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.