Ghostbusters II: the board game

Following on from last week’s look at the two Ghostbusters games that were published by Cryptozoic, I have perhaps inevitably delved into the second box for today’s game day blog, as I’ve not yet tried this one out for size.

Ghostbusters II is all about slime, of course, and that’s no different here. The new game, and all of its expansions, all feature mood slime quite heavily, and that is, I think, the biggest difference between the two games. At their core, of course, they are the same game, but the second box has a number of additions that I thought I’d talk through today, as a sort of compare/contrast.

Slime is big, then, and this affects the game through Goo Piles – tokens that are placed on the board, and that need to be investigated throughout the course of the scenario. Each scenario has a Goo Timer along the bottom, which is basically the timer that ticks down each round as you can imagine. Investigating Goo Piles will increase the timer, however, buying you time to complete the scenario.

When you investigate the Goo Pile, you get to draw from the Goo Pile Deck – another new thing. This deck is mainly made up of cards that will instruct you to either draw from an event card pile, or an equipment card pile. Equipment is stuff that you can use, while Events are additional challenges to overcome.

There are new Ghost types in this game, called Plazms. These are denoted by pink miniatures, while the Ghosts are purple. Combat works the same as previously, in that you roll a d6 and compare it with the Entity’s to-hit value, then consult the card to see what happens if you hit or if you miss. The big, big switch up here though is that the Ghostbusters themselves now come in two varieties, regular proton packs, and the new slime blower version. Ghosts are not affected by slime, and Plazms are not affected by proton packs, so you need to plan accordingly! However, a character can spend an action to swap an adjacent buster’s pack between the two (or you can spend both action slots to do it for yourself).

Really, then, that’s all there is to it! We’ve got a raft of different ghosts, we’ve got goo and plazms, and we’ve got event and equipment cards. It does make for a bit more of a hectic experience, I think, but it’s still the same basic game underneath. Which is good, I think, because it means that you can throw the dice and have some fun, while playing as the iconic ghostbusters!

The Kickstarter version that I have does come with a bunch of extra stuff, but unlike the first game, this time a lot of the “base game” is actually really quite varied, and there isn’t a tremendous amount of “important” stuff left out this time. Of course, the deluxe edition does incorporate the Louis Tully expansion, which I’m not a huge fan of because I’m one of these people who prefers to keep things separate so that I know what I’m playing. It’s not a massive problem, but it niggles a little. The actual KS exclusives this time are some fairly niche additional ghostbusters from the Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon, which doesn’t seem particularly inspired, and sadly the KS campaign never made it to $850k to give us Dana Barrett, but she’s probably the only major movie character missing from both games.

Ghostbusters II is an interesting development from the first game, with some nice additions in the way that the event and equipment cards are implemented. With the added considerations of different entities needing different combat styles (proton vs slime), it definitely feels like the gameplay steps up. The fact that we have all the new ghosts, which include the Haunted Humans toy line, is just great, and definitely taps into the nostalgia factor for me.

It’s still a fairly light game, and with the timer element it can be over very quickly. If you like Ghostbusters, if you liked the first game, and/or if you’re a child of the 80s like me, then it’s all good really!

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