Developed by Kinetic Games and offered as an early access game, PHASMOPHOBIA is a single-player or online coop psychological horror game in which you play a paranormal investigator sent to determine whether a given location is haunted and if so by what type of entity. This is one of the most unnerving games I’ve ever played; it’s a real experience.
The game is designed with a heavy atmosphere, limitations, and special tools. The atmosphere is brooding due to it being a rainy night and the ghost effects, and the overall effect is incredibly immersive. Limitations include being fairly slow, a time limit before the entity becomes aggressive, and weak light sources. Tools include EMF readers, a spirit box in which you can interact with the ghost via voice recognition, thermometers, and night vision cameras. The challenge is to use these tools to identify 1) where the entity is in the house and 2) what type of entity it is without angering it to the point where it starts hunting you, because then you are in serious trouble. Psychologically, the time limit, the unpredictability of the entity–including noises, messing with the lights, appearing in a corporeal state, footsteps, moans, moving objects, and slamming doors–builds an incredible amount of tension. Not to mention when you call out to a teammate who doesn’t answer, because he or she is, well, dead.
Do your detective work, record your evidence, and get out alive to reap cash rewards you can use to buy more advanced equipment. Fail, and you join the entity in the spirit realm.
Recommended for horror buffs. Available on Steam.