Ghost Chase board game
by Steven Paulton
(Cleveland, OH, USA)
Board game manufacturer:
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
Ghost Chase… is a fun variation on the Scotland Yard board game theme, but rather too easy to win as the ghost.
The game and gameplay
One player is the ghost and the others the ghost chasers. The chasers try to capture the ghost and the ghost tries to elude capture in this exciting game.
The chasers can co-operate, but only one can win by capturing the ghost.
If the ghost eludes capture until the end of the game, he wins! All this happens in an old haunted (by the ghost, of course) mansion.
The ghost chasers may only move from room to room in the conventional way: using doors and stairs. The ghost, being insubstantial, can move through the doors and use the stairs, but may also go through walls, floors, and ceilings.Pros and cons
I guess the theme of the Ghost Chase board game is neat (the ghost can pass through walls, making his movement not very constricted at all), but the execution seems to side too heavily with the ghost.
The hunters REALLY need to co-ordinate their moves. A ghost trap and a hunter near the center stairwell are very important.
Use moves to limit the Ghost’s range of movement — instead of trying for a capture — until you are nearly certain of his location.
Some rooms with a lot of connections are very key to this. Oddly, this is the exact opposite problem with Scotland Yard, where it’s nearly impossible to win with Mr. X (because he can’t disobey physical laws and must ride the same routes as his hunters).
The main difference is that there seems to be very little challenge in winning with the ghost (named ‘Max’, ‘Mr. X’ with a different middle letter), whereas winning (or even coming close) with Mr. X is a huge accomplishment.
Ghost Chase in Canterville Castle has a cute timing mechanism as far as when Max the ghost appears to the hunters, and interesting ghost/hunter movement rules.
The Ghost Chase board game is fun, but for now, the leader in this genre is still Scotland Yard. Maybe someone will come out with a The Fugitive game, where options are much like Scotland Yard with the occasional ‘divine’ help from kind strangers to pull Dr. Kimbell’s ass out of the fire. Then we’ll have a little more balance.