Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Fles
The first phantasmagoria had people re-lining their underwear and it sold by the supertankerload in the States, but did nothing over here. The consensus was that this was because it was a totally FMV-based 'adventure' which had very little of the traditional adventure's gameplay elements: all you mostly did was click to the next scene. The fact that many of the scenes were more blood-spattered than a Madame DuFarge hand-knitted balaclava (was she the oiseau who knitted while the guillotine did its biz? - Ed.), and that the lead character was a Mira Sorvino lookalike was enough for Americans; British adventure fans wanted more. (Apart from our Jeremy, who just wanted the Mira Sorvino lookalike.)
Obviously, some of the criticisms of the original made it back to the game's developers, because the sequel seems to have had a bit of a re-think on the gameplay front. The puzzles aren't of the Edward de Bono-meets-The Marquis de Sade school, but they're puzzles nonetheless. This is promising news.
Unfortunately for monitor-oglers, the central character this time is a Kevin Costner lookalike. You play the unfortunate chap, one Curtis Craig. A year before the story starts you were in a psychiatric institution, having the National Grid re-directed through your frontal lobes. Now you're a technical writer in a dodgy chemical development corporation who specialise in treatments that have worse side effects than the illnesses they're supposed to relieve.
You're involved with Jocelyn Rowan, the kind of girlfriend who likes to tell you she loves you in an open-plan office; you have a rival for promotion who hates you and you're the sexual target of a horny vixen who sends you dirty postcards. The last thing you really need is to start seeing visions of people hanging from the ceiling of your bedroom, hearing satanic voices over the phone, and receiving inexplicable violent blows to the back of your head. So that's what you get.
From what we've seen so far, it's nicely scary in tone (admittedly the music helps: 'The Magic Roundabout' would seem packed with tension if someone leant on the bass notes of a keyboard every 20 seconds). Apparently, it's even more gory than the last version, but it's not certain how much of the gorier stuff will be in the British release. The American version comes with a Less Intense option and a password facility to keep out prying little eyes, so hopefully the British version will be the same, rather than imposing draconian censorship. We'll know when we get it, and you'll know soon after that.
Download Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Fles
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Fles Screenshots and Media
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