Ready to turn the creepy factor up to eleven? Phantasmat: The Endless Night is an honestly disturbing, honestly mysterious hidden object game. Most casual adventures are content to throw a few jump scares at you while forcing you to rummage through an abandoned mansion. Here, you’ve got car crashes and time travel, missing daughters and dark phantoms that invade your mind. Grab a teddy bear and hold on, this one’s going to be a wild ride.
Phantasmat: The Endless Night begins with an innocent car ride as you take your daughter Aimee to prom. There’s some talk on the radio about a tragic event that struck the town 50 years ago, but who’s got time for that? It’s prom night, baby! About four seconds later you swerve to miss a figure on the road, crash into an embankment, and wake to find your daughter missing. Oh, and the year is 1965 instead of 2015. Hey, 50 years ago. Didn’t something crazy happen back, er, now?
With this unsettling stage firmly set, Phantasmat: The Endless Night proceeds to spin a wonderful tale of mystery and suspense. You work your way through the town and school trying to find Aimee, but at every turn someone or something is there to thwart your efforts. That’s ok, you’ve got plenty of puzzles to solve to get from point A to point B. Phantasmat doesn’t overload your inventory with items galore. Instead it opts for a few choice objects of slightly higher importance, many of which are interactive. This lets you focus on why you have an item instead of trial and erroring your way through every puzzle you encounter.
Interspersed throughout the world of 1965 are plenty of hidden object scenes. The Endless Night throws several different types your way, including text lists and silhouette scenes. The basic idea doesn’t change from style to style: find the items, click the items, get an important object, and return to the adventure. Despite being rather basic, the hidden object scenes are always a welcomed diversion. Challenging but not frustrating, and with lots of built-in interactivity.
Outside of the main sections Phantasmat keeps you entertained with plenty of extras. There are achievements to unlock, collectibles to find, even some souvenirs to pick up along the way. Mini-games pop up on occasion to offer a brief respite from the dark and dreary atmosphere, but they only last a few moments. You’ll cling to these little diversions at every chance you get. Anything to take your mind off these crazy ghost schoolkids…
Phantasmat: The Endless Night has all the ingredients of a clever and well-made hidden object game mixed in just the right proportions. It’s one of the few titles that gets the suspense just right, rarely resorting to cheap tactics but filled with unsettling NPCs, creepy scenery, haunting ambient sounds, and a moody soundtrack. If you need a good scare and don’t mind a little hidden object paranoia, grab Phantasmat and give it a go.