1984 was not only the year of my birth, but it was the year that the world was introduced to a team like no other, created to be on call 24 hours a day to serve all your supernatural elimination needs. The Ghostbusters are our fearless defence against the evil paranormal forces of the likes of Gozer the Gozarian and Vigo the Carpathian. With Ghostbusters: The Card Game, you can help them in that fight. So, pick up your proton accelerator, don the boiler suit and boots, and get ready to cross the streams, just try to avoid total protonic reversal!
Okay, so you’re not quite playing a game of the movies. Ghostbusters: The Card Game is actually more of a cross between Top Trumps and Happy Families. However, you do experience a pleasant little stab of nostalgia, when you see cards featuring one of the four Busters, the Scoleri Brothers or Janene Melnitz. The problem with the nostalgia is, it makes it harder to play for points, rather than playing just to win a favourite character. If you want to win Ghostbusters: The Card Game, then you have to set nostalgia aside and get strategic. But I would say that Ghostbusters: The Card Game is as much a collectors item as it is a strategic card game. The artwork is something to behold, with caricatures and cartoons from the creative minds of Jacqui Davis and Todd Bright.
Set Up And Pack Down
What can really be said about the setting up and packing down of Ghostbusters: The Card Game? It’s a card game, so there are very few elements to cause any undue trauma. Setting up Ghostbusters: The Card Game is really just about creating the spirit clock of twelve cards, and then adding the Trap card and dealing out the Action cards to each player. The most surprising thing about Ghostbusters: The Card Game is the amount of space needed. No matter how many times I’ve played this game, I’ve always attempted to set it up in a smaller space than it actually needs, which is a shame because you almost want to play it anywhere and anytime, much like other card games.
Packing the game away is packing away a stack of cards, in to a neat and compact box. And we can leave that there, it really doesn’t get anymore complicated. The box for Ghostbusters: The Card Game, makes it very easy to transport, which adds to its appeal.
On first impressions, Ghostbusters: The Card Game seems like a very simple game, and to play it is relatively straightforward. However, to actually score well and win the game, the strategy becomes quite complex. Scoring takes place at the end of each round and it’s only after a couple of games, that you learn which cards you need to take possession of, to accumulate a decent haul of points.
In Ghostbusters: The Card Game, players take it in turns to use Action cards to move a Ghost Trap card around a clock of Ghost and Monster cards, in order to capture those supernatural characters. Different combinations of those Ghost and Monster cards enable the player to score higher, much like forming a full family in a game of Happy Families. Sometimes you take gambles, during a game of Ghostbuster’s: The Card Game. For instance, you lose points by collecting Ghost or Monster cards that have been ‘slimed’. Unless you manage to capture Slimer, at which point the value of those ‘slimed’ Ghosts and Monsters is reversed. The challenge of optimising your captured card values is quite exhilarating.
I would say that the only thing I dislike about Ghostbusters: The Card Game is the scoring pad. The very nature of that scoring pad takes me back to my childhood, playing Cluedo or Pictionary, and my mum or dad suggesting that we write the scores in pencil so that they can be rubbed out and the scoring sheet can be reused. Or suggesting that they will try to get the scoring sheet photocopied a few times, to be able to provide fresh ones for future games. I’m sure these kinds of score pads mess with other gamers’ OCD as much as they mess with mine. You wish that the instructions only provided you with the scoring system leaving you to do it yourself on a blank piece of paper, scrapping the scorepad entirely. Maybe I judge the existence of scorepads harshly, but I can’t be alone in my hatred.
Ghostbusters: The Card Game is an excellent jaunt down nostalgia lane. If you’re a fan of the Ghostbusters movies then you will find all the little touches and references to said movies great. The artwork in Ghostbusters: The Card Game gives it an extra appeal. And the gameplay can be both simple and complex. It’s very easy to pick up the basics of the order of play, for a quick and easy game, whilst being more complex to work out the most efficient ways to stack up points and ultimately win the game.