Ghostbusters is a licensed game produced by Activision based on the movie of the same name. It was designed by David Crane, produced by Brad Fregger, and released for several home computer platforms in 1984, and later released for various video game console systems, including the Atari 2600, Sega Master System and NES.
Ghostbusters (Activision) on the Commodore 64 (1984).
Most versions of the game had a similar basic format to the initial Commodore 64 and Atari 800 game, which Crane wrote in six weeks. He based it in part on an incomplete game called Car Wars featuring armed automobiles in a city; this led, for example, to the "ghost vacuum" on the Ecto-1, something not present in the film. Activision obtained the license early in the film's production, and most of the game was finished by the time Crane watched the film. While pleased with the game, Crane later stated that he regretted not being able to include a better victory screen. The last week of development was spent on the opening screen which plays the Ghostbusters theme. The game was later ported to the Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, and Atari 2600.
The game starts with a choice between four drivable cars, and the player must stock up on equipment and make money to complete their objectives. Upon completion of the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit, Amstrad CPC and MSX versions of the game, a code was provided that allowed the player to start a new game with the amount of money accumulated by the end of the previous game. This allowed accelerated progression in the new game. The game varied in some respects depending upon which platform it was played; the Sega Master System version (1987) added an on-foot shooting gallery level with different animations, while the NES version (1988), ported by Japanese developer Micronics, made the action sequences considerably more difficult, had lower graphical resolution and provided a different ending. The new ending in the NES version was full of spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.