mobile games

New Ghostbusters World Gameplay Walkthrough and Trailer Released


The release of Ghostbusters World, the new augmented reality mobile game, is imminent. With the game coming later this year, the promotional push is ramping up. Today, a new trailer and gameplay video featuring fan Greg Miller was released showing off a lot of the features of the game.

I was fortunate to get a hands-on demo of the game as well. I have to say, it’s a whole lot of fun. And a lot more in-depth than expected. The mechanics of the game go far beyond running around your neighborhood and capturing spooks, specters and ghosts. For my full impressions of the game, tune-in to the Ghostbusters Interdimensional Crossrip podcast this Monday, where we’ll discuss the game, chat with a few people behind the scenes, and more!

Here’s a full press release about the items released today. And make sure to listen Monday for more!

SEOUL, September 20, 2018 – Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Ghost Corps and publisher FourThirtyThree Inc. (4:33) have today revealed new gameplay and never-before seen features for the hotly anticipated location-based mobile AR game, Ghostbusters World.

Check out a new gameplay trailer showcasing the exciting new Story and PVP modes here.

Available worldwide in late 2018, Ghostbusters World includes skill-based single-player AR battle mechanics and RPG-style multiplayer mode. The game allows players to battle and capture hundreds of ghosts from all dimensions of the franchise, including the films, TV shows, comic books, theme parks, and video games as well as new ghosts unique to Ghostbusters World. Assemble your team, trade ghosts, gear up, face off in asynchronous PVP battles, and try not to get slimed.

When you’re not out keeping the streets spirit-free or competing against rival Ghostbusters, enjoy your own personal adventure in the game’s single player story mode, featuring original artwork and a full-fledged story from the minds behind the beloved IDW comic book series.

The game is now in soft launch in select countries for Android devices. A collaboration between Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Ghost Corps, the game’s publisher FourThirtyThree Inc.(4:33), and developer Next Age, Ghostbusters World uses Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit to bring the latest AR technology to Ghostbusters all over the world. If you ain’t afraid of no ghosts and want to keep track of news and updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The Game We Received, Not Necessarily the Game We Deserved

There's a line in Kids in the Hall's Brain Candy, where the pharmaceutical company is so desperate to find their next hit product after the massive success of the drug "Stummies," and a character begins a pitch by saying, "Well, it's a lot like Stummies..." 

I can only imagine that the pitch meeting for Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter started out very similarly. Someone in the room posited, "Well, it's a lot like Bejeweled," and the rest was history.

First, I should mention that the intention of Ghostbusters HQ is not to become a review site. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with differing opinions than mine who will enjoy things that I don't, so I don't want to get into the business of throwing up reviews and opinions that might sway someone away from something they like. I also hate bad reviews, which as I started playing, I knew this would come off as. But a representative of the Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter PR team reached out to me and offered me a review copy of the game and I figured, what the heck - I had zero interest in the game before but since they're sending it my way, I'll give it a chance.

After downloading from the App Store, you're greeted with an incredibly lengthy loading screen that looks a lot like this. Those of the old guard that once played David Crane's Ghostbusters will understand this but this load screen stays up a good ten times longer than the Commodore 64 took to load that game in the mid-1980s. It could have been a result of getting a preview of the game and the servers weren't ready for it, or there was a giant update to the game needed that wasn't in what was downloaded through the App Store, but I gave it a good five minutes before putting the phone to sleep and moving on.

I came back to the phone later in the work day to find that whatever the game had needed to download had completed, but was a little surprised at how simplistic the game was given the lengthy load time on the front-end. What about this game could have possibly taken that long to load? As mentioned, it's essentially a skinned version of Bejeweled with a "RPG" element placed on top of it without much motivation. There's also a story but the writing and voices of the characters are so out of tone that I ended up reading the first couple static screens and skipping past them from that point forward. Janine reads like a strange character from the Nicolas Cage Valley Girl, turning uncharacteristic phrases like, "Shake your tush, bozo." Venkman comes off like a frat boy creep, and everything just feels... off. Between the strange stilted writing and the odd character design (that initially faced a lot of criticism because of how crazy hyper-sexualized it was after the initial announcement of the game), it really reminds you how difficult the tone of this franchise is to perfectly capture.

Once I was finally into the gameplay, it's identical to the current trend of Candy Crush and Dots mobile games where you're swiping to match consecutive colors/jewels in order to eliminate them from the board. If you've played one of those puzzle games since 2001, you've played Ghostbusters: Puzzle Fighter. The only somewhat new mechanic is the battle aspect of it all. You take a turn, then the AI opponent takes a stab, and so on while you "fight" your opponent draining XP with every eliminated set of jewels.

The Ghostbusters aspect of the game is really just the skin as you amass player cards and characters from the Ghostbusters franchise to do battle with you and you choose your team going into it. This aspect has been sold as a "card game" akin to Magic: The Gathering but because of the gameplay mechanics, it falls flat. Even if I received a super-awesome character card and decide to play it in the next round, I'm still swiping to connect three or more identical tokens. Essentially it feels a lot like one of those puzzle games you got as a party favor at your best friends' birthday where you need to put the marbles into the divots in the playing field: the cardboard background has Ghostbusters on it, but the game pretty much has nothing to do with Ghostbusters at all. Maybe the card game aspect should have been the actual game mechanic and the antiquated 15-year old feeling Bejeweled clone could have been jettisoned, and it would have made it feel more compelling to me? I'm not entirely sure what could have kept me interested, to be completely honest.

All-in-all, I probably played three rounds of the game and felt finished with it. Total time playing the game maybe five or ten minutes. Which I believe is the purpose. It's a quick distraction while you're waiting in a lobby or sitting at the airport that you don't have to think that much about. The good news is that it's free, it most likely relies on in-game purchases for additional levels, characters, etc. but I never even got to that part of the game and probably won't. 

Hopefully this is just a place-holder for Capcom/Beeline to maintain the license until they unveil something more elaborate up their sleeves. A quick skin of an existing product to keep the brand awareness up while they work on a more complex and actually Ghostbusters-related title. I hate to be so down on it, I'm sure a lot of folks worked incredibly hard on it and worse had to scramble and redesign several aspects of the game at the last-minute. Just not really my cup of tea. I'm sure others will kick a kick out of it.