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Shacknews Best Early Access Game of 2021 - Phasmophobia

Kinetic Games continues to build towards its 1.0 of one of the most innovative and fun VR and PC co-op games out there.


Phasmophobia has been in Early Access for more than a year now, and it will still likely be a while before we see its official launch, but it continues to grow into something more amazing with each update. There are a ton of great Early Access titles out there, but when it came to the best of the best, we singled it down to Kinetic Games’ ghost-hunting co-op title.

Kinetic Games brought Phasmophobia into Steam Early Access in September 2020 and it came just in time for Halloween streaming last year. However, in 2021 it has grown immensely. The game challenges up to four players to head into a haunted building, track the location of a ghost, look for signs of its activity, identify what kind of spirit it is, and then either exorcise it or leave before it kills the team.

For Phasmophobia’s updates, Kinetic could simply get away with adding more spirits, equipment, and locations to explore, but the studio has gone beyond that with interesting and innovative features that play into the best parts of this game. For one, it not only has in-game voice chat, but you can use the game’s voice chat to trigger and interact with the ghost. Phasmaphobia is also features a VR mode and there is crossplay so VR and non-VR players can play together without issue.

Cursed Possessions was the v0.5.0 update to Phasmophobia and brings double-edged items that can help you with the ghost at a dangerous cost, among other updates. It’s just another way the team at Kinetic continues to build meaningfully on top of the already cool things it has brought to the game, but it also represents the halfway point to a 1.0 release. Such as the case, it’s a game we plan to keep playing and supporting as Kinetic trucks along through next year, and for all of its fun, frights, and features, it’s the Shacknews Best Early Access Game of 2021.

Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We will be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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