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Phasmophobia is the best ghost game ever made

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Horror games do not scare me. There are so many that fit under that umbrella, from Resident Evil to Amnesia, and most hit familiar beats: a few good jump scares, the dread of being pursued, nasty monsters and creepy sound effects. I enjoy all of these experiences, but even when things get intense I’m never really afraid.

Phasmophobia is a game that gets into your head. When you’re playing the real world doesn’t exist. When you stop, some aspect has seeped into reality. This game has left myself and companions not so much stunned as scrambled, jacked on adrenaline and chatting for hours afterwards about what just happened. 

The best summary of Phasmophobia would be a detective game about ghosts. You play as one of up to four investigators who go into various locations, from roadside houses to an asylum, and try to identify what kind of spirit it is being haunted by, and then leave. Though there’s a serious Ghostbusters vibe here there’s no actual busting: you’re the pre-Ghostbusters, if you like, solely there to work out what kind of threat this is.

(Image credit: Kinetic Games)

To this end you have various pieces of equipment, all simple in utility, stored in a van that acts as the team’s command HQ at each location. There’s a flashlight, which nearly always occupies one of your three inventory slots (VR players get four slots, which seems a tad unfair). The EMF reader is the PKE meter by another name, a little box that begins to light up in the presence of ghostly activity. A UV flashlight will show up ghostly fingerprints or footprints. A thermometer detects drops in room temperature.

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