Phobia by Imageworks

phobiagamePublisher: Imageworks
Developer: Imageworks
Release Date: 1989
Code: Antony Crowther,David Bishop
GFX: Antony Crowther
Music: Antony Crowther
ZZAP64 Game Rating: 60%
Our Game Rating: 83%
Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins
> CLICK HERE to Download emu file
> CLICK HERE to view the YouTube ending video
Phobia is a Tony Crowther game for ImageWorks. It’s another game I’d never come across until today. I think it’s one of his best games, and he’s made quite a few – fair play to the guy. This one is a horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up, but Phobia has a bit more to it than your average blaster. You can plot your course through space to various planets and moons. You have to get to their inner cores and destroy them to succeed. It’s a cracking game with beautiful sprites and backgrounds. There are fifteen levels and tons of power-ups to collect. It’s tough going, so only the elite of you out there should tackle this one without cheats.
The End!
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: I used an invincibility cheat.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?: Once the final core is destroyed, we see the ship fly from the exploding planet. The words ‘THE END‘ appear in what seems to be a jumbled, multi-coloured mess of graphic data. The game then restarts.
Neil: It gets a point because it has an end, and it gets a point for the flickering animation. It’s ugly and disappointing. What an awful way to end a cracking game. Shame on you Tony. 2/10.
Vinny: I’d never seen or played this game until today,  and so I was pleasantly surprised to find a piece of Tony Crowther work that I hadn’t played through. And amazingly enough, it’s quite a good game. I was thinking that because I’d never really heard of it, it would be a bad game. But it’s not. Nice graphics, good effects, and comfortable game play. Very nice.
Let’s be honest here… we know that Tony Crowther doesn’t really do game endings, and so it was obvious that this was going to be cack. Sure enough… it’s cack. 2/10 from me too.
Andrew Fisher: I’ve always liked Phobia, there is a good idea in there and some excellent graphics representing the various fears. It’s a shame the ending is simplistic.
Andy Vaisey: This may sound odd, but I’ve always avoided this game because for me, this game represents the change in ZZAP! reviewers/editorship from the GH/KH/ME era to the RH/PK/PR era, when it was reviewed in Issue 51 after the ‘sackings’.
OK, all turned out fine with the staff change for a while, but this has always stuck with me. Not fair on the game I suppose and after 25 odd years, maybe I should give it a go because it does look kind of cool.
Then again, now I’m put off by the ending… 😉
FINAL SAY: Pass me the bucket. That’s pretty hideous.

G.E. RATING: 2 / 10

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One Response to Phobia by Imageworks

  1. That is rather disappointing, especially after such a well-coded game. Never did understand why programmers were content to leave the ending as a mere afterthought so often.


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