Platform: PC/Mac – Coming soon to iPad
Price: Collector’s Edition $19.99 Standard $9.95
Since I’ve been playing games on the PC more lately, I’ve been warming up to point and click games again. One of my favorite games was Dark Fall: The Journal, a point and click mystery game. When I first heard about the release of Phantasmat it sounded a lot like Dark Fall and I knew I was gonna like this one too. A creepy mystery, finding clues, solving puzzles, sounded like just my kind of thing.
The main menu system is very easy to navigate. When you first start up the game you’ll put in your name and then select a play mode. There are three modes of difficulty, casual, challenge and extreme. I played on challenge and finished the story in an afternoon.
The game play starts out with your character crashing his car. Taking control of game at the crash scene, you will solve the puzzles in this area and walk down a path to meet a girl. She tells you about a hotel with a phone you can use to call for help. Along with this though, she warns that you should call for help then immediately leave the hotel because there is something just not right about it and its residents. It’s hard not to believe her when you hear the place’s name, The Drowned Dead Hotel. From here you will walk the path to the hotel and eventually find yourself trapped there. Your goal is to look for clues and tools to unlock the mysterious history of The Drowned Dead Hotel and escape it.
As you progress through the game you will find puzzle locations. Where this game stands out from any other point and click I’ve seen is that there are two puzzle solving options and you can switch back and forth between them anytime. The idea is this. You are given a list of objects and you can choose to find the hidden objects in your environment or switch over to a bejeweled type match three puzzler where your object is to navigate the golden eye blocks to the bottom. Each successful golden eye moved off the puzzle gets you an object checked off your list. Also unique are the timed power button which you can use to blast some of the blocks out of your way and the parameter designs of the match three mode. Blocks don’t always fall straight down they can also slide diagonally down and open slope.
The artwork in Phantasmat is amazing. It’s all hand drawn and is very intriguing to look at. It’s easy to get lost in the puzzles just looking at all the interesting things hidden in them. Even the icons for the match three games are done very nicely. The voice acting did make me giggle a few times. But the highlight of the audio was the background music tracks created by Rob Westwood. They were very compelling and added so much to this quality game.
There’s so much I could say about this game. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it. Unlike most mystery games that have little replay value once the mystery is solved, this game just keeps on giving. Once you’ve played through the story you can earn gold stars for perfecting each puzzle solve time. Do that or replay the story using a different solve method to really get your money’s worth out of this game. I recommend it to anyone who likes point and click or mystery/adventure games in general.
I want to thank Codeminion, who very kindly offered us a code to review the Collector’s Edition. Find out what extras you get in that collector’s edition including an extra adventure at the Phantasmat website.