top down view of the city.

Ghostbusters

The playable area is in sunlight and the not-yet playable area isn’t. You have immediate access to the famous fire station, which in the game is always referred to as HQ. In here you’ll find a plethora of options, clickables, characters and tasks to keep you informed and mildly entertained throughout the game.

HQ is split into different levels and you can navigate them with a simple slide of your finger. Each floor holds a purpose; for instance, the top floor is where you can research newly captured ghosts and baddies. Researching allows you to level up and receive new items. As per the current industry norm, you can speed up the process of a research project by offsetting it with credits or cash.

Ghostbusters

Inside the HQ you will always have access to your notepad (which keeps track of all outstanding tasks) and your shop. Here you’ll find new equipment, new resources and the ability to hire new “busters” as they’re called throughout the game. In the beginning you are literally spoon fed every piece of information through a sometimes bewildering number of dialogue boxes and pointy arrows, leaving the initial experience to feel very linear and choreographed.

When you eventually get the chance to experience some action, you’re taken to a 2D side scrolling locale, a la Final Fight. This is where you can put some of that equipment research time into practice. The game does a great job of showing off new laser beams and power packs and magic broaches, but somehow the whole experience feels “samey” and under thought.

The movement of your “busters” is simple and effective enough. Drag your buster from one place to another; when a baddie appears, draw a line from you to him. It does add some level of strategy, but with the consistent info overload on screen you struggle to keep up sometimes.

Luckily the difficulty curve is spot on and your ghostly opponents are less than a match in the first few stages of the game. The thread of story that winds it’s way amongst the dialogue boxes comes from the enormous 10 story tower in the middle of the city scape. Here you’re blocked at every door by green slime which can only be dissolved by collecting further green slime at other locations.

Behind each door is another floor with more ghosts and a ramp up in the general story. It must be said that the humor in this game is nicely portrayed and not weak, with little nuances that remind you instantly of happy movie memories. The animation and illustration is also spot-on. It really is lovely to look upon the depth of color and intricacy woven into each scene and character. It’s worth downloading for that alone.

Overall, this game is crafted excellently with some well thought out and clever paradigms that offer the player an interesting prospect. However, the lengthy tutorial process and consistent dialogue boxes will put off some of the less patient among us. If you’re looking for a reminder of movie memories past and a chance to jump the hilly brush with Dr. Venkman and the like, then go over to the App Store and download it right now. But…if you’re looking for something quick, easy and fun, don’t bother.

Appletell Rating:
Ghostbusters review

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19 Comments

  1. What floor in the haunted building did you get to, Ben?

    joe
  2. Joe, thanks for your comment. When I started writing the review I was on level 5 and a bit further when I posted it. Im still playing it now and haven’t changed my opinion, other than it’s grown on me!

    Ben Parsonage
    • This game is a joke. 4200 slime points to get to floor 10? All my busters are now stuck on level 10, need more manuals to get to 15. The most annoying thing about this game is waiting 1h for the energy bar to recharge after 5 busts. How come the company prevents you from playing their game?? I think most people will not buy cores for instant recharge, it is total waste of money.

      Alex
      • Thanks Alex, I have to say you’re absolutely right about the power core issue. It’s clearly meant to encourage in-app purchases and I have to admit that’s what I did rather than waiting for my power core meter to fill up. It does seem a bit dastardly on the part of the developer. In effect it’s leaving the player with the option of pushing on through the game by rewarding their enthusiasm with a monetary cost or killing any enthusiasm they had by making them way an hour.

        It’s a shame because this game has some really interesting elements built around the movie franchise but they seem to have executed some of the action and progress elements quite badly.

        Ben Parsonage
  3. I’m having trouble activating my 3rd ability. It’s not showing up on the screen during the fights. Are you having any of these issues? I have 3 so far but only two are able to be used.

    Ryan
    • Thanks for your comment Ryan. Just a quick question… Did you have enough power cores when you tried to activate your 3rd ability? Also, you know they have to be activated via Ecto2 in the HQ? Without enough power cores you can’t do it. Another catch for in-app purchases!

      Ben Parsonage
  4. Where and how did u get the manual for level 6?? This game is crazy

    Al
  5. Please can someone tell me how to use the equipment that you have gained throughout the game. I click on it but nothing happens :(
    ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE I BREAK MY PHONE. !!

    Todd
    • That’s a great question. I actually think you can’t “use” the equipment in the conventional sense. Each piece you collect just adds to your ‘busters’ abilities and helps you along in the game without actually being useable. If that makes any sense!! It’s 2am here so I’m probably waffling!! All the reading I’ve done on it seems to suggest that the equipment is just like any other power-up in the game. I may be mistaken but I hope it helps nonetheless.

      Ben Parsonage
  6. Still havent found it–Where and how d0 you get the manual for level 6??

    Al
  7. Where do u get the level 6 manual it’s killin me, I’ve been stuck at level 6 way too long now. Please help!

    Michael Ruby
    • Hi Michael, I’ve been doing some reading on this and it appears there are many people having the same problems. Including me actually, although I gave up very quickly after the 5th level boss. Most people are struggling with getting one or all of their team up to scratch in order to progress and every blog I’ve read has a bunch if people with the same problem and no one with any answers. That leads me to think there’s a wee issue with that particular section f the game. I’d take the issue to Beeline if your still keen to move on.

      Ben Parsonage
  8. Yup. Stuck at level 5 busters. Do I have to beat the 5th floor in order to get more manuals?

    David
  9. About manual lvl6
    Once completed the 5th floor, you can hire a 4th member with money (not need for power core). Lvl him up up to lvl 5. Then finish the 6th floor, you will get a manual for 1 member only.
    I haven’t got manuals for others team members yet.

    Chosen
  10. Just finished lv 5 and hired a new buster. Hoping to get a manual after 400 more slime to even get in the lv 6 room. Fun game but I hope I don’t lose my interest if it takes too long to do things.

    Pat
    • An excellent point Pat. I’d have to say from my experience of the game, you will lose interest as soon as the tasks become so mundane they feel like work.

      Ben Parsonage
  11. For what they were? Total blasphemy. It would be more fitting to say “for those who didn’t realize what they were watching”…

    George
  12. When on a job and fighting ghosts what is the little icon with the first supposed to do? Are you supposed to do something to help you beat them?

    Ld
  13. How do you progress to floor 11? I can’t find the 100 blue slime that’s required.

    Vince
  14. Hi folks, I don’t know if anyone is still monitoring this thread, but I started playing the game and it’s pretty cool. I’m having trouble actually finding slime. I can’t even get to the second floor of the tower because i need 8 slime. I’ve done tons of busts, like 30 or so and I never get any slime?! What’s the deal?!

    ZKgames