With a GHOSTBUSTERS reboot on its way and nostalgia for all things 80’s at its peak, it is inevitable that someone would turn GHOSTBUSTERS into a modern board game. That someone turned out to be Cryptozoic, who crowdfunded the game to the tune of a cool $1.5million. With such a well-loved property and so many eager fans, the most common comment about this game before its release was one very similar to what people are saying about the reboot; “It had better be good”.
Luckily, GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME is rather fantastic, albeit in a very a specific way. The game is very loosely based on the original movie, with a dash of recent spin-off media thrown in for good measure. That means it’s the original team of Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston. Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening, who are better known for their work on IDW’s GHOSTBUSTERS comics, designed the art and models. The result is both unique and instantly recognisable.
GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME is essentially a co-operative miniatures combat game. You take the role of one of the Ghostbusters and run round zapping monsters, trying to capture as many as you can, as the horrible things try to swamp Manhattan. This isn’t just one simple board game with a single goal; rather it’s lots of little adventures that combine into one big story; a bit like playing various levels of a video game. As the Ghostbusters succeed, they get stronger and more capable, and the monsters and scenarios become tougher. Each hero has their own unique ability; for example, Peter gets more powerful the more often he gets slimed, whereas Ray toughens up by helping out his buddies. This encourages teamwork, which makes it easier to crack the strategic elements of the various scenarios.
The game itself is quite nice, though some of the card pieces could be a little sturdier. The playing pieces include some lovely sculpts; each Ghostbuster is instantly recognisable. ECTO-1, Slimer and The Stay Puft Marshmallow man are also very well done and would look nice as cubicle decorations if that is your thing. The rest of the ghosts (there’s over 40 models in the set) are neat, but it’s a pity they’re all the same colour as they’re a bit samey.
Overall, gameplay is smooth, easy to pick up, varied and fun and the bits that make up the game aren’t bad either. Busting, as they say, makes you feel good.
GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME / DESIGNERS: MATT HYRA, ADAM SBLENDORIO, MATAIO WILSON, ERIK BURNHAM / ARTISTS: SAMUEL H. GREENWELL, ROB MOMMAERTS, DAN SCHOENING / PUBLISHER: CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW