Phantasmat Collector's Edition
A Classic For All. But more fun for some than for others.
I played this four years after its appearance so it is from that viewpoint and as always from my own personal interests that I write this but maybe it can be helpful to others just approaching this game.
Two things are clear. One it is a classic lovingly and carefully made by a studio,Codeminion, that sadly stopped producing in 2012. The plot is engrossing, the story is spectral but warm hearted --an old fashioned gothic maybe but not a slasher film. The hidden object scenes are the old style straightforward sort and not really difficult.
But therein liers the second thing to know. This is a HIDDEN OBJECT game in the sense of one HOG after another, a few puzzles and well thought out and done cut scenes and character interactions but if you are going to find an object it will be a HOG that gets it for you and then another for the next object and pretty much that straight through.
I wonder how many players who love today's newer games, for that matter Phantasmat:Endless Night newly out as I write, will really enjoy this style of game.
My own most loved developer Blue Tea had by 2012 gone well beyond this game in some imaginative ways. Phantasmat was a little dated when it came out one might say and yet ... well play it and see how special an achievement the game is.
Im marking it down to three which is the level of my enjoyment of the game and to make that point about the endless HOG scenes, but if you love that style of game it will be pure delight, and even if you dont maybe like me you will be thankful to have played a memorable and classic game.
January 14, 2015
A Five Star Dud...
I'm in the minority here. Most everyone that has played this game and posted a review here have given it a 5 star rating.
Not me - this is one of those games that goes into my "retired early" pile; started but never completed.
The storyline was intriguing, and kept me interested in the game... at least for a while.
The graphics were decent; not stunning, not spectacular, but easy to look at.
The music was bearable, and the sound effects added a bit of mystique to the game.
It wasn't especially hard to get around.
The hint system is good. Takes about a minute to recharge in HO scenes; 3 minutes everywhere else.
They have in game achievements if that's your thing.
The Bad And The Ugly:
There's no map... not that you really need one for this game, but it would have been an added enhancement.
There's no journal... I like to have a journal so that I can read where I've already been. Additionally, a journal allows me to "refresh" my memory if I haven't played the game in a while. This game, however, does provide a player with a task menu that lists whatever objectives they may have acquired.
HO scenes were crowded with junk. Some objects were hard to see (poor lighting). Although this game provides a player with the option to switch to and from match 3 (at any time during a HOS), I found that match 3 just wasn't worth the time (because it takes up too much time).
The idea is to get a golden eye to the bottom of the board in order to get credit for and object (one object per eye). That sounds easy enough. Problem is that the golden eyes don't always spawn right away, and when they do it's almost always in an area where nothing matches up... so getting them to drop down the line is long and drawn out.
Fact is, at one point it took me 40 minutes to get one eye to drop at which time I received a credit toward 1 hidden object. Why do I want to spend 40 minutes doing that when I can complete the entire HOS (in hidden object mode) in around 8 minutes? So I can get an achievement? I'll pass, thank you very much.
There isn't a long list of achievements (when compared to other games that I've played). Not that I really care. I'm really not interested in acquiring achievements in HOGS (or MMORPG's for that matter) because they're just a time sink as far as I'm concerned.
There are plenty of cut scenes in this game (too many imho). The voice overs are good, but it just got to a point where I lost interest in them (most of them took a while to get through). First I watched them. After a bit of time I sped them up (a mouse click allows a player to advance the cut seen). Finally I just skipped the cut scene altogether. The number of cut scenes actually began to lead to my disinterest in the storyline as well.
MY BIGGEST GRIPE!
HOS, HOS, HOS, HOS and HOS, followed by HOS, HOS, HOS and more HOS.
As you can probably guess, I'm not a big fan of HO scenes (the less the better) because I prefer the adventure aspect of any HOG that I play.
The number of HO scenes in this game was just too overwhelming for me, and is the main reason why I retired this game after having completed 48 percent of it (the game tells you what percent of the game you've completed). Between cut scenes and HO scenes, this game just started to get boring, boring, boring.
As I said, I prefer the adventure aspect of a game, If you like HO scenes this game is definitely up your alley.
For me, the game wasn't very much "phun".
June 24, 2012
I purchased this game during a BigFish Special weekend after seeing it received so many 5 star reviews. I was very disappointed and cannot understand how so many people felt it deserved 5 stars. I too, am in the minority by giving it 2 stars- and I felt I was being kind in that. I found the graphics terrible. Some objects were so small and non-recognizable that I found myself exclaiming, "Oh, that's what that is!" upon finding them. The story was gruesome- but so many these days are. I did not play the Match Three mode. I am of the opinion a HOG is a HOG and a Match Three is a Match Three. What is the purpose of combining them? - just my opinion, though. The best thing about this game was the three punches I received for the purchase. I would not recommend it and certainly will not bother to play it again.
October 26, 2012
Expected much more...
After seeing the good reviews I expected a much better game. I thought the story line was poor and the game didn't follow logic. Basically you spend all your time running around trying to find HO puzzles to get you the next tool you need to open something. Lacks imagination.
June 22, 2012
I eagerly purchased the title based on the reviews. My first reaction after clicking play was to check when it was made. The look and play are like a first generation HOG from ten years ago. The chose of graphics was probably deliberate; an attempt to create an atmosphere. The art isn't creepy, just dull. Game play is completely linear - play a HOS, get an item, use the item, rinse and repeat. The beginning story line isn't original. I can't comment on how it ends. After about 30 minutes, I realized it wasn't going to get better and exited - not to return. It's the first game I haven't completed and I've played dozens.
One word description - BORING!
July 1, 2014