Genre: Indie Adventure RPG
Platform: PC (XP, Vista, 7) with Windows 8 & Mac coming soon
Price: $14.95, with launch sale at $9.99
Phantasmaburbia is an *indie* RPG Adventure game by Greg "Banov" Lobanov of Dumb and Fat games. It has a focus on fun, playability, puzzles and atmosphere and is inspired by games like Earthbound and Zelda.
The year is 201X (twenty-X-teen) and Owl Creek, a small modern neighborhood, has suddenly been overrun with ghosts. Four local kids, wielding weapons found in their homes and assisted by spirits of their ancestors, go on a suburban adventure to fight them! It's got fast and fun gameplay with lots of clever puzzles in lots of dungeons. The puzzles themselves are interesting spatial puzzles that require you to think about how you use your ghost-powers. And you can play different dungeons each time you play--so, high replayability. It's a game that doesn't waste your time, featuring very few NPCs, no shops, and very fast level-ups. You know, a game that's actually accessible and fun to play, unlike most jRPGs out there now!
Greg "Banov" Lobanov took on the moniker of Dumb and Fat Games in 2010, after working on and publishing indie games for over 5 years. He had gained notoriety amongst indie developers with his early freeware title Assassin Blue in 2009, made in his spare time in high school. He worked on several small games after that, then released Dubloon in 2010, a large-scale freeware role-playing game about pirates. Later that same year he released Escape from the Underworld, a freeware Metroidvania with tight game design and a story told through gameplay.
His first big commercial success was with the mobile app Pollushot, published by YoYoGames in 2011. A fun-to-play and innovative slingshot-shooter game, it has been purchased more than 20,000 times between the iTunes app store and Android marketplace.
With the success of Pollushot behind him, Greg hunkered down and started work on his biggest project to date, Phantasmaburbia, starting from Dubloon as a basic framework. It took a year and a half of continuous effort to make, balanced precariously with college classes at Drexel University.
“Banov has taken the Japanese-style RPG and strained out the bits that simply don't add fun to the genre... What we're left with is the essence of a great game. It's fun, it's deep and it's a game that anyone would do well to try, even those who aren't necessarily RPG fans.”
–Cory Galliher, jayisgames.com Read the review
“...it’s a game about a place. It’s a game about a time; it’s the video game equivalent of those classic childhood movies. It’s packaged nostalgia, supplemented by a clever game that takes and modernizes the tropes we’ve come to expect from the humble RPG.”
–Tom Auxier, pixelsordeath.com Read the review
“Laughs in the face of billion-dollar games that don't show even half the heart and inventiveness that it does.”
–Joel Couture, mashthosebuttons.com Read the review
“Eight impressively distinct main characters (four human, four ex-human) and a smattering of good gags and an economy of chatter despite a generally sombre tone... it’s got a strong, solid combat system with imaginative abilities.”
–Alec Meer, rockpapershotgun.com Read the review
“Like Dubloon, Phantasmaburbia is a highly streamlined experience with a lot of tricks up its sleeve to keep gameplay varied and interesting. However, Phantasmaburbia has the advantage of being much more polished and atmospheric than its predecessor.”
–Craig Stern, indierpgs.com Read the review
“It’s delightfully absurd, and it hits all the right notes: it’s absurd, it’s atmospheric, and it’s funny. There’s the feeling of Earthbound to it, and that’s a great game to emulate.”
–Tom Auxier, nightmaremode.net Read the review
“Taking the spirit of 80s pop culture and reinvigorate it in this new RPG style Phatamaburbia will be a nostalgic trip with a lot of laughs along the way. By stripping away a lot of the bulk that is commonly found in RPGs Phatamaburbia [sic] hopes to really move away from that grinding feeling we often associate with most RPGs.”
–Alex Wilkinson, indiegamemag.com Read the review