User Review: Wolfenstein 3D by id Software (1992)

Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platforms
MobyRank MobyScore
DOS
55
3.6
Windows
65
3.6

Description

Curtis Craig is a thirty-year-old man whose distorted childhood is filled with horrors. His father was involved in an illegal, top-secret experiment for a company called WynTech Industries. Nearly nothing is known about the true nature of this experiment; but something in it affected the sanity of Curtis' mother, eventually driving her to suicide. Curtis' father was later shot, leaving the poor little boy with serious behavioural disturbances, and eventually in therapy.

Now, a year after having been released from the mental institution, Curtis is employed at WynTech Industries, whose manager, Paul Warner, has seemingly taken it upon himself to take care of Curtis. He tries to find the cause of his psychotic episodes and the mysterious murders that break out all around him, all the while discovering more and more about his past life and his father's fate.

Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh is not an actual sequel to the original Phantasmagoria, but rather a follow-up that has similar themes and visual concept. The game is more heavy on puzzles and traditional adventure gameplay than its predecessor. The gameplay involves standard activities found in adventure games, including extended conversations with the characters featuring selectable dialogue topics, collecting and manipulating inventory items with the environment, etc. It is possible (and often necessary) to call characters on the phone, as well as check and answer e-mails accessed by Curtis' computer at his workplace.

Like its predecessor, the game has a simple point-and-click interface and employs video sequences with live actors as cutscenes. Short movies are usually shown after each action performed by the protagonist.

Screenshots

Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh Windows You room, the point where you start your game... when you eventually do wake up ;))
Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh DOS Hey, looks I'm the only alien around here.
Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh Windows Main Menu under Windows (has some extra options comparing to DOS Main Menu)
Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh Windows Talking to your boss, and explaining him why are you late to work (rat stole your wallet and that kinda things).

Alternate Titles

  • "幽魂 2" -- Taiwanese spelling
  • "Phantasmagoria: Um Enigma de Sangue" -- Brazilian title
  • "Phantasmagoria : Obsessions fatales" -- French title
  • "Phantasmagoria: Labor des Grauens" -- German title
  • "Phantasmagoria 2" -- Informal title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Time to spice up office routine with murders and kinky sex Windows Cor 13 (171997)
An Adult Adventure Game DOS ETJB (447)
Worth a playthrough, if your expectations aren't too high Windows jTrippy (63)
Where Insanity Becomes Normality DOS コナン (86883)
A surprisingly good game! Windows Tomer Gabel (4364)
The Interative Adult Horror Game...Kinda Windows Tom Jefferson (4)
Truly horrifying ... horrifying gameplay that is. DOS Les Nessman (263)
Average horror game? This one is for you. Windows Ajan (262)

The Press Says

Reset Windows Apr, 1997 8 out of 10 80
Gamezilla Windows Oct 05, 2000 78 out of 100 78
Puntaeclicca.it Windows Feb, 2001 7.5 out of 10 75
PC Games (Germany) Windows Jan, 1997 71 out of 100 71
Quandary Windows Mar, 1997 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
PC Player (Denmark) Windows 1997 68 out of 100 68
Pelit DOS Feb, 1997 50 out of 100 50
Adventure Classic Gaming Windows Dec 01, 1996 2 out of 5 40
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Windows Mar, 1997 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30
High Score Windows Mar, 1997 1 out of 5 20

Forums

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Trivia

Australian version

The Australian version of Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh suffered the same fate as Duke Nukem 3D: The censorship feature is turned on permanently.

German index

On March 31, 1998, Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

German version

In the German version, one video with Therese at the water tank is missing. The game shows the scene in which Curtis drinks water twice instead. There is also a slight difference during another scene in Therese's cubicle.

Phantasmagoria

The only connection between Phantasmagoria and this game is that at the beginning of Act 3, Curtis receives a letter about a book signing by Adrienne Delaney, the main character in Phantasmagoria. It is impossible to meet Adrienne, however.

UK version

In the UK version, the videos of Bob's and Therese's deaths are based on the "low violence" game setting by default. They are also some additional cuts during the scenes.

Video

The Windows version of Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh displays 16-bit videos, while the DOS-edition can show only 256-colors.

Sexual content

If you are able to play an uncensored edition of the game, be prepared for a fair share of sexual content, which, at least at the time, was pretty taboo for the gaming industry:
Trevor has sex with both of his female coworkers, one of which is into S&M and invites Trevor to a S&M techno-nightclub. In therapy, Trevor confronts his gender identity issues, his mother forced him to wear a dress, and his romantic feelings for his gay best friend.

Information also contributed by Ajan, B14ck W01f, Virgil and Xoleras

Related Web Sites

  • Puzzle of Flesh Hints (These Phantasmagoria 2 Hints will help you finish the game)
  • Wiki (Phantasmagoria on Wikipedia)
  • Windows XP Setup (Complete instructions for playing this game on your Windows XP system)
Contributed to by コナン (86883) and Derrick 'Knight' Steele (2146)