Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria (Windows)

ESRB Rating
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

One of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had hikari_no_tsubasa (11) 4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars
A Campy Movie Adventure swaaye (34) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
One of Sierras best and a great FMV! Alex Misiti (100) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
Technical Marvel, Gaming Disaster Game22 (42) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
A memorable Horror Story, that has stuck in my mind since 1995. Eric Ridenour (2) unrated

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.0
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.4
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.8
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.7
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.9
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.5
Overall User Score (57 votes) 3.5

Critic Reviews

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Phantasmagoria ist ein Horroradventure durch und durch. Man kann es zwar mit einem Passwort schützen, so dass die schrecklichsten Szenen zensiert sind, trotzdem ist es für Kinder und zarte Gemüter nicht geeignet.
Commençant d’une manière plutôt calme Phantasmagoria parvient à construire l’inquiétude grâce notamment à sa jolie réalisation. Le titre entraîne ainsi crescendo le joueur dans l’horreur d'un scénario habillement construit. Une expérience inoubliable à vivre et même à revivre pour déceler tous les secrets que l’histoire renferme. Bref, un voyage fantasmagorique qui restera gravé dans bien des esprits et qui donnera suite à un second épisode.
Game Revolution
In the end, Chapter 7 catapults you into a real-time "movie" mode, where your split-second decisions carry life-or-death consequences. Here's where the game makes up for its earlier aimlessness, as Phantasmagoria's story, video, terrific sound & music, slick gameplay and creative plot threads mesh to deliver a taut climax rivaling any horror movie for squeamish fun. It's too bad all games - or all of Phantasmagoria - can't be this engaging. Until that time, Phantasmagoria delivers a good time for fans of the macabre.
PC Games (Germany)
Phantasmagoria ist technisch und atmospährisch das erste Programm, von dem ich behaupten möchte: "Jawoll, so hat ein Interaktiver Spielfilm auszusehen!" Neben Leisure Suit Larry 1 und Space Quest 4 gehört das Grusical zu den faszinierendsten Produktionen, die Sierra jemals hervorgebracht hat.
Joystick (French)
C'est beau, plutôt prenant, mais hélas beaucoup trop court et simplet. Pour un joueur confirmé, la résolution de l'aventure est chose faite en deux soirées.
Un gioco "di paura" che indubbiamente riesce a creare un forte clima di tensione emotiva ma al contempo suscita riserve non da poco nel sistema grafico adottato ed anche nella qualità degli enigmi. Vale la pena giocarci? Si, perché è indubbiamente singolare per il tema e il modo in cui è sviluppato. No, per chi cerca nel gioco essenzialmente il divertimento enigmistico.
PC Player (Germany)
Wer gemäßigte Schwierigkeitsgrade und den "Interactive Movie"-Einschlag schätzt, kann seinen Spaß an Phantasmagoria haben. Das Spiel ist allerdings nicht für Kinder geeignet und wird nur mit sehr guten Englischkenntnissen zugänglich. Adventure-Veteranen der alten Schule werden über dieses Multimedia-Leichtgewicht hingegen pikiert die Nase rümpfen.
Phantasmagoria raconte l’histoire d’Adrienne (j’ai gagné !), une jeune romancière venue s’installer avec son mari/fiancé photographe Don dans un inquiétant manoir. Apparemment, il a dû leur coûter toutes leurs économies, car tout au long de l’histoire, qui dure près d’une semaine, l’héroïne est toujours habillée de la même manière (pull orange, jeans noir, baskets blanches), mais passons. Ce manoir se révèlera rapidement hanté par un esprit démoniaque, qui avait déjà pris possession du corps du précédent propriétaire, l’illusionniste Carnovach, au siècle dernier. Celui-ci, doux comme un agneau auparavant, était devenu un vrai monstre par la suite en assassinant toutes ses femmes de manière sordide. Adrienne va libérer sans s’en rendre compte ce même démon, que le fils adoptif du magicien avait pourtant réussi à enfermer dans une boîte. L’entité maléfique va alors envoûter l’âme du mari d’Adrienne et les problèmes vont commencer…
So why is Phantasmagoria so darned popular? It's accessible to newbies, it's a new genre, and Sierra has promoted the hell out of it. The built-in hint system can turn this into a cakewalk and you'll be wowed by the occasional top notch production values. Unfortunately, the repetitive violence may turn the newcomers off just as quickly. My recommendation: Phantasmagoria is only for the gaming-challenged. Otherwise try Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within. It's Sierra's second big-time video adventure and they learned from their mistakes.
Adventure Classic Gaming
Phantasmagoria marks the first of a new horror adventure trilogy from Sierra On-Line. Designed and written by master storyteller Roberta Williams, Phantasmagoria represents an unprecedented effort by Sierra On-Line to develop a full-blown, live action, multimedia interactive adventure extravaganza. Using professional actors with real sets and Full Motion Video, it brings a new sense of make belief to computer adventure gaming. To many, Phantasmagoria symbolizes the beginning of a dangerous trend among game developers to mix in live action videos to enhance (or not) storytelling and gameplay. Unfortunately, with only a handful of exceptions, Full Motion Video has proven to be a technology that is difficult to incorporate well into adventure gaming. This title proves to be no exception.
Just Games Retro
Phantasmagoria. The game that made us all wonder if sweet King's Quest/Mixed Up Mother Goose designer Roberta Williams had secret "daddy issues." The game spoken of in mostly hushed tones and shocked awe - "Did you SEE that part where that girl got killed?" "Did you SEE that rape scene!?" And the game that did or did not revolutionize the "interactive movie," depending on who you talk to. Does it deserve all of this ruckus it has stirred up over the years? Yes. Is it the scariest game ever made? Sadly, no.
Power Play
Inhaltlich rührt Roberta Williams eine verquaste Genre-Mixtur an und bemüht so ziemlich jedes dumme Horrorfilm-Klischee. Da reiβen auch die wenigen, aber dafür widerlichen Gore-Szenen nichts mehr raus.
Adventure Gamers
In the end, I think Phantasmagoria is a failure of a game. However, I think that many beloved FMV titles would not have made it to shelves if not for the controversy and attention that this ambitious title received. I first played this game in 1996, and I was enjoyed it a lot then. Live-action was a very interesting concept. Since then, the FMV horror-mystery has been done in much more palatable and effective ways. There is no real challenge here for those looking for a fun game, and there is no real merit in it as an interactive movie. The only real achievement Phantasmagoria made was to break new ground for better games. 1 star is for the game itself, ½ star is for the revolutionary way that Phantasmagoria shaped computer games.