Summary Ghost Ride! is a technology-free way to have fun on long car journeys or train rides; all you need for entertainment is a compact book and a pencil.
Description Type: Adventure Game Book
Game Time: 30 minutes
Developer or Designer: Stephen Thraves
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Doesn't need batteries
A bit of old school fun
The story can get a little repetitive
Can only be played a limited number of times
Content is aimed at 'younger' readers
Review I got a little chill of excitement when I saw my sister's old copy of Ghost Ride! sitting on the kitchen table. I'd always loved the choose your own adventure format, but Ghost Ride! takes it a step further by introducing gameplay complete with scorecards and helpful accessories. I immediately found a lead pencil and curled up on the couch to re-experience the game.
The book is aimed at younger kids and teenagers--and primarily those from about 20 years ago. It was originally published in 1994. In the story you're researching a story for your school newspaper and you want to try and get six photos of ghosts while aboard a supposedly haunted ghost ride. The story isn't particularly chilling or exhilarating, but it has good nostalgic value.
At various points throughout the story you'll have the possibility of picking up accessories. These include a map of ghost sightings, a newspaper article about the hauntings, and a timetable of when the ghosts appear at various carriages. These help you make informed decisions throughout the game. If you don't find the accessories throughout the story then you're not allowed to use them. They add an element of skill where you're now making deductions based on the information rather than just blind guesses.
All the scoring is done using the tiny score cards at the back of the book. There are enough for thirty games, but I suggest using pencil so that you can wipe them all clean. Each time you decide to take a photo you have to circle the next number under the camera logo; each time you manage to snap a ghost you get to circle a number under the ghost photos.
The idea is to use each shot of your film on a ghost. A few bad decisions can see you snapping pictures of cows or smoke instead, or even just pressing on the shutter release by accident. To really 'win' the game you need to get six photos of ghosts.
Ghost Ride! is no doubt out of print, but there are still copies for sale on eBay. Stephen Thraves also wrote plenty of other adventure game books, including books featuring the Famous Five.
The game definitely shows it's age, but that's part of the appeal. For a nostalgic old-school adventure experience, Ghost Ride! is a great compact travel game.