Warning: Reading this review may seriously affect your enjoyment of the film!
Ghostbusters on the C64 closely follows the plot of the film which has just been released in this country. The game was written by David Crane, the brains behind Pitfall and Decathlon, two of Activision's other hits.
And I guarantee that Ghostbusters the game will be as popular as the film. It's the best I've ever played on a micro. The graphics are superb and the sound, well, the sound is better than anything you've ever heard from a micro. Everyone knows that the C64 has a built-in synthesiser chip, but Activision seems to have mastered its use better than anyone else.
As a Ghostbuster, your task is to rid the city of its paranormal occurrences and to keep the psychokinetic energy as low as possible, ensuring that the ghosts won't return.
As the game starts, the Ghostbusters' logo appears on screen and the computer plays the theme tune. All the way through! And just to make it easier for you to sing along, the words appear on the screen and a bouncing dot guides you through them. Then, when it's time to shout "Ghostbusters!", just press the space bar and the C64 does it for you!
The quality of the speech is very good, even though it works without a speech synthesiser.
Now you have to try setting up a ghostbusting business. The bank with which you can $10,000 with which you can buy your car, ghost traps, marshmallow bait and everything else that the modern ghostbuster can't be without.
The more you pay for your car, the faster it will move and the more equipment it can carry.
Once you're all set, you move to a plan of the city. This shows the temple of Zuul and the other buildings. If one flashes red, it's haunted and your services are required. Move the cursor to the building, press the button and you're off. The screen chances to a road race type layout, with a view of the road and your car.
When you reach the scene, you have to lay your trap and activate the negative ionizer backpack, remembering, of course, not to cross the streams.
If you manage to trap the ghost, you get paid and the money is added to your balance. If you don't, you lose a life.
Occasionally, on the city map, a Marshmallow Alert warning will sound and a large Mr. Stay Puft man will appear. If you fail to trap him with your ghost bait, then the damage he does by trampling on buildings will be deducted from your balance.
Your final aim is to get enough money to be given an account. Then, you won't need to borrow from the bank at the start of a game. You just put in your account number and the game will recognise you. And this will work on any copy of the game, so if you go round to a friend's house you can use your own account number.
The game is terrific. I saw the film at a preview last month and the game brings it all back to me. You may be confused by everything going on in the game if you haven't seen the film. So my advice is... see the film and buy the game. You won't regret it.