Title: Yuppie Psycho
Developer: Baroque Decay
Release Date: April 25, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Another Indie
Genre: Survival Horror Adventure
There are times when great games come along that you don’t know are great until you play them. Perhaps it falls into the whole “Don’t judge a book by its cover” saying, but I usually have an idea of what to prepare for before jumping into a game. Well, that was just not the case with developer Baroque Decay’s new horror mystery adventure game Yuppie Psycho, which I assumed it to be something completely different than what it was. And it just so happens to be one of the best games I’ve played all year.
Yuppie Psycho begins with Brian Pasternack heading to his first day of work at the prestigious Sintracorp. However, he didn’t actually apply and isn’t very special so he assumed that this was all just a joke. Well, it wasn’t a joke, but it’s also not what he expected. Upon his arrival, he finds out that his new job would be a Hunter and he is in charge of killing a witch that has plagued the company for years. As a hunter, Brian must keep his identity a secret and go about his day investigating environments and interacting with coworkers in order to get to the truth.
To be honest, the story is everything in Yuppie Psycho and I didn’t expect that. The writing for each of the characters is great. Brian reacts naturally to the strange and disturbing events that he encounters and doesn’t brush things off as if they didn’t happen. He’s constantly questioning things and himself which gives the game’s multiple endings so much weight. Brian is just as confused as the player as events unravel and I’d hate to be the one to ruin what’s in store. Nothing is as it seems in Yuppie Psycho, but knowing that doesn’t matter because the game had me hooked within the first 20 minutes and I couldn’t seem to put it down.
What’s interesting about the game is the moment that I felt a little more comfortable with how crazy everything is was the moment that Brian started accepting his job title. It’s as if we both became more capable witch hunters at the same time and that fueled me through to the end of the game. Without spoiling anything, the ending, at least one of them, is an emotional roller coaster and I can’t say that I’ve experienced anything quite like it before, which only made me want to replay the game again.
Gameplay revolves around players finding items and clues on how to progress. By traveling to different floors of Sintracorp, Brian is able to freely roam around and investigate. However, that’s easier said than done because this isn’t a normal office building. Yuppie Psycho has a way of projecting the office life in outlandish ways such as a floor of employees who are asked to constantly walk around and not stop or HR people who crawl on all fours while they do their work. The symbolism and metaphors of a typical office environment shown in the game make it easy for anyone who’s been in this environment to relate to something, such as one of the bosses riding around on a literal horse throughout the office.
Using items to progress the narrative can get tricky at times since its crucial to pay attention and read everything that is said in the game. There were a few times that a lack of direction ended up with me lost for a good hour or so. However, within that time I tackled other secret events that led me to new discoveries and items.
Yuppie Psycho is not an easy game by any means, to be honest, it’s actually quite difficult at times. The game has survival horror elements where players can only save the game using a copier machine, but that requires a special kind of paper and ink cartridge to complete. What needs to be kept in mind is that situations come up where walking into a room unprepared will lead to sudden death and send you to the last save — which for my case was two hours before I died. Furthermore, food in the game is what replenishes HP, but combining food is what makes them stronger.
I ended up enjoying the challenges that these systems brought forth as they made me think twice about running into a room without thinking. The puzzles in the game are difficult to a point, but they can be solved. While some deaths did feel a bit unfair, I never felt that giving up was an option.
Visually, Yuppie Psycho has mastered the pixel graphic design for characters. Characters, enemies, environments, everything just fits in the world that the developers have created. When the game wants you to feel uneasy, it expertly does so by leading you through dark hallways with resumes plastered on the wall. However, there’s a perfect balance that Yuppie Psycho finds by understanding pacing and when to spring these hectic moments onto the player.
What definitely helps with the immersion of this game is the audio and sound design. Since there is no voice acting in the game, the developers have instead focused on ambient sounds and atmosphere to meddle with the player’s anxiety. This all works well and helps set the mood for each scene. Furthermore, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing and compliments the game’s brilliant design.
Yuppie Psycho deserves to be played all the way through. The first hours of the game are spent with the player and Brian totally confused about this office lifestyle, but the later parts of the game put the pieces in place that make this the standout adventure of the year. The survival horror and items management features are all clever and unique, which made the experience all the more enjoyable. While the game does have some issues with direction at a few key moments of the game, getting through them comes with time, but there was no lack of secrets to discover while trying to find my way to the next part of the game.
Yuppie Psycho is a surprising title that I ended up loving fairly early on in the adventure. The symbolism and metaphors about office life shine in a disturbing way that could make someone question going into work the next day. While gameplay elements, boss battles, and exploration is a huge part of the game, I think it was Brian’s determination that had me wanting to see this adventure through until the end. I applaud the writers of this game as there are just some moments that really connected with me whether in a humorous or somber way.
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