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Written by  :  Icarus Lytton (23)
Written on  :  Apr 14, 2008
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars1.33 Stars

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A horror game or a horrible game?

The Good

Oh dear. I bought this on a whim because I wanted to see if this game really was as terrible as PC Gamer had made it out to be. It wasn't. It's worse.

What I liked about the game? Hmm. Well I have to say, I liked the nice heavy weight of the box due to the 7 CDs. And that's all I can think of.

The Bad

And while 7 CDs is kind of a good thing at first (it gives the impression of a long game), it was just ridiculous back then. Hell, a lot of games still don't use this much space.

But the 7 CDs themselves aren't the problem. It's the fact that Sierra chose to store the exact same data on all those 7 CDs with maybe a 10th of the CDs contained different data. Basically, it could easily have fit on 2 CDs if they made you install one CD to your hard drive.

The truth is that Phantasmagoria isn't a game. It's a poor excuse of a B-movie which lets you walk from one area to the other. There's hardly any puzzles at all! To call this an adventure game is a real joke.

Most "puzzles" consisted of you finding the next room you have to walk to. This means walking to every single room in the castle to find the one that will trigger the next movie clip.

The movies are so poorly done, with really awful special effects and horrible acting that it even becomes torture just to watch them.

Luckily, the game only takes an hour to complete or so. 7 CDs for a game which is only a fraction the length of classics like Monkey Island which easily take 10 times longer to complete! A disgrace!

The Bottom Line

Oh, it's easy to describe this game: it's a B-movie disguising itself as a game by making you walk from room to room to see the next piece of the dreadful story. It shouldn't be called a game at all. No, it was lesson to all developers. A lesson that taught them that lots of FMV doesn't make a good game. Games like Under A Killing Moon showed how it should be done, Phantasmagoria shows how NOT to do it.