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What's cool about it:

  • A psychological horror story from the blackest depths of the human soul
  • A compelling story with interesting characters
  • An intense atmosphere not meant for the faint of heart

Overview:

Curtis Craig is a quiet young man. He has a steady job working for the WynTech Industries corporation. He has a lovely girlfriend, Jocilyn. He's been out of the mental hospital for exactly one year. All Curtis wants is to live a normal, happy life, but something seems to have other plans... Strange events, inexplicable and terrifying, begin to happen all around him. Curtis begins to doubt his own sanity, and the very fabric of reality.

Then... The murders begin...

Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.

All user reviews:

User reviews:

Four words

Posted on 2010-03-02 08:58:11 bypopov89's avatarpopov89:

I Heard that, Curtis.

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So Bad it's Good!

Posted on 2010-03-02 11:50:33 byspiritzarconian's avatarspiritzarconian:

Let's get one thing straight, this game is awful. The acting is hammy, the special effects are cheezy, and most of the characters are completely unlikable. But at the same time, it's these things that make this game unintentionally hilarious.
I can tell by the comments alone that I'm not the only person who bought this because of a certain Let's Play out there, and frankly that'sread more the best reason to get this. Other than that, the best audiences for this game are people who enjoy B horror movies, or those who can get a group of friends together to make fun of the bad acting and ridiculous story.
So in short, don't get this expecting a masterpiece of game design, because nothing could be further from the truth. However, if you can get into the right mindset, you'll be more than entertained.

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Worth a playthrough, if your expectations aren't too high

Posted on 2010-03-07 05:00:19 byjtrippy's avatarjtrippy:

Surpassing my low expectations, Sierra delivers an enticing sci-fi/horror concept with intense and gritty scenes, some fun moments, and at times Hollywood-esque slasher suspense.
Stepping in for Roberta Williams, writer Lorelei Shannon approaches the Phantasmagoria concept with unprecedented (and arguably unsurpassed) maturity. The game's subplots and secondary subject matter areread more nary seen in today's grittiest movies. Unlike the first game, Shannon doesn't approach the "Mature" rating like a novelty or a crude standard to be pushed for pushing's sake, but rather uses it as license to create dynamic characters who face real problems.
The characters are portrayed in a remarkably lifelike fashion for the FMV subgenre, a style typically plagued by painful F-list performances and zero interactivity. The characters themselves are people you know in real life, not video game caricatures. The interface and puzzles are, by and large, simple and logical, and the game focuses more on main character Curtis Craig's internal problems rather than on exploration and puzzle solving.
That said, the puzzles are either brain-numbingly simple or absurdly illogical. The TRUE puzzles, as opposed to other random clicking that results in a cinematic, are few and far between, and about half of them are guessing computer passwords.
For a movie-based game, the locales are visually uninteresting and markedly unatmospheric. While the game's environment is a huge step up from the cheesy computer generated backdrops of the first entry, it doesn't make up for the fact that most of the scenery is recognizable as the hallways and storage closets of a cheap motel. Moreover, there are only about a half dozen locations in the game. This means virtually no exploration and lots of backtracking.
While the characters are pretty intricate, the plot doesn't really unfold; rather, it's revealed through lots of reading of password-protected emails, which really takes the bite out of cinematic reveal.
Just as well, the plot itself is pretty weak. You assume the role of an Average Joe with a troubled past working for a omnitechnoconglomerate that's, surprise surprise, covering up secret and illegal experimentation. A couple people get murdered, and just when a legitimate twist pops up involving the character's self-doubt about his own involvement, he unveils a half-baked paranormal plotline that's not worthy of the 2:00 PM Sci Fi Channel timeslot. Sufficed to say, without spoiling anything, it gets incredibly ludicrous toward the end (or ends, in this case -- you get a choice between two equally unsatisfying story conclusions).
A Puzzle of Flesh is a great concept delivered with above-par acting for the genre and gritty maturity. If the main plot were more intricate, the puzzles more involved, and the scenery more visually interesting, Phantasmagoria 2 could have had a place in gaming history as the one that broke the mold and pushed the envelope for content maturity. As it is, it remains a playable made-for-TV movie. Hopefully someone will try to do this again with greater success, but for now A Puzzle of Flesh is a decent adventure game worth a playthrough for fans of the genre. Just don't expect too much.

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Phantasmagoria games on GOG.com:

Phantasmagoria $9.99 in cart OWNED
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Phantasmagoria 2 $5.99 in cart OWNED
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