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Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast – Augmented Reality Ghostbusting comes to iOS

Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast – Augmented Reality Ghostbusting comes to iOS
Game Name: Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast
Platforms: iOS / iPhone / iPad
Publisher(s): XMG
Genre(s): Augmented Reality
Release Date: August 2012
ESRB Rating: N/A

Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast is the first augmented reality game to feature the ghostbusters lisence.  The $0.99 appstore title features an original addition to the Ghostbusters growing video game lineup.

As a HUGE ghostbusters fan, the 99 cent price tag was hardly a concern.  This app was downloaded even before I checked out the screenshots.  Because it’s ghostbusters, I have no regrets but if it were any other franchise lisence…?

The game brings the traditional iPhone level building game mechanic and marries it with AR gameplay and the GB lisence.  You join the ranks of the Ghostbusters as a new recruit and you track and capture ghosts to rank up and earn cash.  Of course, that cash allows you to buy and upgrade your equipment and arsenal.

Where do you find the ghosts?  In your neighbourhood of course!  One the great features of this title is the integration of Foursquare places.  The augmented reality experience is upped a notch by the fact that the ghost sightings are appearing in familiar locales right around you!

While this is a great innovation, the first implementation may leave foursquare users digging for more.  Not all custom locations appear and, at the moment, there does not seem to be any integration to allow foursquare users to login or gain benefits from their “mayorships” .  We reached out to XMG to see if we can expect this in future builds.  (No response yet but we’ll update this post, in the comments section, when we do.)

As for the actual gameplay, it’s quite fun!  Once you select a call to respond to you, the screen will switch to camera view and you will soon see the ghost floating in your actual environment.  The production quality and the Ar implementation of this game is excellent!.  You will find yourself chasing the ghost with your phone or iPad in a full 360 spectrum.  (Warning: People at Starbucks may stare)  Once you bring the stamina level of your ghost to zero, you can then throw out the trap.  You will need to keep your ghost within the capture field until he is in the trap and, yes, they can escape.  Ultimately, you will place them in the containment unit where you can then view your collection of ghosts.

All said, XMG has done a great job tying together some great innovations with an existing meta game mechanic that is successful within the appstore marketplace.  As a ghostbusters fan, I do find the application of the lisence material lacklustre at best.  Gaining the lisence to the primary theme song is key and the game only has lisence for some of the movie’s score tracks.  Have you ever seen a Star Wars game that does not play the theme!?! Seriously!  The mere thought of  Ghostbusters will put Ray Parker Jr in your head and if you don’t actually hear the song, its a short sell.

Better foursquare integration and more attention to applying the ghosbusters franchise to this game would have resulted in a better score.  3.5/5

Still a must have for a true fan.


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