Geistesblitz (German for ‘Ghost Blitz’) is an entertaining party game for up to eight players that is all about quick reactions and quicker hands. Perhaps designer Jacques Zeimet initially designed Ghost Blitz with a younger audience in mind – kids love it! – but it also appeals to older players, too (competitive siblings after a couple of glasses of wine, we’re looking at you).
Ghost Blitz consists of a deck of cards and five wooden objects: a white ghost, a green bottle, a grey mouse, a red chair and a blue book. These should be placed within reach of all the players. The top card in the deck is revealed to everyone. On it will be two (of the five aforementioned) objects.
Either the card will have one object on it that is the correct colour (such as a red chair) and the other object will be incorrect (such as a green mouse). In this example scenario, the players have to try and be the first to grab the red chair (as in, the correctly coloured object). Alternatively, the other circumstance could be that both of the objects on the card are incorrectly coloured (such as a blue mouse and a red ghost). In this example, the players have to try and grab the one item that not represented on the card – here the featured items are mouse/blue/red/ghost, so they would try to get the green bottle).
If you are the player to grab the correct item, you get to keep the card. If you jump the gun and grab the wrong item – trust us, this is easily done! – you have to give away one of your hard-earned cards. The item is returned to the middle of the table, and the player that grabbed the item last then turns over the next card and play resumes. Once the deck is exhausted, the player with the most cards is the winner.
Ghost Blitz is fantastic, silly fun. This is not a game to play in a quiet library – you will howl and laugh every single time people grab the right (or wrong) item, especially when someone is a millisecond too late and is left clutching at thin air! Top tip – be wary of any players with sharp fingernails! The noise levels (and competitiveness) only ratchets up with a higher player count.
Sometimes opportunities arise to fit in a 20-minute game at the end of an evening, something light and jolly that doesn’t involve too much heavy thinking. Ghost Blitz is a perfect candidate for this. It’s also a superb ice-breaker that we’d put in alongside the likes of Dobble, Rhino Hero and ICECOOL – all games first-and-foremost meant for children to enjoy, but in reality, are absolutely guilty pleasures for board game fans who are looking for physical good old-fashioned fun.
Player Count: 2-8
Time: 20 Minutes
Ghost Blitz is a wonderful dexterity game for two to eight players that capitalises on pattern recognition and lightning-quick reflexes. The friendly-ghost theme and vibrant colours are sure to capture children's interest but the simple-to-learn rules and game mechanics will keep both children and adults coming back to play again.
Ghost Blitz - The Game
Ghost Blitz, published by 999 Games, comes with five pieces, 60 cards, and a rule book. The object of Ghost Blitz is to collect more cards than your opponents. Collecting a card is simple; at least it's simple in concept, if not execution. Flip over a card and be the first player to grab the corresponding game piece accurately depicted on the card...or the piece that is not at all depicted. I'll explain.
Each card will have two of the following items: a ghost, a bottle, a chair, a mouse, or a book. Each item depicted on the card will be one of five colours: white, green, red, grey, or blue. Recall that there are five game pieces: a white ghost, a green bottle, a red chair, a grey mouse, and a blue book. If the revealed card had a blue book and a red ghost, for example, then you would grab the blue book as it accurately depicts one of the five game pieces.
However, if a revealed card had a green mouse and a blue ghost then you have to quickly recognise the only piece not depicted on the card. You wouldn't grab the mouse or the ghost because they are the wrong colour. But you also couldn't grab the bottle or the book because those items' colours are incorrectly shown on the card. That leaves only the red chair as a correct option. Neither its colour nor its form is shown on the card.
If you are the first to grab the correct object you take the card and add it to your collection. But if you hurriedly grab the wrong piece then you not only lose the card everyone was vying for but you must also sacrifice one card from your collection and give it to the player who grabbed the correct piece. If you have no cards to give then nothing extraordinary happens.
It's really that simple and that straight-forward. The challenge is when you're feeling pressured to make the proper recognition and grab a piece before any of the other players. And to do it accurately. It is fast-playing and easily taught.
Should I Own It?
Do you regularly have young children nearby? If so, this is a great game to have on hand. I bought it for my children as well as for my niece who lives 600 miles (965 kilometres) away. Ghost Blitz is a game you will enjoy playing with them, but is also one they can entertain themselves with and play with their friends.
They will be able to teach their friends how to play in a matter of minutes. It is perfect for quick game nights or for a filler game between heavier games.
While I have stated repeatedly that children will love Ghost Blitz, I also want to reiterate that adults will enjoy it too. Even without children present a group of friends can have a lot of fun with this dexterity game. In fact, there is a rule variant wherein you shout out the correct piece instead of grabbing it IF there is a book present on the card. This advanced form of play creates another challenge.
In fact, you may find it to be a nice equaliser for playing against those with quicker fingers but slower tongues. You also only get one shot at calling out the correct piece. And remember an incorrect shout, as in grabbing the wrong piece, will cost you a card.
This is not a player elimination game, so unless someone just runs away with an early commanding lead it is anyone's game until the final card is played.