Phantom's Revenge, The

Adventure 1982 Dos Temple Software Mystery Horror

Below par adventure

If you're looking to get into text adventuring, you might be curious to try this little known example of the genre, but sadly it has little to recommend it other than to diehard fans and gaming historians. Similar to another game produced by the same company, Castle Elsinore, The Phantom's Revenge is a simple enough bit of interactive fiction that is lacking in all the hallmarks of the greats, such as Zork, Guild of Thieves and the Doom series. The premise here is that the player is exploring that classic of the horror genre, the haunted house, and must explore its dusty old corridors in search of treasure and riches. Unfortunately though, everything from here on in is a bit of a mess, with an introduction that completely contradicts the opening scene of the game itself and with everything that follows coming across as merely an amateur effort that is sorely lacking in sparkle. The writing, a key aspect of any text adventure, is little better than high school stuff, with poorly written descriptions that evoke little more than an exasperated sigh from the player and which cause boredom at every turn. The puzzles too are simply illogical and baffling for the most part, being illogical and obtuse in equal measure and while there are a couple of decent ones to be found lurking in the dark, they are simply too far and few to be worth sticking with things for. The interface lacks any of the elegance and intelligence of the best Infocom games, recognising merely the most basic of commands and when you add all this together, you're left with an adventure that is best left on the shelf.

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