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Each player has eight ghosts, four good and four evil. Players know only their own ghosts and not those of their opponents. There are three ways to win the game: catch the four good ghosts of the opponent, let the other player capture your own evil ghosts or move one of your own good ghosts out of the board over one of the corner spots. This is a new edition, formerly published at different times by Bütehorn, Schmidt and Noris.
This is a game that at first appears to be made for children, with its glow-in-the-dark playing pieces and its simple rules. The suggested age on the box is '8 to adult' and the 8-year-old you know may indeed be able to defeat you. However, there's more to this game than meets the eye.
Each playing piece ('ghost'), has a small blue or yellow dot on the back that only the player who controls it can see. Each player gets four 'good' ghosts (blue) and four 'bad' ghosts (yellow) which are placed in any way the player chooses on his or her side of the board. Players then take turns moving a ghost one space forward, backward or sideways. An opposing ghost may be captured by moving your own ghost into the space it occupies. Captured ghosts are removed from the board. The game can be won in one of three ways: 1) moving a good ghost off of either goal space at the opposite corners of the board; 2) capturing all of the opponent's good ghosts; 3) having all of your own bad ghosts captured.
What makes the game a lot of fun is the variety of strategies you can attempt. Your opponent doesn't know which are your good ghosts and which are bad, so he is always trying to guess at their identities from the way you move them. Should you simply make a blitz attack at the goals with your good ghosts and hope one can make it through? Or bluff such an attack with bad ghosts and try to get them all captured? You can play defensively and wait out your opponent until you think you've deciphered his strategy. Best of all, a game only takes about ten minutes, so if your last ploy didn't work you can play again and try a new one.
I take this game out every six months or so and find someone to play five or six games against, and so far I haven't grown tired of it. If you like quick and simple games with some strategic depth, don't be afraid of Ghosts!