Phantasmagoria is a point and click horror adventure designed by Roberta Williams for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows and published by Sierra On-Line in 1995.
It tells the story of Adrienne Delaney, a writer who moves to a remote and sinister villa and finds herself having to fight supernatural forces.
It features live-action actors and cinematic films, both during the scenes between the gameplay and within the three-dimensional environments of the game.
It was made when interactive video games were at the peak of their popularity, with the release of popular computer games such as Wing Commander III and Under a Killing Moon.
The player controls the protagonist Adrienne Delaney and can click on certain areas of the screen to control her movements or make her explore specific places and objects.
The camera angles and rooms change depending on where Adrienne moves.
The game includes only four mouse controls: watch (which changes to “talk to” when selecting a person), collect items, use items and walk.
The mouse cursor is always an arrow and turns red when it hovers over an area where the user can click to perform an action.
The objects in the game can be collected by clicking on them or interacting with them in a cinematic sequence, then it is acquired in the inventory. If an object is small enough to be easily lost, a glow occasionally surrounds it to draw attention to it.
Game designer Roberta Williams has deliberately created the gameplay and interface in a simple, discreet and intuitive way, in order to make it more accessible and less frustrating for casual players.
The game focuses more on the horror story and atmosphere, rather than on a complicated gaming experience and therefore the puzzles are relatively easy, logical and simple