Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime by Atari review

Four-player ghost-busting soon gets rather tedious...
Photo of Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime by Atari
£6.80

If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood – an invisible man sleeping in your bed, perhaps – there’s only one firm to call: Ghostbusters. Although, in the case of the invisible man, you could see his outline under the sheets and wallop him with a shovel. Ray Parker Jr just didn’t really think those lyrics through – and sadly, it seems, neither did Atari when it embarked on this low-rent cash-in on the spook-exterminating franchise.

Lack of imagination
Sanctum of Slime is a top-down haunt-athon that’s essentially Gauntlet with ghosts. It’s an extremely linear experience: the player must bust all the spectres in one room, after which a door opens, then there’s another fight, another door opens… ad infinitum. There’s a numbing lack of imagination when it comes to the level and encounter design.

In its favour, Ghostbusters is a co-op game for four players that supports both online and local multiplayer. Should you have no one else to ghost-bust with, computer-controlled team-mates make up the numbers, but their AI is rather erratic, and occasionally infuriating. Taking down legions of spooks with some mates livens up the experience considerably.

Rainbow of death
The control scheme is quite smartly implemented, too. The left analogue stick is used for moving and the right for aiming, with a button to switch between three different guns. The weapons are red, blue and yellow, being most effective when used on a ghost of the same colour. This makes it easy to quickly switch to the most appropriate ordnance for a particular beast.

There’s something quite satisfying about dexterously strafing through crowds of phantoms while cycling weapons fluidly, dispatching one after another in rapid succession. But while Ghostbusters is playable for a time – with human counterparts, anyway – it isn’t long before the combat starts to become as repetitious as the level design, and boredom truly sets in.

Company: Atari

Positives
  • Support for online and local four player co-op.
Negative
  • Unimaginative design means it becomes tiresome quite quickly.

Verdict

Sanctum of Slime is a basic top-down run and gunner which offers some entertainment playing with friends in the co-op mode, at least for a while. It's just a shame that the lack of variety in the ghost-zapping duties soon drains your spirits rapidly.