Phantom Dust

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a game by Microsoft Game Studios Japan
Platform: XBox
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Board Games, Sci-Fi RPG, Cyberpunk Games
Phantom Dust
Phantom Dust
Phantom Dust
Phantom Dust

If you have been tuned into the gaming sphere in the last few months, you’ll know that Microsoft is still buying up any third party companies that are willing to join their ranks. It’s a move that’s been widely criticised but we can only assume that Microsoft are making too much money to care, sometimes to the point that they cast out unwanted assets before their time. One such studio produced Phantom Dust. A wonderful action meets strategy game that is well worth your time and attention.

This game plays like other strategy based titles such as Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Torchlight III, Eternity: The Last Unicorn, Final Fantasy: Dissidia and Lost Kingdom. This game combines action with card based strategy offer something completely unique for it’s time. However, is this game a little too out of the box? We find out in our review of Phantom Dust.

Skill Meets Strategy

When you play a strategy game, you assume that a lot of the work that goes into winning the match happens well before the battle even begins. In games where cards are used as a game mechanic, deck building is the foundation for a successful match. Well, in Phantom Dust, this is still the case. However, even with a great strategy, you still need the execution in battle to seize the opportunity.

Phantom Dust combines card game nuances with the simplistic and action-heavy gameplay of FPS shooters to give an overall experience that tests the player both in terms of tactical acumen but also their twitch reactions. The game offers the players over 340 different skills to choose from, each with their own benefit in battle. It’s like a pre-planned battle system that you can change on the fly to apart to certain scenarios. Think Yu-Gi-Oh meets modern Final Fantasy.

Aside from the incredible variety and emergent gameplay the game provides. The player will also appreciate the destructable and varied level designs, the live features that allow for multiplayer action and an overall approach to the genre that is so unorthodox that it is impossible to ignore. The only thing that we found issue with was the incredibly mundane and trivial single player mode that seemed like a mode made purely out of obligation.

The Verdict

Overall, Phantom Dust provides one of the most strangely compelling, deep and varied strategy games of it’s time. It is a game that perhaps didn’t receive the love or critical acclaim that it perhaps deserved at the time years on looking back with the power of hindsight, it’s clear to see that this game had something special.


The format is incredible, the gameplay is as deep as it comes and aside from a lack lustre single player mode, the majority of the content is a joy to behold. So if you have the time, dig out this old relic and give it a try.


  • Wonderfully unique format
  • Great level design
  • Multiplayer aspects are well implemented


  • Single player was a obligatory but pointless addition

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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XBox Screenshots

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