You know you’ve got problems when your faucet starts flowing upwards. Little Katie and her father are having a bit of a problem with a poltergeist who keeps doing crazy things with water, making it drip up from the floor, hover in front of family portraits, and form the shape of people who shout warnings to stay away. Yeah, it’s not exactly the best of times for this family. Good thing they’ve got you to swoop in and investigate!
Fear for Sale: Phantom Tide takes you on a supernatural adventure filled with spirits from the unknown. Well, mostly they appear in the form of water, which is pretty much the opposite of unknown, but the game keeps the tension high and mystery on tap with plenty of twists and turns in the plot.
Each area in Fear for Sale is blocked by a few obstacles, all of which can be cleared by solving puzzles. These puzzles are usually pretty small in size and don’t require much in the way of brain power. Just hunt for the items you need, bring them back, plug them in and you’re good to go. Often you’ll need to solve a super quick mini-game before proceeding, but these are so short they barely even register as a diversion. Just significant enough to jazz things up.
Hidden object scenes are of the text list variety, handing you a screen full of items with matching words down below. Handfuls of those items will be highlighted to indicate interactivity. In order to collect them, you’ll need to move something or complete a micro-puzzle in the scene above. Nothing complex, just a quick couple of seconds to keep your gray matter active. If finding lost objects isn’t quite your thing, you can always switch over to jigsaw mode and complete one of those puzzles instead of object pecking. Either way, you’ll nab something important at the end, and your adventure can continue uninterrupted.
One of the interesting things about Fear for Sale: Phantom Tide is that you gain the ability to control water using a seashell. Got a flooded basement? Magic seashell to the rescue! You don’t get to control just any old water, but it’s still a nice touch that adds a lot to the immersion of the game. Also, Fear for Sale is packed with collectible items to find. Even when you’re not adding to your inventory or picking objects in a HOG scene, there’s always something to look for and grab.
Fear for Sale: Phantom Tide can be summarized as ordinary, but entertaining. The design sticks pretty close to casual adventure norms, never straying far from the expected amount or style of puzzles, hidden object scenes, and story details. Still, every game doesn’t have to be an innovator in order to be fun, and Fear for Sale definitely delivers on that front.