Reader Review: GhostControl Inc. (PC)

GHOST_BOXWhen I was a kid, I loved the Ghostbusters movie.  It’s still one of my top favorite movies of all time, even today!  But have you ever wondered what it would be like to run your own ghost extermination business?  Well now you can find out with a new downloadable game on Steam called GhostControl Inc.  Check out my friend Robbie Allen’s review to find out if this would be the job for you!

Have you ever played the NES Ghostbusters game and thought “Jeez, this game is awful. I can’t imagine a worse Ghostbusters game than this?” Well then, I have the game for you, it’s called GhostControl Inc., and boy will it not only allow you the relive your hatred for the NES Ghostbusters game, you might actually feel it necessary to play the NES game to clear your palette from this mess.

GhostControl Inc. has three main parts going on. One is your office time, where to can hire new employees, read up on information, organize your inventory, do research, or perform training. These business elements reminds me of another Steam game I like called Game Dev Tycoon, except nowhere near as fleshed out or fun. With more focus and options, this part could have been a lot of fun, as is it just feels rather half -hearted and dull. I kind of wish the game developers dropped all the other parts of the game and just focused on making this part the entire game, because sadly, it’s probably the most entertaining part of the game.

The other part is the map screen. Here you drive to jobs, go to hospitals to heal your characters, go to stores to buy new equipment, buy a new office location, or fill up your car with gas. The worst thing about this part is it feels completely unnecessary. Seeing as this game obviously takes place in modern day (shown by the user’s rather modern office computer), I don’t understand why you have to drive to places to purchase items or get a new office space. You can hire and fire people from your office computer, why can’t you also buy supplies and new office spaces? Why can’t you have a clinic built into headquarters instead of drive to the hospital every time? Why do you have to actually drive anywhere? Couldn’t these just be options to do in the office part? The only cool idea that comes in this section is if you take too much time, you can see a competitor company try to beat you to your job, but as cool as that is, it still feels unneeded. Like the game could’ve just told you someone beat you because you took too long, why must you have to see a whole driving section for this? You don’t even control your car, you just click where you want it to go and it does it automatically. This is by far the worst part of the game, and I still can’t understand why they even bothered putting this in here. It should’ve been left on the cutting room floor.

The final part of the game has you going to a job and ridding the location of ghosts. This part is done in an isometric view with some VERY BASIC tactical RPG style gameplay. Unfortunately this is like the most stripped down game of this type you’ll ever see. You walk a limited amount of steps on a field, and upon reaching a ghost you have the options to move or attack it. You can also drop your trap, but you can’t trap any ghosts until they’re weakened. You can also open doors and turn on lights, why these parts aren’t automatic, I have no idea. During this part you can hear you characters make various quotes and quips that are pretty amusing. Too bad the gameplay is so basic, it’s downright boring. It’s also somewhat confusing because your characters only have to sprites that are used. A male sprite and a female sprite, so it’s easy to get confused on which character you’re controlling. This is made more awkward when your character is obviously shown to be a black person in his profile picture and yet is represented by the same white person sprite as everyone else. This part feels just as lazy and unfinished as the office parts, but even manages to be less fun. Like the office segments, I kinda with this part was advanced upon and made into its own game.

To add to all this, the interface you’re required to use is an absolute mess. The entire time you try to equip items or perform some other task, you’ll constantly have your cellphone popup to give you info on ghost hunting news or tell you that a job is coming, This will interrupt what you’re doing and it absolutely won’t let you continue what you’re doing until the cellphone is put away. If you try to do something while the cellphone is up, it will tell you it can’t complete the action because another window is blocking it, despite the phone not even touching the window you’re working on. So you can’t even multitask in this game, you can only focus on one thing at a time. Another annoying part is there are sections where you have to pick what you think the best option is. These parts are made confusing because sometimes it lets you click on the answers you want to give, while other time it won’t accept click responses and you absolutely type in the number of the response you want. This is irritating because until these points everything in the game was done via point and click, so suddenly require keyboard inputs catches you off guard and feels real unnatural.

Overall GhostControl Inc is just a mess of a game that is best left avoided. It’s got some interesting ideas, but those ideas would’ve been better as their own games rather than being shoved with other ideas and them all feeling half-baked and unfocused. I like what the game is trying to do, but unfortunately, I just don’t like the game it turned out to be.


Kid Factor:

Some kids might find the ghost capturing idea interesting and nothing is scary or terrifying in the game. Though the clumsy interface and unintuitive nature of the game will probably frustrate even the most patient of children.  –Robbie Allen

One Response to “Reader Review: GhostControl Inc. (PC)”

  1. Sounds awful, but why was it released now? To coincide with the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters?

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