Phantasmal: Randomly Generated Horror Hits Kickstarter

While I’ve always loved horror games such as Amnesia and D’s Diner, I tend to put them away after my initial play-through of them and very rarely (if ever) go back to them. One of the downsides of such highly scripted horror games is that once you get scared by an event, you are highly unlikely to get startled the next time you see it. No matter how frightening that giant spider was that dropped down from the ceiling and chewed your head off, it just doesn’t create the same level of intensity the second time as it did the first. It’s just a simple fact that can’t be avoided.

Which makes me excited to introduce the recently Kickstarter-ed Phantasmal, a horror game that is attempting to remedy this flaw by going the roguelike route.

With randomly generated levels, enemies, and frights, Phantasmal’s goal is to create an entirely new survival horror experience every time you play it. No repeated scares or scripted events that happen exactly where they did the previous time you played…no, Phantasmal promises to fix that flaw by mixing the action up to such a degree that you’ll never see quite the same thing twice.

From their Kickstarter, developer Joe Chang says the following:

    Infinite Replayability – Every room and corridor in the building is created from the ground up on a component basis, i.e. the floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, etc. No level will EVER be constructed the same – almost every room and hallway will be COMPLETELY unique.

    Insanity system – fighting the creatures will slowly drive you mad, and you will suffer the effects of your slowly eroding sanity.

    Self Defense – Defend your life with anything you can find from wooden boards and pipes you rip from the walls. If you’re lucky you may find a gun locker, but on each level there will only be one!

    Stealth – Fighting is a last resort tactic. Sneak past your enemies as much as you can. Each action you take will have a consequence and creating too much of a ruckus will wake The Sleeper.

    Light – Make sure you use your light sources wisely – your own torch will sometimes be your greatest liability.

    Character Progression – Death is not the end. You will accumulate XP every playthrough which will allow you to grow your character and come back stronger.

Chang cites recent randomized dungeon crawler “The Binding of Isaac” as his biggest inspiration, and seems intent to deliver the same level of replayability to his own game. You can also follow Chang’s game on Steam Greenlight and vote him up if this idea appeals to you. As of this writing, the Kickstarter has 26 days to go and a little under 11K left to make.



Carl is both a JRPG fan and a CRPG'er who especially loves European PC games. Even with more than three decades of gaming under his belt, he feels the best of the hobby is yet to come.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!