Ghost Blitz: Think Fast and Grab Rats
Posted by Hayley Mullen on
How fast would you say your reactions are? There are plenty of ways to test your reflexes and quick thinking, as hundreds of speed test websites and apps exist online for the taking, but none are perhaps as fun as the 2010 board game Ghost Blitz. The premise of the game has cheerful house ghost Balduin photographing his favourite objects that he can make disappear with his ghostly powers. This supernatural photoshoot of course includes Balduin himself, his grey rat friend, a blue book, a classic green bottle, and a cozy red armchair. Because the camera is being controlled by a ghost, however, its photographs will often come out using the wrong colours, such as a red book or a blue Balduin. Therefore, Balduin needs your help remembering what the objects actually look like since it’s hard to have object permanence when you don’t even have a body.
And so we reach the goal of the game, which is to identify objects within the cards laid down and grab the correct object as quickly as possible. The game comes with five wooden pieces representing each object in the game, which feel smoothly crafted and pleasant in the hand when you’re grabbing for them during the game. (Side Note: any game that has well-made wooden pieces and foregoes plastic gets a thumbs-up in my book.)
How To Play
A card will be quickly revealed from the deck. Every card features two objects out of the five in the game, and either one or both of them will be coloured incorrectly. Upon seeing the card, players must quickly assess which object they should grab from the pile. If there is one object with the right colour, such as a card with a white ghost and a red mouse, then the player should grab the white ghost. If both objects have the wrong colour (e.g. a grey bottle and red ghost), then players should grab the object and colour not represented in the card, in this case, it would be the blue book. Whoever gets the right object first wins that card, while incorrect grabs will lose you a card.
Players will go through the entire deck flipping cards and grabbing objects until it runs out, with the winner determined by whoever has the most cards. Simple enough premise, but it leads to hours of replayable fun, as well as some exercise for your mental reflexes. You may even find it humourous getting tripped up on colours and creatures, colliding with your opponents as you try to snag the right piece first.
Sequels and Siblings
Ghost Blitz was so successful in its release that other versions have been made alongside the original. A sequel hit the shelves in 2012, Ghost Blitz 2, which features five new wooden items to be snatched: a green frog, a blue hairbrush, a red mat, a grey bathtub, and a white feminine ghost, replacing Balduin from the previous title. This acts as a great refresher to those who have played the original game and become very familiar with its objects and cards. It also adds new rules to remember during the lightning-fast reactions, such as calling out the item if the frog appears, or calling out the right piece in a foreign language if the frog or other item is in its original colour. The frog clearly brings a lot more complex rules to the table than the rat ever did.
Ghost Blitz: 5 to 12 came out in 2013, and despite what you might think, it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for ages 5 to 12. In fact, the box recommends ages eight and up for playing. So what do the numbers mean? This version of Ghost Blitz has a whopping nine wooden objects in five colours: A green key, a black bat, a black top hat, a blue clock, a white ghost, a green mirror, a blue flashlight, a red owl, and a red bottle. Each card features three different objects, which immediately ups the challenge level of the original game. You’ll need to grab the object and colour not present on the card, except for a few special rules. The ghost appearing with the clock means you have to give the time displayed on the clock rather than grab any object, while an owl on the card means you name the object instead of grabbing it. Very specific and intricate rules can trip up even the most seasoned Ghost Blitz players, so it’s worth breaking open a copy.
Next up in the Ghost Blitz timeline is Ghost Blitz: Spooky Doo from 2016, which brings the barrel and fez items to the table. The gameplay is essentially the same as the OG version, but the fez can cover any one of the other items in the game since it’s hollow. Like the ball under the cup trick, you’ll have to keep track of which item is hidden underneath and know when to reach for it while cards are getting flipped. Unlike the other titles' standard cardboard box, Ghost Blitz: Spooky Doo comes in a sleek metal case that features Balduin in a snazzy fez, a look that honestly suits the budding photographer.
Children often excel at the game’s premise, having better reflexes than their parents perhaps due to their still-developing brains. It’s no surprise then that Ghost Blitz Junior was made in 2018, allowing children as young as four years old to join in on the fun. This version has four wooden creatures featured on its cards: a piglet, ghost, chick, and frog. The art has a much more cutesy and brighter style than the original, but still keeps the core aspect of the game the same. An additional mechanic for children six and up can be added to allow the ghost character to appear in a dark nightgown, meaning none of the pieces should be touched.
Overall, Ghost Blitz is a game you should definitely pick up at least once in your life, if not just for fun then to help stretch those brain muscles and become the fastest amongst all of your friends. You can find several copies of the Ghost Blitz games on our play shelves or for purchase in-store or on our website.