At first, Ghostbusters World might feel like a Pokémon Go clone. Fortunately, it isn't. Although the gameplay is similar, Ghostbusters World builds upon the concept of capturing monsters (or in this case, ghosts) and kicks it up a notch by including a host of features that should keep players entertained for a long time.
Upon starting Ghostbusters World, players are prompted to create their characters. Although character customization is pretty limited, it still gives the player a few choices of gender, skin color, eye color, hair color and hairstyles. Once character customization is done, the tutorial begins, which brings in the Ghostbusters team from the original movie teaching the player how to play the game. It's a lot like Pokémon Go at this stage: players walk around their houses and neighborhoods in search for ghosts in their immediate environment using augmented reality. Once a ghost is discovered, a player can then choose to go to battle with that ghost.
Here is where Ghostbusters World sets itself apart. There is far more to taking on a ghost than just throwing something at it. Instead, the player must use a weapon to blast at the ghost to weaken it enough to capture it. When the ghost is ready for capture, the player can throw a trap on the floor and then drag the ghost into the trap. But these ghosts also fight back, meaning that the player must successfully counter attacks from ghosts. Taking too many hits loses the battle and allows the ghost to escape. Eventually, players will get a weapon that will enable them to destabilize ghosts, too, which comes in handy when one runs out of traps.
There are a large variety of ghosts to collect. Ghostbusters World is not one of those games that requires players to live in highly populated areas. Ghost generation is random, meaning that people who live in rural areas have a shot at getting the same ghosts as those who live in cities. The game even allows the player to create their own temporary dimensional doors: those gateways to rewards and additional game opportunities. However, dimensional doors are also present in less populated areas, meaning that would-be Ghostbusters can play this game virtually anywhere.
Captured ghosts go into a collection. This collection comes in handy when playing story mode, another unique aspect of gameplay in Ghostbusters World. Story mode involves putting together a team of ghosts from the collection so that they can battle their way through another dimension. Players can level up ghosts to take on harder battles, although this requires certain items that only come from gameplay or the game's store.
As this is a mobile game, the store will allow players to buy coins and items to help them level up ghosts for story mode, as well as to help them keep stocked up on traps and other items needed to continue to play the game. The good news is that at least up until level 20, the store isn't necessary to keep enjoying the various features of the game.
The AR also works well, although there is an option to turn it off. When playing in AR, though, players must use a detector to find ghosts in their environment, which adds yet another exciting element to gameplay. And as with other AR games, it's also a lot of fun to take screenshots of ghosts sitting on people's heads or in funny environments. The AR also runs smoothly and looks great on the Pixel 2.
Since the advent of Pokémon Go, the mobile game market has been hit with a lot of clones. Although Ghostbusters World seems similar to that title, it has set itself apart as something that feels entirely new. Between busting ghosts in the immediate environment and story mode, there is much here to keep players from ever getting bored. And if that isn't enough to keep them going, Ghostbusters fans need to know this: for those who keep playing, a certain marshmallow-based creature might turn up for an epic battle.
Ghostbusters World is available now for Android and iPhone. Screen Rant was provided an Android build for review.