As licensed games go, the Ghostbusters franchise hasn’t done half-bad. In the NES days, yeah, there were some famously terrible games, but in recent years there have been a string of hits. Ghostbusters: the Video Game and its sequel, Sanctum of Slime were both enjoyable action games, and Paranormal Blast for the iPhone brought ghosts into your city with ingenious augmented reality. The problem is that these games, while fun, don’t really hit at the heart of what makes the original movie great. For all its spookiness and special effects, the genius of Ghostbusters was that it was actually a comedy about running a small business. Fun as the modern games are, shooters just don’t capture the hilariously down-to-earth attitude the film has toward a 9-5 pest control job that happens to involve ghosts.
What we need to really capture the spirit of the film (if you’ll pardon the turn of phrase) is a ghost-busting business-sim. Since the license holders might never deliver on that concept, fans have stepped in to make it an unofficial reality. Indie game Ghostcontrol Inc. is a love-letter to the films, combining business management mechanics straight out of the “Theme” series with combat reminiscent of the classic XCOM. Having played a bit myself, I can say it’s a heck of a lot of fun in its own right. If you’ve been hankering to play an authentic knockoff Ghostbusters game, or you just appreciate retro strategy games and want to support indie development, head over to the game’s Greenlight page and offer up your support. You can expect a review from us in the coming days.