I’ve been playing Ghostbusters World for many hours right now. Although I’ve spent a lot playing this game, there are some things that I still things that I yet to unlock or participate in, like raids or finishing the story – so this is a review in progress, and I will update it as I discover new things as I play.
What is Ghostbusters World?
Ghostbusters World is a location-based, Pokemon GO-style adventure game with Augmented Reality gameplay mode, carrying the Ghostbusters movie theme and has classic references that will be favored by Ghostbuster fans.
In this game, players explore the real world, while discovering, fighting and collecting ghosts in the streets. Fights can be played in standard viewing mode or in augmented reality (AR) as of the player’s choice.
Aside from discovering and collecting new ghosts, players can play a single-player story campaign (3 levels, higher difficulties are unlocked upon completion of the previous difficulty), engage in high-difficulty single-player boss fights, play in PvP against other player’s teams (not real-time head-to-head PvP) and even join other players in epic boss raids to take down the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and other powerful ghosts.
There are other single-player activities like Daily Hunt (rewards material for upgrading ghosts), Gozer’s Tower, alongside daily missions, weekly missions, and challenges that reward players with materials needed for leveling up their ghosts.
One of the great things about this game is that it offers a wide variety of activities. You can explore the open wild and when you get home or feel like playing from home, you know that you have plenty of things to do as well. Of course, the best part of playing Ghostbusters World is getting out there and discovering new ghosts, adding them to your collection and using them later on in single-player game modes and PvP.
Before we move on, I think you’ll be interested in checking out some screenshots from the game Ghostbusters World, so here you go.
Fighting Ghosts in PvE
Fighting ghosts in Ghostbusters World is, in my opinion, the highlight of this game. The gameplay mechanics are easy to learn but requires good reaction time, good equipment, and consistent aiming in most part.
You can capture a ghost or destabilize it. Destabilizing it means that you eliminate it by making its health reach zero, which gives you materials that can be used later on toe upgrade your ghosts. Most of the time, at least when you start playing the game, you find yourself working towards capturing ghosts.
Capturing a ghost is done using a trap. There are different types of traps (e.g. Standard Advanced, Master), which the better ones increase the chance of capturing a ghost, especially rare ghosts that are very hard to find like Ivo Shandor, which I captured today.
Players have several weapons at their disposal. You can carry only two weapons during a ghost combat. The particle thrower is your basic weapon that has a low DPS but it can hold on to ghosts and help you capture them once they are positioned above a trap.
Players need to reduce the ghost’s health below half in order to be able to use the Particle Thrower to position the ghost above a trap. Then you need to hold it for a few seconds and let the trap capture it.
This isn’t the end though and some ghosts can escape the trap, gain some health back, and it’s up to you to repeat the process until you are able to catch them. Each ghost battle has a limited time, so you can’t fight ghosts forever. You need to be smart and make the best of your items to capture the ghost in time if not, it will escape and you miss your opportunity. This can be very frustrating when discovering a rare ghost and missing the opportunity to catch it.
Players can also use a ‘Slam’ move by shaking their phone and tapping the ‘Slam’ button to trigger a move that stuns the ghost and deals extra damage, eve,n more if it deals critical damage.
Some weapons like the Boson Caster and Meson Collider can’t capture a ghost but has a higher damage output. The base weapon, the Particle Thrower, doesn’t require ammo to shoot with, whether the other weapons do. For example, the Boson Caster requires Boson Darts and the Meson Colliders requires Colliders Pods.
Another cool mechanic is the counter-attack, which can be done using the ‘Proton Glove. Ghosts will try to attack you from time to time, some are more aggressive than others. It’s up to you to block the attack using your Proton Glove. Blocking the attack also deals damage back to the ghost. Some ghosts like Ivo Shandor deals a massive amount of damage. Ivo delt 76% damage, which means he could have finished me int just two hits.
To block an attack, you need to quickly press the counter button when it appears on the screen. The results (e.g. good, great, excellent) depends on how fast you were able to respond to the attack.
One of the things that I really liked in the fight is the beautiful visuals and animations, especially when a ghost is captured and travels into the trap.
The proton beam looks amazing and reminds me of the one like in the original Ghostbusters movie. The reason I like it so much is that it helps create a bonding between the player that holds his phone and the virtual ghost. It feels like there is an energy beam coming out of your phone like it is an extension of your weapon. The animation, vibration and the ghost’s movement creates a sensible physical-like traction. This is actually one of the things that I liked the most about the game and one that made the ghost battle action so satisfying. I really felt like I am pulling something with a rope and slamming something onto the ground when using the ‘Slam’ interaction, especially when I played it in augmented reality (AR). This is something that is hard to describe in words, and you feel it when you play the game in person.
There are things that I would have liked to be improved, like being able to change a trap type during the fight instead of going to the dedicate inventory page or change weapon on the fly. This is not the only area where I found the micro-management to be annoying. Another example is when you grab your rewards, instead of having a button ‘Grab All’, you need to press each one individually, which can be annoying when you need to get 10 or more rewards. The game also has relatively long loading times, it’s not too bad, but for example, when going back to the main screen, you need to wait a few seconds, then there is the zoom-in animation-so it’s not as responsive as I would have wanted to be.
Players gain experience as they fight and level up their character. This includes other activities, not just in ghost battles. You unlock new items as you progress. For example, you unlock PvP Ghost Arena at level 15 and at Level 20 you’ll be able to produce Master traps.
It’s important to mention that the player has health. If a ghost is able to reduce that health to zero, you lose the fight and the ghost escapes.
Ghosts that you capture are added to your ghost collection and you can view them on a dedicated page.
Another thing that I like about Ghostbusters World is that you never found yourself without something to do. It’s not like The Walking Dead: Our World where you can find yourself walking 200 meters until you find a zombie to find against. In this game, no matter where you are, ghosts will spawn around your location every time. I can stay in the same place, eliminating all ghosts and more will come after a few seconds replacing them. This is done in purpose by design. This means that you can even fight many ghosts while at your home, eliminating those ghosts around your area.
Each ghost has its own stats, including its rarity (common, uncommon, rare, heroic and legendary), Level, Rank (1-5- stars), type (e.g. water, fire, earth, dark, light), attack power (ATK), defense (DEF), health points (HP), critical rate (CRIT RATE), critical damage (CRIT DMG), attack speed (SPEED) and resistance. It also has its own skill set (e.g. passive, normal, special), some have Leader skill (activated in the start of the fight), and you can apply ‘Runes’ to them, which are stones that can make your ghosts more powerful.
You can also read a story about each ghost, see where you capture it and when which is nice. When creating a team, you need to make sure that you choose the right ghosts for the fight. For example, if you are fighting against many ‘Fire-type ghosts, make sure you bring Water-type ghosts because those have a damage multiplier against Fire-type ghosts. If you are fighting Dark-type ghosts, make sure you bring Light-type ghosts to fight them.
Speaking about Dark and Light-type ghosts. These type of ghosts can be found in the wild, but they are very rare. You can use the ecto-goggles item (need ecto-goggle batteries for that) in order to locate light and dark-type ghosts.
Of course, leveling up and increasing the rank of your ghosts will require lots of materials. Ranking up means that you increase the maximum level of the ghost, which allows you to level it up further, which increase its stats and Combat Power (CP). The higher the rank, the more materials you’ll need in order to upgrade it. For example, to rank up my ‘Mannegishi’ ghost from Level 30 to Level 40, I need to upgrade its rank using 1000 PKE Crystals, 50 water element shard, 4 slime shards, and 15,000 coins. Runes will further help you to make your ghost more powerful, you can enhance runes and use different combinations to achieve better results.
TIP: you can press your ghost character to reveal some cool animations. You can also rename your ghost (make it more personal) and lock them so you won’t delete them accidentally.
Managing ghosts isn’t hard, but the system still needs some improvements. For example, when I click a ghost in the Containment Unit screen, when I get back, it puts me back at the start of the page instead of where I was, which makes micro-management, even with filtering, very annoying and more time-consuming.
TIP: You can destabilize multiple ghosts by tapping the destabilize button (bottom right corner) and select multiple ghosts. ( just found about it today.
Also, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of space in the Containment Unit. You can buy a ‘Klein bottle’ that can increase the space by 50 for 200 gems in the store.
Players can also incubate ghosts in the Ecto-sphere. The incubation time depends on the type of ecto-sphere, which can be 3 hours for a low-level ecto-sphere or 12 hours for the higher level ecto-sphere.
Players can also destabilize ghosts from within the collection in order to obtain needed materials or just to free up some more space.
Ghostbusters World has many more features, like tracking ghosts, placing a remote gate (preferably near a permanent location so you can receive new items every 15 minutes).
Players can fight against other ghosts by creating their own ghost team. There are different single-player game modes that don’t require you to play outdoors. This includes Daily Hunt and Gozer’s Tower. Gozer’s Tower is a multi-level single-player game mode where players try to reach the higher floor possible before the season ends and obtain rewards as they progress as well as at the end of the season. These battles, same as Daily Hunt, cost PhanPhantom Keys. This why I personally focus on one of them.
The second one is called Daily Hunt. Each day of the week you get to fight and obtain different types of elements shard (e.g. water, fire, light, dark, earth). You need plenty of each type to upgrade a ghost to a higher level at some point and this means you need a lot of phantom keys.
For example, if I want to upgrade my Legendary ‘Living Armor’ (Light) ghost from Level 30 to Leve 40 max level, I need, among other items, 50 Light-type element shards. This means I need to farm the Daily Hunt like mad.
I can automate this fight, which after each fight will reward me with coins, element shards (today is ‘Light’) and ecto-sphere. I can earn more if I choose a higher difficulty (e.g. Easy, Normal, Hard). You can, of course, do this manually, but manual fighting takes a long time. It’s more fun, but when you need to do 15 of those and if you don’t have a lot of time to play, you’ll probably choose the fast, easy and automated way. Some harder fights might require manual intervention, so don’t count on winning using auto every single time. You can also double the speed of the fight if you chose to go with an ‘auto’ fighting mode.
Playing these modes will also give experience points (XP) to your ghosts if you win, which help increase their level.
I want to add that I really like the ghosts animation. Each ghost has its own unique animation during the fight which makes the fight interesting and fun to watch.
Finding Rare & Legendary Ghosts
You can find legendary ghosts by fighting as many ghosts as you can, and there is a chance that you’ll get a specific ghost in that type of rarity, but again, it is rare to find legendary ghosts.
Regarding finding rare ghosts. Those what I call rare ghosts isn’t related to the ghost rarity attribute. They are rare because they are hard to find. Some ghosts are more common and you’ll be able to see them quite often.
Ghosts like Ivo Shandor are much harder to find. I played many hours and I only encounter Ivo Shandor two times, one time I lost, the second time after a few days I was able to capture him.
You need to be mobile and go to different places in order to find them. The funny thing is that I needed to go to the hospital this week, so I actually took the bus. Taking the bus allowed me to collect many items from dimensional doors, but also to find new ghosts on that route that I wasn’t able to find before.
Most of the time I just walk, but again, it took me many miles of walking in order to find those rare ghosts. Most of the fights that I fought against those rare ghosts I lost, same goes to boss fights, but as I progress and upgrade my equipment, I’ll be able to win those fights, but right now, I am just not that strong to fight them, even in easy mode. I think I only won one fight against a boss, but that’s about it.
The reason you want to get a higher rarity ghost is that it has better stats. I’ve read that some recommend only leveling up ghosts that have rarity ‘Rare’ and up (i.e. rare, heroic and legendary). This is actually what I do because if I destabilize a high-rank ghost, I don’t get all those invested materials back.
Is it a Pay-to-Win Game?
Ghostbusters World has microtransaction, which allows you to buy items that can expedite your progression. This means that you can rank up faster in general, but you still need to farm ghosts yourself and even buying many ecto-spheres won’t help here, because it takes a lot of time to incubate ghosts and you get a random ghost, so it doesn’t mean that you are going to get a high rarity one.
I played the game and only invested in buying a containment expansion but that’s about it. The PvP which is not real-time PvP, might not motivate people to invest money in progressing to achieve a higher rank, because after all, this isn’t real time, you just fight other people’s team without them actually controlling anything during that fight. You actually have an advantage of being able to choose your team and adapt to that fight. If you like JRPG-style turn-based games, I think you will like the single-player team-based game modes.
I, therefore, enjoy playing this game and don’t feel the need to buy anything from the store, if I do, it’s really a very small investment, that I did mostly because I wanted to review the game, but as I said, it was a very small investment like 8 dollars in total in the entire time I’ve played the game.
You can enjoy playing this game without investing money in it and you still have plenty of things to do and you can progress in your own pace without feeling too bad about it. Of course, if you are among those who want to get the top positions, you might need to invest more money in it, but the casual player can enjoying playing this game without worrying about needing to spend a lot of money in order to enjoy playing the game. At least that how I feel, and I am having a blast playing this game.
There is also the other part which is related t raids, where players might want to play with other players that have strong gear, and this might put pressure on players to expedite their progression buy buying items from the store. I haven’t got to that point but if I do, I make sure to update you on that matter.
The only might care about whether a game is pay-to-win is when playing sole multiplayer games, even then I don’t really pay too much attention to it. For example, when playing Hearthstone, I just play and have fun, but this is just me, some people are much more competitive and want to rank up and don’t have the money to spend like some other players; I can definitely understand that frustration in some games. Players want to feel that they are progressed based on their skill and maybe in the time they invest, so they can challenge any player regardless of the amount of money that player put into the game.
By the way, there are character customization options, but it’s one of the weakest parts of the game. It doesn’t affect the gameplay, it’s just cosmetic items and I just couldn’t care less about that.
There will come a time that you’ll need some material like Phantom keys to engage in some of the single-player activities. However, as of the time of writing, I personally just received enough items from the game to support my needs. This means that I couldn’t progress further in the ladder not because I didn’t have enough phantom keys, but because I wasn’t in a required level. The game seems to be balanced well in that matter. Regarding upgrading ghosts this is a completely different story, but I do believe that once I reach a point where I need very high-rank ghosts, I will have enough phantom keys for that, but this yet to be seen. In other words. Still, if the game is designed right for monetization, this means that players will get stuck at some point and will want to spend money to buy items, if not, what’s the point of making this a free-to-play game if you can’t earn money out of it, right? And I do think that I will get to this point probably later on, but again, I need to spend more time in the game, probably a few weeks to see whether this is the case or not. Right now, I have no real complaints.
Speaking about complaints, my biggest complaint will probably be regarding the PvP mode. Aside from not being real real-time PvP where you get to fight head-to-head against another player, it’s very unbalanced. You can reroll fights, sometimes fight against level 20 ghosts and sometimes against all level 1 ghosts, which as a matchmaking system, it doesn’t make any sense. Maybe it makes sense to make players just continue to reroll and spend coins and then need them and buy them from the store, but overall, the PvP is part of the game where I spend the least time on and my least favorite modes in Ghostbusters World.
Fighting Ghosts in Augmented Reality
Regarding augmented reality, which is an important aspect of the game. Unlike The Walking Dead: Our World and many other AR games, this game doesn’t require any preliminary surface scan.
Now, many of the ghosts won’t need it because they are floating in mid-air. However, there are some ghosts who should be walking on the ground.
Now, this was a bit confusing to me because those characters that suppose to be on the ground did spawn on the ground the right location like Miss Pickens before she flies up, the Golem Drool and other ghosts that I tested.
This might suggest that the game does AR scan behind the scene or just positioned it at the bottom of the screen where it might fit most situations. However, in my assessment, it doesn’t. First of all, you can play in a complete darkness in augmented reality. This is great of course but the fact that some ghosts aren’t stuck to the ground impair the overall AR experience. You can drag and move the ghosts as you move. If you move, the ghost is moving with you, which means it is positioned relative to the device and not stuck on the surface. The trap is also floating in mid-air and not placed on the ground, which again, you can play it in any lighting conditions, but it doesn’t give you that immersion that you expect when playing a game in augmented reality.
It would have been great to have the option to play the game with some ghosts being on the surface or at least make a smart system that can detect the lighting and maybe enable scanning behind the placement of ghosts and traps on the ground is the user enables that option.
Some might think that this AR mode is useless, but I have to say something about it. Yes, the AR isn’t immersive as it could have been for obvious reasons that I’ve stated here. However, I enjoyed the fight in augmented reality so much better compared to the none AR version. It makes me associate a ghost in a specific location where I discovered it, so that fight at that same exact location felt more memorable compared to those whom I didn’t fight in AR. For example, I cannot forget where I first fought Evo Shandor and Jiangshi and all the other ghosts that I fought today in AR. The reason is that it was easier for me to associate a ghost with a location because I pictured the fight with the background surrounding where it has taken place. Whether those whom I fought in non-AR mode, I can’t remember the location and seeing it on the map didn’t help me associate it in a particular place.
Now, the idea of having ghosts invading the world has more substantial meaning when you have the ghosts appear in the real world, rather than on a virtual location and not through a camera feed, and for me, that meant a lot, both for the narrative of the game where people fight ghosts in their own environment and as I remember and associate it with the original movie as I remember it.
The second thing is that I really enjoyed being able to fight ghosts in the dark at night. In fact, the vibrant colorful visuals look so much better when you play it in the dark. All the bright and vibrant colors come alive at night, and the fact that you can fight at night without getting a notification that there isn’t enough light wasn’t a bad thing.
So there are compromises in this game when it comes to augmented reality. As you know me, I prefer immersion, but with a good design, you can combine both. This means that you can enable surface scanning in daylight for example, and turn it off at night or when light intensity is not sufficient. You can allow players to choose their preferred method as well.
So there are ways to combine both methods and still provide a god AR experience in this type of game, so as far as I can see it, there is no excuse. Maybe the developer can spread some more light on this subject,
Ghostbusters World will eat your battery for breakfast. I didn’t make a benchmark to see how it is compared to other game, but In my experience, it does consume more power compared to The Walking Dead: Our World and I think it’s because of the heavy visual effects and lighting that the game use.
I have a 10,000mAH power bank with me at all times. I found that the game consumes around 50% of the battery around an hour when I play a large chunk of the battles in AR. I am playing the game on my OnePlus 6 Android smartphone.
I did find that the game consumes less power when I don’t use AR, so sometimes I fight in standard mode to save battery and this quite significant based on my testing.
Now, don’t take this amateur testing to seriously, but in general, if you plan to play a lot outdoors, make sure you carry on an external battery just in case.
I can tell you that I play around 1-2 hours a day, and most of the time I am fine and don’t use the power bank. I think today I played like 2 hours (with AR) and got like 5% left before I reached my house.
The Exercise Aspect of Playing Ghostbusters World
Aside from having fun playing Ghostbusters World, I personally couldn’t deny the fact that it really motivated me to do more exercise, and by that, I mean walking, even a few hours a day.
The thing is that I don’t always get motivated to go out and walk around the block. Why? because it’s totally boring but I do so anyway. Now with Ghostbusters World, I can walk a few hours a day without even thinking about it. In fact, I want to go on and on nonstop.
So I do exercise and play a great mobile AR game at the same time, you just can’t beat that combo,
If you need a motivator and you like playing on-location based games, I think that Ghostbusters World is the right game for you. Of course you need to stop from time to time to fight the ghosts, and of course, you need to be alert of your surroundings, but overall, you’ll find yourself walking and walking, doing healthy exercise and enjoy playing the game at the same time as I do.
Conclusion (Review in progress..)
Ghostbusters World has so many good things going for it. It has great depth, you always have something to do, the AR ghost battles are amazing with addictive capture gameplay, there is a story mode, JRPG-style turn-based game modes, good feeling of progression, there are tons of ghosts to collect, many game modes, satisfying progression system, multiplayer raids, great visuals, addicting gameplay mechanics and more.
I did notice a few bugs, but none of them were serious enough to negatively impact my overall experience or break the game in any way. I also noticed very few lags in certain areas, but overall the gameplay was super smooth without any connectivity issues or crashes – a smooth launch, at least in my experience.
On the downside, UI navigation is annoying at times, the game can’t be played in landscape orientation, quite a few UI navigation annoyances that could easily be solved, large installation footprint, the PvPisn’t real-time PvP that I was hoping for, the game eats the battery (especially when using AR) and other annoyances.
That being said, when looking at the whole package, Ghostbusters is a very addicting and fun on-location game. The Augmented Reality aspect of the game is very much lacking but enhances the gameplay experience, making each ghost fight more memorable per-location the action took place; especially if it was an important fight against a rare ghost.
It’s great having a wide range of game modes where each player can invest his time on. You can play the game outdoors, or jump into some of the single-player game modes and play in the comfort of your home.
The game does feel generous with the number of items it gives you. Which means that most of the time, I didn’t feel like I need to wait long in order to continue playing, which is something I can’t say about The Walking Dead: Our World game.
You do feel a sense of achievement when fighting against tough ghosts and bosses (I yet to try to raid fight though).
I think having a trading social feature would be nice, so players can trade ghosts in exchange for items. This can balance the game so people who invest time in the game and find rare ghosts can get many items in return instead of needing to invest real money in the store.
Overall, I have to admit that I am among those who really love Ghostbusters World and just find it hard to put it down. Even right now when writing these line,s, I am eager to take my OnePlus 6 phone and get out there, put my ecto-goggles on and hunt some Light and Dark-type ghosts outside in the dark. I feel like they are there waiting for me, and I know that if I get out there, I will come home with some really cool ghosts.
When this fun starts to decrease or end, I have no idea. What I know is that I’ve put many hours in this game since it came out and I still can’t have enough of it, on the contrary, I actually want to play more.
If you like on-location based games, love AR or even if you haven’t played one before – I highly recommend checking Ghostbusters World. A game that is so much fun and also healthy. It’s definitely a few steps up compared to The Walking Dead: Our World in my opinion.
Don’t forget to keep yourself safe and be aware of your surroundings at all times and above all, have fun!
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Disclaimer: Keep in mind that this is a review in progress and I will continue to update it as I play. This means that some of the content of this review might change, including the overall rating.