Ghostbusters by Cryptozoic Entertainment
Ghostbusters: The Board Game includes three episodic campaigns that bring players together in a unified battle against all of the ghosts from the Ghostbusters past. The story is laid out in the manual. It tells of a young woman who has accidentally freed Idulnas, the third minion of Gozer.
Idulnas has emptied the Ghostbusters Ecto Containment Unit, freeing all of the ghosts they had captured up to that point. In a dire warning of what is to come, Idulnas proclaims “I bring the vengeance of every being you’ve ever captured or banished, Ghostbusters. I bring you Hell itself.”
It appears that the city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. With that tone set, let’s jump in!
Each player assumes the role of one of the four Ghostbusters – Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore. Each player is granted two action points (three if their character is Level 3 or higher), which can be used to move, drive, deposit trapped ghosts, remove slime, or enter into combat. Combat can be initiated when a ghost is within your line of sight (within three spaces of your character).
Each character can be leveled up throughout each campaign in order to unlock new abilities that can be used to benefit the team on any given mission, to move around the board more quickly, or to grant advanced ghost-fighting attacks. The base Level for each character allows for individual XP increases in varied situation (for example, Peter gains 1 XP when slimed by a ghost on his turn). The highest Level is 5and adds perks for the entire team (Egon gives the ability for all Ghostbusters to reroll the Movement Die once for every failed Proton Roll).
It’s designed in a way to encourage cooperative play throughout the course of the game, not only in achieving the desired outcome but also in gradually contributing to the strength increase of your teammates in order to make the entire group stronger. XP does not deplete between scenarios within the same campaign, ensuring that each player has leveled up their character in anticipation of any given episode’s final boss. Unfortunately, there is a notable balancing issue with leveling up. During one playthrough, for example, my teammate had already maxed out his XP with Stantz by the end of the second scenario.
Each session can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours through the merging of multiple scenarios. The board is comprised of 10 two-sided tiles that are laid out in specific orientations based on the scenario being played.
The design is attractive, and the coloring makes it simple to identify challenges and barriers at a glance. Each scenario has the Ghostbusters tasked with closing gates, among other tasks, in order to prevent new ghosts from being able to spill from the Spirit World onto Earth.
At the end of each round an event die is rolled. This determines a specific action that will take place from one of the gates on the board with the event determined by whether the gate in question is open or closed. These events change from one scenario to another.
In addition to the 15 included individual scenarios, there is also a random scenario generator available through Cryptozoic’s website. This can be tailored to your group’s level.
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