Phantom PI Mission Apparition has made a spooky, haunting but charming and addicting adventure game despite visuals of dismemberment, stalking and handing over your soul within a ‘living’ mansion, where laws of physics don’t apply and dangers lurk in every corner.
Enter Cecil Sparks, a paranormal investigator hired by a deceased rock-n-roll star, Marshall Staxx. Cecil needs to bring back mementoes stolen from Marshall by a bullying ghost named Baublebelly.
Baublebelly might had just been bored but he is persistent to have an item from Marshall in his transparent belly. Whenever Cecil successfully retrieves an item, Baublebelly returns to Marshall to get another.
Cecil has to enter portals to complete a level and chase Baublebelly in different parts of the mansion. The fun happens in trying to figure out which doors goes to where, how to activate switches, use tools like crowbars to enter blocked doors, etc. Easier said than done, considering each level showcases various obstacles and a lot of painful backtracking because Cecil can carry items one at a time. Seriously, Cecil’s backpack shouldn’t be there if it ain’t going to be used.
We have to mention Famke, a crazed Marshall Staxx fan, who continuously loots the mansion for a Marshall Staxx memorabilia. She’s territorial and will push you out of the way when you get to close to her looting area. Good thing she isn’t that smart and can easily be distracted by either music, TV and using a plant to walk past her.
Inclusive in the game is capturing of sprites to collect diamonds. You also collect other items, whether news articles, postcards and collectible cards to place in a scrapbook. Being an investigator and all, the notebook keeps track of all the items you collected and gives you a clue of how Marshall lived his life. You also get an idea of other souls haunting the mansion.
Completing all required items in a level will ensure a high-star rating at the end of the level, which is necessary to unlock another level.
Graphics and Sounds:
The visual level isn’t that diversified to keep from getting repetitive. Still, there is a lot of work done by texture designers to keep visuals highly addicting to look at. It is pretty obvious they got every aspect of a haunted house down to the letter.
Creaky doors leading to god knows where, bats abruptly scare from a smoky fireplace, falling chandeliers, spooky children laughing in the background, objects floating, letters writing on their own and more. There are creepy crawlies randomly placed everywhere like spiders, rats and frogs. There are also those eyes appearing within the shadows.
Nifty haunted house elements were added like coloured cauldrons serving as magical transporters, a woman’s painting spitting out fire when you attempt to walk past it, a ferocious guard dog easily distracted by a slab of meat, a swarm of bees blocking your path, etc. Every level or so provides a new obstacle to complicate things more.
At the end of each level is a donkey kong-like 80’s in-game, wherein Cecil has to climb ladders, collect diamonds and reach Baubleberry by switching levers to make paths appear. This segment is so retro and it works in parallel to Phantom Pi’s opening sequence of 80’s like animation soundtrack and opening segment.
Simple tap and hold functions apply. Bubble thoughts appear to easily guide player on which items to interact with to solve a puzzle.
The Phantom PI won the Indie Prize Critics Choice – Best Of Show Award and also won the Pocket Gamer Big Indie Pitch at Casual Connect 2014!
RATING: stars (max 5)
CREATOR: Rocket 5 Studios