Review of Ghostbusters Slots
Nobody really knew what a “summer blockbuster” was before Ghostbusters was released in the summer of 1984. This film had it all – popular movie stars at their peak, a fantastic script, great special effects, and a rocking soundtrack. There’s just no way this movie wasn’t going to be a smash hit.
Like most parents in North America that year I was bombarded with pleas from my children to take them to the film, so I finally did. Only to be harassed the next day to take them to see it again! After negotiating with them to get some chores done, I took them again the following week and it was just as funny the second time around. I was a fan of Saturday Night Live back then so it was nice to see those guys hamming it up in hilarious roles on the big screen.
After seeing the film in the theater I didn’t watch it again for years, finally catching it on TBS or something one afternoon, and I laughed just as hard as I had in the mid ’80s when I first saw it. The writing and the acting is just so darn good.
And there you have it – I’m admitting to you right from the beginning that this review is being written by a big fan of the movie. So let’s dive into this slot game from IGT while keeping an eye out for Slimer, and making sure that we don’t cross the streams along the way…
The design of this game is fantastic and all of the numerous bells and whistles look great. It’s impossible to capture everything that Ghostbusters has to offer in just a couple of screenshots, but these will give you an idea of how amazing the visuals are throughout.
Things in New York City have always been a bit weird, but never stranger than in the summer of 1984 when numerous people started to experience paranormal sightings and unexplained phenomena. After seeing a ghost firsthand at the New York Public Library, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Peter Venkman decide to put their parapsychology degrees to work and open up a business that helps people get rid of the ghosts that are pestering them.
Once set up in their dilapidated firehouse they start getting more and more calls, one of which is from Dana Barrett. She has a demon in her refrigerator that keeps saying, “Zuul“, and she obviously wants him evicted as soon as possible.
During their research into her case the Ghostbusters encounter a possessed Louis Tully, countless other ghosts, and end up concluding that New York City might be in for an “End of Times” scenario via the city’s destruction by evil gods. They’re so busy they have to hire Winston Zeddemore and Janine Melnitz to help out with their ghost busting efforts.
The boys figure out that cult leader Ivo Shandor had decided to eradicate mankind after World War 1, and therefore created a portal to allow the demigod Gozer access to Earth to wipe out our world. After battling idiotic lawyers like Walter Peck, and huge manifest demons like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the Ghostbusters finally save the day and become larger than life heroes.
The storyline of Ghostbusters Slots stays true to the plot of the film with its symbols, music, and reel features. The game’s creators made the excellent decision of including the best scene from the movie as a bonus round – this of course being the hotel ballroom scene where they catch Slimer. There are also video clips from the movie that play throughout the game when triggered by certain payline wins that will transport you back to the first time you saw the film.
I really enjoy the unique symbols in this game because they are the actual actors who portrayed the characters, and not some bad caricature that barely passes for their “likeness”. Everyone’s here – including Rick Moranis!
This game also gets bonus points for having extra symbols in the form of a Burning Marshmallow Sticky Wild, and an extra Wild of that creepy Librarian Ghost from the beginning of the movie. Both of these symbols will give you tons of free bonus cash if you get them in the right place, and at the right time.
However, I do have to take issue with the fact that Sigourney Weaver’s main character of Dana Barrett is not included as a game symbol. It’s a glaring omission, and the only main problem with the game. It also would have been nice to see Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz, but at least her voice is heard when you click the tool icon, “Ghostbusters, whaddya want?!”
- P.K.E. Meter (Psychokinetic Energy Meter)
- Muon Trap (Ghost Trap)
- Proton Pack
- Ecto Goggles
- Ecto-1 (1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Futura Ambulance/Hearse)
- Peter Venkman (Bill Murray)
- Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd)
- Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis)
- Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson)
- Louis Tully (Rick Moranis)
- Ghostbusters Symbol (Scatter)
- Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (Bonus)
- Slimer (Wild)
- Librarian Ghost (Extra Wild)
- Burning Marshmallow (Sticky Wild)
The game’s two wild symbols of Slimer and the Librarian Ghost pay the highest amounts for five of a kind with 500 coins each, which is unfortunately not that big of a prize. Next we have the surprising choices of Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler paying the second highest with 250 coins for 5 in a row, followed by what most people would have guessed as the #1 paying symbol, Peter Venkman with 200.
Winston Zeddemore also pays 200, with Louis Tully rounding out the character-based symbols at 150 coins for hitting five of them across the reels.
There aren’t any Ghostbusters Slots jackpots, so all of you prize hunters out there will have to settle for hunting ghosts instead. Since this title has some of the best reel features that I’ve ever seen in a game, I doubt that too many of you will notice.
The main bonus round in Ghostbusters Slots is the “Ballroom Busters Bonus“, which is basically a super high tech Pick Em’ style game that is triggered with 2 Ghostbusters Logo symbols and a Slimer Wild. You fire your proton beam at any of the the highlighted objects in the ballroom, and hopefully once it’s blasted away it will reveal a ghost, which will have a multiplier of 2x to 5x and give you a cash prize.
The multipliers are based on your original wager, and all of the cash amounts are added up at the end of the round to give you a total prize. You only get 5 shots, but there are no “Collect” symbols to worry about so the bonus round will never end prematurely. There are a total of 6 ghosts hiding behind 10 different objects, so you’ll still have to make your shots count.
You can look forward to comedic one-liners from Dan Aykroyd during the bonus round such as, “Good thing that wasn’t an antique!“, or stern commands such as, “Come on!”
In addition to the Ballroom Busters Bonus there are tons of reel features in Ghostbusters, which they refer to in the game as “Mystery Features“, and they can hit the reels at any time. There are four Mystery Features in all, with each giving you a different prize:
- Multiplier: Gives you a 2x to 5x boost on all of the line wins of a particular spin.
- Wild Reels: 1, 2 or 3 reels are “slimed” and the entire reel is transformed into Wild symbols.
- Cash Award: An unpredictable free prize of 50x to 1,000x your coin value.
- Extra Wilds: 1, 2, 3 or 4 reel positions are turned into extra Wild symbols, possibly changing adjacent symbols into Wilds as well.
The Free Spins action in Ghostbusters gets cranked up a notch as the game goes from 30 to 40 paylines, with a different board being used for the duration of the round. This change in environment is great news because if you hit the added symbol of the Burning Marshmallow, it is a Sticky Wild that will remain in place until the free games mode is over. That is, unless the Win Meter gets hungry and eats your Sticky Marshmallow, in which case it will compensate you with a 50x to 1,000x multiplier bonus on your original wager amount.
This is a fun free games feature as the reels change to baby blue backgrounds, and the symbols themselves change to other images of the characters from the film. Also, all of the other normal objects in the game such as the Proton Packs, become covered with marshmallow goo.
The free games mode is triggered by 2 Ghostbusters Logo symbols and a Stay Puft Bonus symbol in the regular game.
The graphics in this game are of a super HD quality that look like they come straight from an actual movie or video game. Every spin, bonus round, and animation looks fantastic, which makes me pretty darn happy that this slot game wasn’t released in the early 2000s – you really see how the technology of today is used to its fullest. The “Wild Reels” feature of Slimer sliming the reels is hilariously gross as the green slime oozes down the game board.
If you’re lucky with a big win you’ll get a “Slimervision” video clip from the movie that is guaranteed to make you smile.
Audio & Soundtrack
The main soundtrack of the regular game is as close to perfect as a movie-themed slot game can be. It has the title track of the movie performed by Ray Parker Jr. that all players will be expecting to hear. However, IGT made the excellent decision of including the instrumental version of the song, with only a few of Ray’s vocals over the top of it from time to time. It basically ensures that you don’t get sick of the song, and it simply provides a nice background beat that adds to the mood and pace of the game.
The game boasts another classic jam from the movie soundtrack, as well. When you enter the Ballroom Busters Bonus Round you are greeted by the swinging sounds of “Cleanin’ Up The Town” by The Bus Boys, (who presumably went back to their old jobs of busing tables sometime in 1985).
The actual game sound effects of Ghostbusters are great, whether it is the animated Wild and Bonus symbols, wins racking up on your balance, zapping proton phasers, or quotes like, “We’d like to get a sample of your brain tissue,” “Ok.”
Lastly, if you are easily grossed out you will want to play this game with the sound effects off since Slimer makes a habit of passing gas on the game board every few spins. Gross!
After breaking down every aspect of this game, I think it can be concluded that Ghostbusters is one of the greatest movie-themed slots ever released. It literally has everything that fans of the movie will be looking for, (except for Sigourney Weaver), and it will bring a smile to the face of players of all ages.
It should be noted that those looking to gamble on a budget will be disappointed that the minimum wager per spin is 50 cents, but I suppose that all of those great in-game features need to be covered somehow. Those of you looking for a high Return to Player percentage will also be annoyed since this game only pays out 93.5% RTP, but to reiterate, it’s understandable when you look at all of the random cash prizes that Ghostbusters pumps out during the game.
For everyone else who’s looking to just have fun and relive a classic comedy with a fantastic slot game, bust out your bankroll and get busy. This is one game you’ll be able to go back to time and time again.
Now…who you gonna call?
Bonus Video of Ghostbusters
So of course there’s only one video that this review could possibly end on, right? Of course! Here’s Alessi Brothers with “Savin’ the Day” – enjoy! Ok, just kidding. Here is Ray Parker Jr.’s smash hit “Ghostbusters“, that was proven in court to be a ripoff of Huey Lewis and the News’, “I Want a New Drug“…but we won’t open up that can of worms for now.
I’m not giving you the original music video that you’ve seen hundreds of times. Instead you get Ray’s “live” performance of the song on some crazy German television show from the mid ’80s. Watch at your own risk though, there are some very lifelike ghosts in this video – don’t freak out!