Phobia, Commodore 64

I hate this game so much! 🙂 Phobia is one of the most difficult and unfair side-scrolling shooters ever made, and the surprising thing is: it’s a Tony Crowther game. I expected more from such a talented coder…

I’m all for tough gaming challenges, but Phobia takes the game it is cloning (Konami‘s Salamander, with a touch of Irem‘s R-Type) and turns it into a boring procession of utter pain and frustration.

In Phobia, not only do you have to survive endless waves of enemies and bullets, but you also have to shoot every ‘key’ (small objects that are hidden away in the hardest to reach places) in a level, in order to actually fight the boss at the end of each stage. If you don’t beat the boss you can’t proceed to the next planet.

The boss at the end of the first stage has no life bar (or any other kind of progress indicator), and seems to enter a ‘frenzy’ mode (that is impossible to survive) after approximately two minutes. Which means that he always gets you unless you kill him quickly, and the only way to do that is to reach him with powered-up weapons, which is almost impossible. I’ve seen it done in a YouTube video, but it’s beyond me (and most other players it seems).

The only saving grace is that Phobia has a simultaneous two-player game, which (in theory) makes the game easier… Shyeah right

All I can say about Phobia is: what’s the point of making such a beautiful-looking game if you can’t enjoy playing through it?! 🙂

More: Phobia on Moby Games

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