ghostbusters_another screenI have fond memories of hours spent playing Activision's 8-bit, movie-inspired title Ghostbusters on my Apple II as a kid.  Some of you out there surely share these fond memories.  And so, it was with high hopes that I awaited the release of Ghostbusters for the iPhone after Sony Pictures Television's announcement of the forthcoming game early this year.  The game has arrived and, as my earlier post indicated, it has slimed the App Store.

But sadly, not in a good way.

Ghostbusters for the iPhone sounded pretty meaty.  As we posted back in March, Sony indicated an iPhone version of the game was on the way, alongside the the X360 / PS3 / Wii release, and that it would feature a storyline written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and would effectively serve as the third installment of the big-screen ghost-hunting story, according to Aykroyd.  Voice roles from most of the movie actors were promised, as well.

This appealing description may apply to the home console version of the game (which I've spent no time with), but it definitely does not apply to Ghostbusters for the iPhone, which is a port of the mobile version.

In short, Ghostbusters for the iPhone is basically Magnetic Joe 2 [App Store], but with lesser graphics and choppier animation.  Though it does feature a dash of Ray Parker Jr....

The goal of the game is to use your proton packs to move a ghost through various mazes from start to finish, ultimately trapping it in the ghost trap at level's end.  The game features all five NY boroughs and three play modes that are unlocked based on skill: Adventure (standard play), Time Attack, and Ghost Fever (limited ammo), as well as a novelty collect-the-Ghost-Cards mechanic.  The player must avoid slime covered walls and pedestrians to prevent the ghosts from taking over the city.

ghostbusters_screens

If you have an '80s Ghostbuster poster framed in gold on your wall, you might enjoy the home console version, but even the most diehard fan will be haunted (in a bad way) by this release.  Spectral goodness, this is not.

App Store Link: Ghostbusters, $4.99

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    About what I expected. Would've been shocked if this turned out to be any good.

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    About what I expected. Would've been shocked if this turned out to be any good.

  • Adams Immersive

    Ah, I see--I didn't get the Magnetic Joe play style from the screenshots. I assumed this was a platformer.

    In that case, I can recommend Magnetic Joe (MJ 1 is free) :) I do enjoy that mechanic.

    Clever way to apply the concept to Ghostbuster, though.

  • Adams Immersive

    Ah, I see--I didn't get the Magnetic Joe play style from the screenshots. I assumed this was a platformer.

    In that case, I can recommend Magnetic Joe (MJ 1 is free) :) I do enjoy that mechanic.

    Clever way to apply the concept to Ghostbuster, though.

  • ShadowsFall

    looks like the fail bomb has dropped, sadly.. This game is a very dissapointing one.. Suprised especially that this was just ported from the mobile version... I thought Sony was a big company and could do a lot more than this..

  • ShadowsFall

    looks like the fail bomb has dropped, sadly.. This game is a very dissapointing one.. Suprised especially that this was just ported from the mobile version... I thought Sony was a big company and could do a lot more than this..

  • mgabrys

    What? It's not Ghostbusters III? I thought it would feature new content and writing from the principal actors! I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED I tell you!

    If you read the New York Times - oh - several weeks ago instead of PR fluff missives - this wouldn't catch you by surprise:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/arts/31schi.html?scp=2&sq=ghostbusters&st=cse

    Note they don't talk about the iphone version. Can we see the PR sheet that claimed otherwise? They must have used some colorful language for the confusion to exist here. Must have been a masterpiece of marketing fiction.

    • SalsaMD

      Why such fire and fury? Point already taken. Thanks.

      • mgabrys

        If you're going to cover the iphone market - you better have some shovelware radar installed. TA is taking things at face value without doing the slightest diligence. At least when they act as an unedited PR conduit it only costs the buyer 5 bucks usually - not 50.

        Certainly most game magazines were far more guilty than TA in this regard.

        I still see ads on this page which aren't for charity - perhaps hiring an EDITOR might be a good idea?

      • rich_952000

        Wow, you should be said editor....

        Actually not. Get a life dude, it's iPhone gaming not investment banking.

    • Timothy R

      No one asked for your opinion on the site.

      Anyway, this game is laughably bad.
      I find it funny how the quote,

      "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!"

      was changed to

      "We came, we saw, we kicked its butt!"

  • mgabrys

    What? It's not Ghostbusters III? I thought it would feature new content and writing from the principal actors! I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED I tell you!

    If you read the New York Times - oh - several weeks ago instead of PR fluff missives - this wouldn't catch you by surprise:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/arts/31schi.html?scp=2&sq=ghostbusters&st=cse

    Note they don't talk about the iphone version. Can we see the PR sheet that claimed otherwise? They must have used some colorful language for the confusion to exist here. Must have been a masterpiece of marketing fiction.

    • SalsaMD

      Why such fire and fury? Point already taken. Thanks.

      • mgabrys

        If you're going to cover the iphone market - you better have some shovelware radar installed. TA is taking things at face value without doing the slightest diligence. At least when they act as an unedited PR conduit it only costs the buyer 5 bucks usually - not 50.

        Certainly most game magazines were far more guilty than TA in this regard.

        I still see ads on this page which aren't for charity - perhaps hiring an EDITOR might be a good idea?

      • rich_952000

        Wow, you should be said editor....

        Actually not. Get a life dude, it's iPhone gaming not investment banking.

    • Timothy R

      No one asked for your opinion on the site.

      Anyway, this game is laughably bad.
      I find it funny how the quote,

      "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!"

      was changed to

      "We came, we saw, we kicked its butt!"

  • Photodart (Darty)

    Lets all welcome Sony to the 'gotta lower the price so someone will buy it club" - Can you say 99 cents?

  • Photodart (Darty)

    Lets all welcome Sony to the 'gotta lower the price so someone will buy it club" - Can you say 99 cents?

  • http://www.frapstr.com/ Mindfield

    Sony curled off another stinker on App Store? The hell you say! I mean, Sony has otherwise been so smart about releasing media!

    Yuk, yuk...

  • http://www.frapstr.com/ Mindfield

    Sony curled off another stinker on App Store? The hell you say! I mean, Sony has otherwise been so smart about releasing media!

    Yuk, yuk...

  • Geb

    Such a waste. The PS3 version plays awesome. We bought it today and the kids and I spent all day trapping ghosts :) First class production values on the PS3 version :)

  • Geb

    Such a waste. The PS3 version plays awesome. We bought it today and the kids and I spent all day trapping ghosts :) First class production values on the PS3 version :)

  • JCat

    Reminds of of the pre-PlayStation days, when Sony was releasing games for the 16 bit consoles. They were known as Sony Imagesoft, and also know as one of the worst publishers for games back then. They made Acclaim look like Nintendo.

    .. I wonder how this would have turned out had it been a PSP?

  • JCat

    Reminds of of the pre-PlayStation days, when Sony was releasing games for the 16 bit consoles. They were known as Sony Imagesoft, and also know as one of the worst publishers for games back then. They made Acclaim look like Nintendo.

    .. I wonder how this would have turned out had it been a PSP?

  • oliath

    Yeah that's more like it.
    My faith in Touch Arcade front page reviews has been restored.

    How could this game get it so wrong??
    Another example of Sony not understanding the market.

  • oliath

    Yeah that's more like it.
    My faith in Touch Arcade front page reviews has been restored.

    How could this game get it so wrong??
    Another example of Sony not understanding the market.

  • David Miller

    I bought it yesterday because I'm a diehard GB fan. Worth $4.99? Probably not, but I am having fun playing it. I don't usually go for platformer type games, so it's been a diversion from my regular iPhone gaming. If only they ported the old C64 Activision game...

    I won't be surprised at all when it drops to $0.99 ;-)

  • David Miller

    I bought it yesterday because I'm a diehard GB fan. Worth $4.99? Probably not, but I am having fun playing it. I don't usually go for platformer type games, so it's been a diversion from my regular iPhone gaming. If only they ported the old C64 Activision game...

    I won't be surprised at all when it drops to $0.99 ;-)

  • http://web.me.com/robertsammons rob s

    well they were obviously keeping the good version for their psp most likely

  • http://web.me.com/robertsammons rob s

    well they were obviously keeping the good version for their psp most likely

  • iHuff

    Not sure what everyone was expecting - Sony has other interests - i.e. their own mobile console. They don't want people to spend too much time on this machine when they've got home-grown hardware to peddle. Hoping for a good game from Sony is about as likely as Nintendo bringing out a whole new Mario/ Zelda/ StarFox/ Donkey Kong game written just for iDevices (which I see plenty of others are bizarrely hoping for over on the 'Golden Axe' review page!) Would love it, but it's never gonna happen.

  • iHuff

    Not sure what everyone was expecting - Sony has other interests - i.e. their own mobile console. They don't want people to spend too much time on this machine when they've got home-grown hardware to peddle. Hoping for a good game from Sony is about as likely as Nintendo bringing out a whole new Mario/ Zelda/ StarFox/ Donkey Kong game written just for iDevices (which I see plenty of others are bizarrely hoping for over on the 'Golden Axe' review page!) Would love it, but it's never gonna happen.