Ghostbusters iOS review: More slime than sublime

Stylish, authentic iPad outing falls short in the Bustin' department

The original Ghostbusters is a wonderful film - one of finest of the 80s - and 29 years later (yes, it has been that long) that logo, the tinkling piano theme, and the sound of ECTO1's siren still evoke some of cinema's richest comedy. This latest Ghostbusters game captures much of that spirit thanks to a selective, tasteful use of the license; but unfortunately it doesn't deliver when it comes to the actual spook-wrangling.

"Ready... get her!"

For movie fans, it's all here. Well, most of it. The New York HQ, the original team - who actually look very little like their real-life counterparts in this more cartoony form - the soundtrack, even Janine... it's a shrine to the 1984 original. However, when the game deviates from canon the problems start to seep in like pink ooze. The plot revolves around the guy from Venkman's psyche tests at the beginning of the film. He turns to a mysterious power for revenge on his 'electro-shock tormentor', and it's down to a team of veterans and new 'Buster recruits to stop him.

Action-wise, it's a bit dull. Your group of Ghostbusters travel to random spots in New York, stand in a room, and blast spooks. Dragging your finger across the screen focuses proton streams, while tapping stunned spectres traps them. Each team member has special abilities and boosts, but they don't add much tactical depth to the action. Shame.

Ghost bustin' jobs earn you dollars and slime, which is used to research new kit and open new parts of the world. And yes, it's free-to-play so you can buy Power Cores with real money to speed up progress or unlock new items. Sadly, the original team cost 50 Power Cores each to unlock, so don't expect to be crossing streams with them unless you fork out some cash. We wouldn't recommend it - there isn't enough depth here to justify the investment.

The game is initially free to download, so it's worth a look, if only for that catchy piano theme and a quick tour around Ghostbusters HQ to drink in the memories. Sadly, despite the authenticity and attention to detail, the actual Bustin' won't make you feel good.

The verdict

A spook-tacular recreation of the Ghostbusters world, let down by dodgy spook-snatching and no-mark characters.

  • Looks and sounds like Ghostbusters
  • It's free to download
  • Combat is simple and a little dull
  • Proper 'Busters cost cash...
  • ...and their likenesses are poor
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