Ghostbusters: The Board Game review

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By Xchel Monroy

One has to wonder if great movies can really make for a good board game. Well in this one, it sure has. The Ghostbusters board game from Cryptozoic Games has done it right. This board game has reintroduced us to one of the most successful movie franchises in history, with memorable characters such as Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore as board pieces in this game. You can’t help but feel that it takes you back to 1984.

The Ghostbuster board game includes these game pieces:

  • 4-piece ghostbuster crew (Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore)
  • Slimer, Stay-Puft marshmallow man, Idulnas
  • 20-galloping ghouls
  • 8-Boogaloo Manifestation
  • 12-Gruesome Twosome
  • Ecto-1
  • Player, Ghost, and scenario cards, 40+ game tokens
  • 10-double sided game board tiles
  • 6 dice
  • PKE meter
  • 5 experience trackers

This game has 2 ways you can play: single player or with friends. The way that the single player mode is made is actually quite simple: it’s all based on the scenario you happen to get. Solo gameplay can take up to 30 minutes. It’s quick and very simplistic (and maybe, to be honest, a little too simplistic). With only a handful of the scenarios you get, you only get a small glimpse of what the game offers. In multiplayer, you get to have a little more fun with the board game. You have a versatile way to get through proton checkpoints and ghosts.

Board and Gameplay

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There are 10 tiles that are given to set up the game. Each tile is double-sided (meaning that depending on what type of scenario you get, you’ll be able to switch the tile to the appropriate section). Naturally with board games like these there will be obstacles that will make the game a bit difficult to get through. For example, you are not able to climb fences and some ghosts can only be captured if 2 or more Ghostbusters are present. The design for the tiles was actually quite impressive. I like the color coordination between the spirit areas and the roads. There were quite distinctive, easy to read, and overall, just cool to look at. The way that this game is set up is like an operative game where it features one campaign that can be divided by 3 chapters and have up to 4 scenarios. This is what I loved about the game: many different options for the players to explore.

The way that EXP is earned is determined by which character you decide to choose. All 4 characters have unique ways of leveling up. Here is the rundown on how each character levels up: Venkman levels up if he gets slimed by one or more ghosts; Stanz gets his XP by helping to de-slime his comrades; Splengler has a very odd way of gaining XP: he gains EXP by rolling the dice if it hits a 1 during a fight; lastly, Zeddemore gains XP by capturing ghosts and putting them in the Ecto-1 device. Once you get into the game, you gain skills and abilities like high capture rate for ghosts, team fights, and better area of sight. If, however, you are not into that, there are options to make the game more exciting. You can create your own scenario and outcome or just have a good 3 Ghostbusters versus one boss (a fun way to stray away from the norm).

Each player has two actions they can perform on the board. You can either attack, move forward (up to 2 spaces each turn) or get in the car and move about 6 spaces and drop off spirits or ghosts.

Now, in order to capture the spirit/ghost, you must be in the area and close to the spirit. Each enemy has a character card and states how much damage it has to take to be defeated. The roll of the dice will determine how much damage you inflict upon the enemy. For more powerful enemies, you are required to have more than 1 Ghostbuster to defeat the enemy in front of you. The more you play, the more you start to figure out about special conditions. Those are a bit more complex and require certain actions or conditions to be met. It is a lot of fun but time-consuming, and they take a while to unlock. Other than that, this board game is great for playing with friends rather than by yourself. It just seems a little too quick when you play on your own. It doesn’t give you enough time to experience all the other options that you normally get in different board games.

Packaging

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The box design was absolutely awesome. Loved the color and the designs. For the front of the box, you have the Ghostbusters team animated, and behind them you have the classic villains. They include the famous Slimer, Stay-Puft marshmallow man and Idulnas. The artwork is done by none other than Dan Schoening (also known as Dapper Dan). The work put in by him is absolutely well done for this board game. When opening the box, you’ll notice that not only did he do the cover for the box, the rule book and some of the scenario cards were also made by him. It adds lots of flavor to this already amazing board game.

Final Reaction

As one fellow fan of the Ghostbusters series, this board game was a lot of fun. However, there were many scenarios that I had wished I encountered. For instance, I wanted to get the full experience of single play mode. There was more to do than just capturing ghosts and putting them back in the spirit world; it was a much better experience in playing with others. It does stay within the Ghostbusters storyline and makes great use of all the scenario cards when multiple people are involved. To any fan of board games who love to play movie-themed games like this, I recommend picking this up. Not only is it for fans of the movie, but if you are looking for good ghostly fun, this is still for you. Simple to start and great fun overall.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

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