‘Phasmophobia,’ the best kind of horror

Lillian Coppelman , Staff Writer

 If there is one thing humans have been deprived of in recent years, it has been human connection. Due to the pandemic, many video games such as “Raft,” “Among Us” and “The Forest” brought friends together despite the distance. Even with COVID-19 restrictions lifting, people at their core still crave that connection with others. Horror especially has a way of bringing people together.  

Because our brains are constantly looking for stimulation, horror games with friends can bring the feeling of community and accomplishment. One of these games is “Phasmophobia,” developed and published by Kinetic Games. “Phasmophobia” really cranks up that fear factor with its dark atmosphere and unexpected ghost events. The silent house that cannot seem to get bright enough mixed in with the unknown abilities of the ghost gives a whole new aspect of horror. While still in early access, “Phasmophobia” has received high praise among its players. 

Many reviews praised the game’s high fear factor and its cooperative and single player game mechanics, the main mechanic being the in-game voice chat. The main appeal of the game is ghost hunting. But ghost hunting while the ghost can hear you speak? It can make any player’s hearts stop. Players can either set up private lobbies and play with friends or join public lobbies and experience the horror with strangers. Bringing in other players adds a whole new layer to the ghost hunt. In some respects, it can make the game easier as the workload is split between two to four players, but when players must communicate with each other, they risk angering and getting caught by the ghost. 

There are 21 different ghosts in “Phasmophobia,” all having different strengths, weaknesses and secret abilities. Each ghost ranges in difficulty, with Spirits being the easiest and Demons being the most difficult. This broad range of ghosts keeps the player on their toes; you never know what you are facing when you enter the haunted building. There are ghosts that can move faster when it sees a player, ghosts that can teleport to a player’s location, ghosts that can mimic traits of other ghosts, even ghosts that can give false evidence. “Phasmophobia” challenges the player to learn the quirks and tricks needed to deal with whatever is thrown at them. 

Along with finding evidence, there is a chance for a cursed object to spawn in the haunted location. These cursed items can either help or hinder the player in their endeavors. Their inclusion gives the players a chance to gamble with their lives, which adds a whole new level of horror to the game. Do you risk losing sanity to see if you can trap the ghost in the ghost room with the Tarot cards? Do you use the Ouija board to find the locations of the bone and risk the ghost hunting you? It is up to the player to decide their own fate, and that is what makes it even more terrifying. 

“Phasmophobia” is a fantastic game that any horror fan can enjoy. With amazing game mechanics and lots of replay ability with the randomization of ghost rooms and ghost types brings a whole new level of horror to the table. Whether you play by yourself or with others, “Phasmophobia” can give you the experience you may be looking for.