* phantasmagoria - n. 1. a shifting scene of real things, illusions, imaginary fancies, deceptions and the like.
2. a show of optical illusions in which figures increase or decrease in size, fade away, and pass into each other.
- The World Book Dictionary.
* phantasmagoria - A ghost making machine used for popular entertainment from the late 18th century through to the 19th century. The device, developed by Belgian optician E.G. Robertson in the 1790s, projected convincing figures before an audience.
Phantasmagoria is the most controversial cd-rom game I have seen in my few short years of interest in computers. In Australia, it has been officially banned and has caused much debate overseas as well. The game contains the whole range of actions and incidents those who censor viewing material look for, from sex to violence, to drug abuse, horror, adult themes, and coarse language. Normally tolerant and objective game reviewers from various magazines have given Phantasmagoria overall percentage scores ranging from twelve to ninety-two percent. What is it about this game that makes some people play it repeatedly and others regret the day they first lay eyes on it? These pages examine Phantasmagoria, its storyline, main characters, and address some of its criticisms in an attempt to discover the truth.
I have played Phantasmagoria from beginning to end many times and enjoyed it immensely, getting to know the main characters (played by real actors) and the layout of the computer generated house and grounds very well. While it does have some minor technical problems, its principal personalities and storyline, not to mention its highly appropriate soundtrack, are first rate, and I would recommend this product to any thoughtful person with a taste for moderate paced, atmospheric horror. Other cd-rom adventure titles I have completed which resemble Phantasmagoria in even the slightest way include: The Seventh Guest and its sequel The 11th Hour (haunted house theme), Harvester (horror and adult themes), Myst (stunning graphics), Under a Killing Moon and its sequel The Pandora Directive (chapter and internal hint systems), and Full Throttle (complex interactive ending). My Review of Phantasmagoria Memorial is best seen as a whole - merely reading one or two sections will not provide a comprehensive introduction to, and overview of, the game.
Featuring: Roberta Williams (Designer), Victoria Morsell ("Adrienne"), David Homb ("Don"), Bill Crow (Director of Technology), and Peter Maris (Director). Includes a unique soundtrack.
Real Player version 5 or higher is required to view this video.
Title - Gameplay - Plot Synopsis - Sound and Visual Effects - Main Characters - Censorship Issues - Miscellanea
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© Anthony Larme 1998