Ghostbusters World AR game adds extra spooks for Halloween


Ghostbusters World puts a new twist on the Pokemon Go game concept.

Bryan VanGelder/CNET

It’s the perfect app to get you in the Halloween spirit — that is, if you ain’t afraid of no AR ghosts.

Ghostbusters World for iOS and Android has players roaming the neighborhood to capture and battle ghouls, spirits and spooks. There’s Slimer, The LIbrarian, Zuul, various haunted kitchen and bath appliances, and all sorts of characters you may have seen in the Ghostbusters movies, TV shows and comics. 

And on Halloween, the app will be offering an extra treat: Big bosses will spawn more frequently, showing up every hour from noon to 9 p.m. in your local time zone. 

This map-based augmented reality game puts some spirited tweaks on the concept made popular by Pokemon Go. Trapping ghosts takes more skill than tossing a ball, and there’s an RPG twist with a story mode.

But before you strap on that proton pack and face off against class-5 roaming vapors, the paranormal professionals at CNET have created this video with a few suggestions for mastering the art of AR Ghostbusting.

Need more advice? Here’s some guidance from our experiences, along with tips from the Sony team behind the game: 

  • Dimensional Doors offer rewards and show up on the map based on points of interest from Google. But what if you live or work in an area without any doors? On the map you can create your own personal “remote gate” to collect rewards — but you can’t move it once you set it down (or it may cost you crystals), so put it somewhere you visit often.
  • Ghosts will level up and grow stronger gradually from participating in ghost team battles, but you can also give them a boost by manually leveling up your ghosts with PKE Crystals. You earn crystals by defeating ghosts in capture battles or by completing various missions and challenges.
  • Ecto-Spheres are basically the Ghostbusters version of Pokemon eggs. Put them in a Cyto-Converter to “hatch” a new ghost for your collection. 
  • Keep an eye on ghost grades to determine how strong they are. You can upgrade a ghost’s level and rank over time, but the letter grade is determined when you first add the ghost to your collection and cannot be changed. The top grade is S and then A through to D rank. To find ghosts at higher letter grades, you need to keep busting.
  • Every ghost is associated with a certain element, and each element has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re having trouble defeating enemies in a ghost team battle, try substituting different hosts on your team that have a more advantageous elemental match-up. Fire-type ghosts will be hurt more by water-type ghosts, for example. 
  • Ran out of traps? You can still battle ghosts by destabilizing them with other weapons. You won’t be able to add the ghost to your collection, but you can still get rewards.
  • Settings can be changed to make it easier to play. Turn off AR mode to save battery. Switch between right-handed and left-handed controls in the Settings menu under the Battle tab. And if you’d rather not be swinging your arms around in a battle, change control mode in Settings to a virtual pad to move using a joystick with your thumb.
  • Check in for missions every day to collect rewards.
  • Once you complete the story mode on easy, you can complete it again on normal and hard difficulties for better rewards.
  • Know your ghost’s potential. In the Ghost Collection, check out the Stats Comparison button at the bottom of the screen. See how a ghost’s stats would compare when they’re at max level, so you can upgrade ghosts with the most potential.
  • You’ll need to regularly research equipment upgrades. Better weapons make a big difference in reducing the difficulty of encounters. If you’re having trouble with a boss attack, consider weapons that feature limited (but more powerful) ammo, or working together with up to three teammates. To fight with teammates, the players need to be in the range of the same boss spawn as you on the map. 

Have you tried the game? Tell us what you think. Share your experiences with the app in the comments section. 

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