A first-person sneaky horror game set inside a procedurally-generated version of Hong Kong’s labyrinthine, lawless (and now-demolished) Kowloon Walled City? Yeah, g’wan!
I skipped Phantasmal [official site] while it was on Steam Early Access because I wanted my first impressions of its dark, winding, unknowable corridors and alleyways to be the real deal. Now it is. Developers Eyemobi today released Phantasmal for real, and… now I’m a bit too scared to enter.
There’s a story reason but, basically, you end up atop a dense of lawless city filled with all of sorts monsters and must escape through floor after floor. The monsters want to kill you, obviously, so it’s often preferable to stay quiet and avoid them. Sure, you can fight but it won’t be easy. You can find guns in your scavenging, but do you want to go making loud noises in monstertown? You’ve got your sanity to think of too.
It’s a roguelikelike, yeah? Die a lot, learn a little about enemies and the world each time, push the story along a bit with repeated playthroughs, and hope you find good items before the monsters git ya.
Phantasmal’s take on Kowloon Walled City had a little less character than I’d hoped for when developers Eyemobi first switched away from the original spooky mansion setting, but it looks to have come a fair way since then. I might grumble that it looks a little too heavy on grey corridors even for Kowloon, and lacking in wonderful messes of cables, but Eyemobi are not a huge team with a huge budget. I suppose I was just hoping for a glam, exagerrated take like that weird Japanese arcade.
Anyway! A 20% launch discount brings Phantasmal to £8.79/11,99€/$11.99 on Steam. Here’s the launch trailer:
Or here’s the last developer video showing gameplay, from January: