Augmented reality games (ARGs) can be fun. Placing the action in the world around you, they give you a brief moment of wonder. The problem is, once that moment of awe ends, there has to be enough game to hold your interest - something Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast: Augmented Reality forgot.
Unfortunately, Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast immediately disappoints. Starting with an official Ghostbuster’s logo, I feel a wave of excitement. But, as the music kicks in, reality strikes – while this is an official game, it lacks the rights to any of the iconic characters or original assets.
In a better game this wouldn’t be an issue, but this ARG puts all of its eggs in the Ghostbuster basket, and the thrill of busting ghosts in your home soon wears off.
The child in me does feel some thrill at becoming a Ghostbuster though. So, the core appeal of Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast - which uses your phone’s camera to let you zap ghosts in the world around - works for a few moments.
Don't cross the streams
Picking an area on the map for your battle, you see your target apparition. The scene then cuts, and you are viewing the world through your phone's camera with the spirit bobbing around in front of you. It then runs, and it’s up to you to scour the real world environment around you to find it using the responsive motion controls.
Holding the screen sends a blast from your proton wand, sending your quarry scurrying in a new direction. You must chase it until its health is all but gone, then a quick swipe of the screen sends out a trap to catch it.
After a few rounds the novelty wears off, leaving you feeling as silly as every other motion controlled ARG. Oh, that’s also when you'll notice the number of ads and in-app purchases.
Turns out busting doesn't make me feel good
Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast: Augmented Reality is free, so if you are a fan and want the feel the buzz of having a (virtual) unlicensed nuclear accelerator on your back, it’s worth a quick blast. Just be ready to send it straight back to the containment unit once the disappointment begins – it shouldn’t take long.