Yet another Ocean title which seems to have got lost along the way from its translation from other formats. In particular from the Spectrum/Amstrad in this case.
Phantom Club was a Knightlore style game from the creator of MOVIE, another game which never quite made a C64 translation. The difference with Movie however was that this game seems to have been penned for a C64 release and was mentioned a few times in a few magazines from 1988. The ACE magazine review lists the C64 as a format for its release, and the advert as well confirms this. See scans below!
The following portion of the games eventual review (from a Spectrum magazine) defines the game as follows:
“You have to be careful which clubs you join these days. Phantom Club is not a club to be recommended in more ways than one. Plutus, our hero, joined up and before he knew it, all the other members – a bunch of superheroes – had fallen under the evil influence of their wicked leader, leaving Plutus to restore order by reaching the rank of Ipsisimus. For good to triumph over evil he has to complete ten perilous missions in the Phantom Club HQ. (Should have joined the Kit- Kat Club Ed)
The game opens to a rather rough rendition of The Antiques Road Show theme tune (Two million pounds? But I only paid 50p for it! Ed) and then you get a touch of Deja vu. The highly detailed Filmation-type graphics will remind you of Movie because both games were written by the same chap. The graphics are definitely the strong point and judging by the sheer quantity of different sprites, objects and backgrounds, they must occupy vast amounts of memory.
But your task is pretty awesome, if not tedious. To begin one of the missions you’ve got to knock up at least 40,000 points by shooting super-heroes and picking up bonuses, but as each baddy only collects 50 points when dead, it might take you ’til Xmas next year. The trouble with Phantom Club is that once you’ve been everywhere and done everything there isn’t much left to tickle your fancy. You can while away the time by filling baddies with psychic bolts or drawing maps (there are over 550 rooms) but the novelty soon wears off.
If you want a lot of chocolate on your biccies, don’t join this club.”
Overall, this doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for the game, and with it being a relatively unknown title, it might not be worth a huge search. However, it is lost.. we lack information on it, and we’d like to preserve it. If Cisco Heat was lost, we’d preserve that… and that WAS shite.
Do you know anything about this title? Can you confirm its existence?
Contributions: World Of Spectrum
I wonder if the C64’s slow CPU speed made this far too much of a headache for Ocean to consider converting, despite originally planning it?. The mag adverts would of been designed, booked and paid for months in advance i guess.
Fantastic as games like Head Over Heels, Molecule Man, Red LED, Spindizzy, Chimera etc were on C64, i always felt isometric 3D was better suited to the likes of the Atari 8 Bit line and ZX Spectrum.
Most likely – it was the case with most 3D isometric games, where some companies felt it couldn’t be done properly. It could though of course – just required a different set of tricks to work with the slower CPU.
Believe it or not this is one of my favorite games and I regularly look for videos and browse forums about it and it’s fans. I don’t think I’d be able to supply you with any more information that’s on the WOS site though. I’m honored to be the first person to rate and comment your post.