Now Taking Calls: GhostControl Inc

By Adam Smith on January 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

In 2015, the Ghostbusters remake will dominate multiplexes, with its blockbuster cast – Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller – grinning at the world from posters on every street corner. Bill Murray will have a cameo, playing the ghost of Garfield, and Slimer will twerk in 97% of his scenes. Don’t worry too much though – nobody will force you to watch it at the cinema. Network television will replay it during every holiday, however, and your children/siblings/pets will inexplicably adore the antics of Stay Puft Girrrl and demand to see that one bit when she dances, using the Empire State Building as a pole.

If that all sounds like too much excitement, perhaps the more tranquil pace of GhostControl Inc will be to your taste. It’s a ghosthunting management sim with turn-based trapping and it’s available now.

I’ve spent almost an hour playing the release version and had a pleasant enough time. The management side is enjoyable, with rival companies scurrying across the charmingly blocky London map to snatch jobs, while petrol usage, vehicle upgrades, weaponry, and sanity/health all require attention.

The missions, in the early stages at least, are a tad disappointing. Ghosts have to be blasted a few times to reduce their health before they can be captured, which should provide some tactical nuance, but is often simply a case of shooting, ending a turn, shooting again and then lobbing a trap. That said, I recently encountered my first corporeal enemies and they’re a little trickier and more demanding.

As a package, it’s rather charming. Ghost hunters have the sort of accent that I’d expect from a mildly irate English plumber and I find that unaccountably pleasing. It does feel like the sort of game I’d prefer to play in bed, laptop propped on my tummy, rather than sitting at my desk. Fifteen minute or half hour stints will probably do the trick, although if the difficulty ramps up and the combat becomes more varied, I might well find myself hooked.

More thoughts soon but the game is available now and is also hoping for Steam Greenlight votes.

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23 Comments »

  1. Elicas says:

    Wait, is that actually a film or are you just imaginary mind-fucking my childhood…

    • Shockeh says:

      Isn’t it amazing how close satire and reality are these days? Like, you can imagine this happening, right down to the Bieber/Cyrus remake of the soundtrack which busts into Justin ‘rapping’ over part of it.

      This will be a massive hit, and will cause anyone over the age of 25 to be unable to listen to any radio for 6 months in fear of aneurysm.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      They’ve been talking about ghostbusters 3 for ages but never comes to anything. Bill Murray said he would be in it for 1 minute as long as they kill Venkman immediately after. IMO GB2 was dreadful so I don’t hold out hopes for a third. I dunno. J J Abrams GHOSTBUSTERS GRITTY REBOOT anyone?

        • Turkey says:

          Seriously disappointed in Bill Murray right now.

          • jonahcutter says:

            I think Bill Murray said he was holding off signing because the scripts were awful. Either they came up with something good, or Dan Aykroyd finally wore him down. Considering Aykroyd’s track record with teh funny as he ages, I’d bet on the latter.

            If so, it’s going to be really painful watching Bill Murray sleepwalk through a lot of limp, retread jokes, while Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson mug in faded glory. If it’s really bad, maybe we can hope Murray goes meta and mocks the entire project with his delivery and improv.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            To be honest, I can’t see how they will ever improve on the first one.

            That whole hotel part Oh my god.

            “Why worry? Each of us is wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back (pause) … Yep. Well let’s get ready. Switch me on” **Egon edges away**

            I LOOKED INTO THE TRAP RAY

  2. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    Wouldn’t a blockbuster cast be more appropriate in a voxel/cube-based game such as this?

  3. Seafort says:

    I nearly backed this game on kickstarter. Looked pretty good but now there is a price difference between different vendors.

    On MS Store it’s £5.99, digital download is SRP £9.99 and boxed copy is SRP £9.99 + £6.95 shipping.

    I’ll pass till the price differences are sorted out.

    • BillyIII says:

      It says “not available in your region” on the windows store page. :/

  4. Spongbo says:

    No demo (i.e. no ‘Try’ option, only ‘Buy’) and $7.99AUD in the Windows store.

  5. strangeloup says:

    Please don’t make jokes like that, the opening sentence nearly gave me a bloody heart attack.

    The best Ghostbusters game I ever played was an ancient one on the Spectrum, iirc. Really good structure, nice amount of variety in it, generally it was really good. I’d love to see that revisited and expanded upon with whizzbang graphics.

    • philatron says:

      I had that Ghostbusters game on my ol’ C64, it was brilliant! The next GB game was a bloody awful ‘Real’ Ghostbusters Gauntlet-like which, as a stupid 11 year old, I still played to death.
      In all honesty, when I was first reading about Ghost Control Inc. I thought they were pretty much just doing a modern remake of that old 8-bit game…

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        They one that said “Ghostbusters!” in a very dodgy synthesized voice? That game was way ahead of its time as a management sim with action sequences. I don’t think I was very good at it though, I remember just playing it to watch the town gradually go to hell. I was very young though, when it came out in ’84.

    • arccos says:

      The new-ish Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009?) is quite good. A bit of padding in it, but still good. Stay away from Sanctum of Slime, though.

  6. ashgames says:

    Thanks for the nice article. ;-)
    The game starts simple to get you used to the game mechanics but it will be challenging later on – promise.
    We are on Steam Greenlight, so if anyone feels like we should get support, please go ahead:
    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=200811463
    Windows Store: Yes, the christmas promo is still on. Demo is in the works we had a couple of issues with it.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      You got my vote. Best of luck in the future. I wish you smashing success on your game!