In 1985, everybody could answer “Who are you going to call?” Ghostbusters, of course! This movie changed our entertainment world. I t was everywhere–songs, TV shows, t-shirts. And, although the 1985 neon-everything and Ghostbusters-mania has long faded, when I was in our local thrift store and I picked up a game box it all came flooding back. There, on the game box of Ghosts! the image that took me back to my childhood: Slimer.
Ghosts the game, I have no doubt, was inspired by Ghostbusters-mania. The ghost on the box has way too much similarity with Slimer to be anything but.
With a smile of nostalgia, I tucked the box under my arm and headed for the cash. I had never heard of the game and really wasn’t sure what I was buying but that 1980’s kid in me won and Ghosts! that game came home.
Ghosts the game is a two player game that plays somewhat similar to checkers–but with some big differences. First, the game board looks like a 36 room dungeon. Next, there are 16 plastic ghost pieces – and the ghosts glow in the dark! (In 1985 that was state of the art cool man.) All the ghosts look the same from the front. However, on the back there is either a blue dot or a yellow dot.
The blue dots are the good-spirited ghosts; the yellow are bad spirited. Each player is given 4 blue and 4 yellow ghosts . You then place your ghosts in any arrangement you wish in the starting squares. You can move the ghosts forwards, backwards, right and left.
There are three ways to win Ghosts:
First, get one of your blue ghosts across the board and out of the dungeon’s door.
Second, Capture all of your opponent’s blue ghosts.
Third, have all 4 of your yellow ghosts captured by your opponent.
Although these seem straightforward enough, it is easy to get focused on one method and end up losing by a different method. For example, being too aggressive and losing all of your yellow ghosts.
To capture a ghosts, you must be on a square that is adjacent to the ghost you want to capture. On your turn, you slide onto that ghost’s spot and take the ghost off the board.
The game has stood up well. The board is still in great shape as are all the ghost pieces. But sadly, the glow in the dark effect has worn off. But after 30 plus years, (has it really been that long?) I can give them a break.
Overall, Ghosts is a pretty good game. If you have room and play lots of two player games, it would be a decent addition to a family’s game shelf.
Pros: easy pieces and set up, easy to play, good quality
Cons: can be hard to remember all the winning methods
Mom: strategic thinking, kids can play on their own
Box age: 6-14
My suggested age: 6 – 12
Time: 10 min