This review is part of my attempt to review as many co-op games as I can. All of my reviews are in the geeklist A Crazy Couple's Co-op Guide: 2013 and onward Edition
Long Term Replayability:
Skill Factor: At its heart, this is a roll-and-move.
You could play solo very easily by controlling multiple characters, which would be trivially easy to do.
With a couple: We have only played this with 4 players.
Play Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Difficult - and that's just the basic version, not the more difficult variant!
Individual/Group Play: Very group play focused.
This is a lovely game. The plastic ghosts and hauntings are adorable, the board has nice thick, rich colors. The art of the cards is really cute, with each card depicting a ghost doing something appropriately ghostly in the room.
There are 2 minor nitpicks:
1) The game tokens aren't as nice as everything else - but they fit in the backpacks of the kid figures, which is cool enough to make up for it.
2) The dice are not engraved. No idea how they will hold up to long-term play.
Rules Quality: I only read a fan-made English translation from the German rules, so I don't know how the real English rules are. It is such a simple game that I would hope they can't be too difficult!
Meddling thieving kids try to steal treasure from ghosts!
Let me state up front that the German version of this game is much cooler.
The English version is Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters
The German version is Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister!
See? Germans get all the cool stuff.
There's also apparently a Ghostbusters themed version, which adds one game element and changes all the art and figures. I haven't seen it in person.
This lovely kid's game is very simple to play. Each turn, you roll a die to find out how far you can move your piece through the haunted house, trying to reach treasures, pick them up and carry them out of the house.
Unfortunately for you, on almost every roll you'll also have to draw a ghost card and add a ghost to the indicated room in the house. Three ghosts in a room turns into a Haunting, and if all the Haunting figures run out, you lose!
To fight back, you can try to banish the ghosts when you end in a room with them, which you do simply by rolling a die and getting rid of a ghost on a 'Ghost' symbol. If there is another player you can roll two dice. You can also get rid of a haunt, but those require two players to defeat and are harder.
So, you've got a super-simple to play roll and move. This seems like it should be terrible...but we've found it to be a lot of fun. There are some decisions to be made about which route to take and how to try to fight ghosts. There's a little bit of strategy in planning to team up and the best paths.
Of course, if you roll a bunch of 1s you will lose, and if you keep rolling 6s you will probably win!
The game is surprisingly tough for a kid's game, and if you want to play it with your kid you should be warned that you will likely lose quite a few games. Once you get good at the game, there's an advanced version that adds closing doors, cards that draw several ghosts at once, and numbered treasures that you need to collect in order. While the rules don't mention it, you could also easily add those rules one at a time to gradually scale up the difficulty.
I don't normally play games with kids, so I'm a bad judge, but I think this would be a great game to play with them. It is simple enough for them to play, but has a little bit of skill for them to learn. An adult can play their own piece and let the kid player theirs without needing to direct them around as more complex co-ops might require. It also has some good basic skills like counting the moves and the alphabet used to show where the ghosts appear.
And, surprisingly, with the right adults it can also be a great game. Sure, it's really light, but it's fast, fun and exciting. Unless you are SURE it is for you I'd recommend trying before buying, but if you want a silly and adorable light co-op, it just might be your thing!
* Very simple to play.
* Difficulty might discourage kids.
* Actually, the difficulty might discourage some adults.
* Only 1 out of 4 of the character pawns is a girl (I really look forward to getting to review a game with unique character pawns where I DON'T list this as a negative...)
* Very simple to play.
* Absolutely adorable.
* Fast playing.
* Advanced level to ramp up the difficulty.
Images thanks to the BGG Gallery courtesy of JackyTheRipper and yubm