Ghosts- The Board Game
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Ghosts- The Board Game

Ghosts is a board game for two players marketed by Milton Bradley, released in the year 1982. The game is played on a 6x6 square grid, which represents a haunted castle. Both players receive eight ghosts, four of which are good- shown by a blue dot, and the other four are evil- shown by a red dot. Each player arranges the eight ghosts in two rows of four each, at their ends of the board. Each four corner of the board houses an exit, in other words the ways out of the castle. The objective of the game is to capture all the good ghosts from your opponent, get rid of your own evil ghosts, or move one of your good ghosts out of the board through the opponent side exit squares. However, the main crux of the game is that neither of the players knows for certain which of the opponent’s ghosts are good or evil, because they all look the same, except the differentiating dots that are at the back of the ghosts.

Players can arrange their good and evil ghosts in any manner they want to, at the beginning of the game. They can choose a strategic formation, where they place their evil ghosts in between good ones, to confuse the opponent. The players take turns to move one ghost through one square, either vertically or horizontally. An opponent’s ghost is captured if you move your ghost to the other ghost’s square. In the event of capturing the opponent’s ghost, the identity of that ghost is revealed, that is whether it is good or evil.

If a player captures all the evil ghosts of the other player, then s/he loses the game, and if all the four good ghosts are captured, the game is won. A player also wins the game if s/he manages to move a good ghost through one of the exits from the opponent’s side of the board. This game involves a considerable amount of guesswork, and strategy in concealing the identity of the ghosts through mixed movement patterns. The hidden information about the ghosts’ identities makes the game exciting, and new each time the game is played. This game was intended for children above the age of 10, as the game requires strategic skill. Usually the game takes about 20 minutes to play, but it can take more time as well.

The chess like similarities do not only end in killing the opponent’s ghosts through orthogonal movements of a player’s own ghosts, but also in planning out a pathway for the good ghosts to reach the far end exits on the opposite side of the board (similar to a pawn’s movement). The secret unit deployment aspect of the game comes from the fact that the players’ resources are in a sense hidden from the other player, which can be used strategically to one’s advantage. This game is quite popular in many European countries such as Germany (Geister), Sweden (Spökspelet), Finland (Kummituspeli), etc. The popular online version of this game, called BrettspielWelt, can be played in real time with another online player. The game of Ghosts comes in other names s well, including Jekyll and Hyde, Fantasmi, etc.
May 6, 2008, 7:51 am

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