Yuppie Psycho – The Review

The First Day Of Work Couldn't Be More Terrifying with Yuppie Psycho

Brian will meet all kinds of odd characters, escape from terrible creatures, and unravel the hidden secrets of Sintracorp’s dark past.


BY MATT SALMON


Review Summary

Game:


Yuppie Psycho

Publisher:


Another Indie

Price:


£16.66 on Steam

Summary:


During his unconventional employee orientation, Pasternack discovers what his new job really entails: hunting a “witch” whose powers made the success of the corporation possible in the first place, but who now seems to have returned to torment its employees. Brian will meet all kinds of odd characters, escape from terrible creatures, and unravel the hidden secrets of Sintracorp’s dark past.

Rating:



Yuppie Psycho is a very enjoyable pixel art horror survival game with a strong narrative, unique art style, well written characters and dialogue, a good take on the horror genre and great player choice. It doesn’t feel like a regurgitated horror game; it feels fresh and that is certainly shown through its unique art style and themes. However, there are a few problems with it’s save system and learning curve that made some of my playtime more irritating than anything.

A Lift Opens On It's Own, Do You Go In? - Initial Impressions:

When I first started Yuppie Psycho I got to admit I thought I was going to hate every minute of my playthrough. The name on it’s own didn’t really say anything about what the game was about, the focus on “first day of work horror survival” felt like it was just trying to be funny, its super bold colour intro screen made me question what an earth I had done and the fact it was another indie horror made me think it was just going to be another budget horror game that focused on jump scares and walking around an extremely dark room with a torch, that ran out of battery every five seconds, because apparently the average lifespan of a battery was the same as a house hold fly. Basically, I didn’t think I’d like this game at all, as you could probably tell from my immense cynicism.

But when the game started up the initial cutscene intrigued me. The quality of the animation was second to none and it really showed off the unique pixel art style. It also didn’t just through you into the thick of it, the cutscene gave you a little introduction to the world of Yuppie Psycho, the grey faceless 90’s dystopian corporate world, the nervous emotions going through the face of our main protagonist, as well as the mysterious letter that he’d been given saying he’d been given the job. It’s a nice subtle introduction to the story that lets you see who the protagonist is as well as his personality.

As soon as the cutscene ends the game begins and you are put into this small room, the lobby of Sintracorp. Here you have two other characters in this room. The room is looking pretty grubby, with one of the doors being completely sealed of with what looks like construction or police tape. The initial look to the corporate world is bleak, filled with grey and dirt and instantly makes you think, this isn't as glamorous as it was hyped up to be. It's a nice introduction to the company and creates a bleak atmosphere that is fitting of the genre.

You then engage in conversation with two other new employee's whose first names you do not learn at this point in time...corporate reasons again. One of them is our delightful buddy Chapman (that was sarcasm). A typical business man who has slicked back golden hair, a nice tailored suit and an attitude similar of someone who is trying to sell you a used car for the price of a brand new one. With Chapman we learn about the class system and how the world works. If you are Class-A you are regarded as better than everyone else and if you are class-G you are basically nothing. We also find out that the higher you go in the building the better your job and the better your life gets. We learn from these exchanges that our protagonist is from a lower class system, he isn't valued at all by the elites and he probably won't amount to anything in this company.

This whole section slowly brings you into the world of Yuppie Psycho, it introduces the type of characters you will be meeting during the adventure, you also learn about how the world works and you get a real sense of the corporate atmosphere behind everything.

After a while exploring and talking to the other characters you are left alone. Your character goes to leave and we are then suddenly greeted by the lift without any announcement, the music kicks in and we nervously enter it. The doors close and take us to the top floor. The bosses office. It is here where the game instantly grabs you and holds you hostage. This is the start of your story.

Corporation + Monsters = Another Day Another Dollar – The Story:

The story is the real winning factor for this game, it may seem simple at glance and may appear to be a bit silly, hunting down a witch within a big corporation building on your first day of work, but because there are so many twists and turns as you progress through it, the idea of being a witch hunter goes from being a silly thing, to something much more serious.

The story is somewhat linear but allows for the player to explore and find things out on their own as they progress through the different floors of the company. Each character you meet along the way is really well written, they all add something to the story and they all have a purpose. Even the random workers you can talk to give you helpful information about your mission, the area you are in, and they even give you some additional details on the company and the dreaded witch.

The game doesn't rush you, but at the same time it doesn't drag. From the minute you find out that you are to kill the witch you are instantly wanting to ask; what or who is the witch? When will I meet them? How do I kill them? What is going to happen if the witch finds me? These questions make you want to keep playing through each level, they keep you engrossed in every bit of dialogue and keep you on your toes at all times.

At the same time you also have environmental blockages that make you want to know what comes up next. For example when venturing around the offices you come across a lot of locked doors or even doors that are rattling away. The game states you can't go in there but for me there was always that drive to want to know when that door was going to open, and what will I find on the other side. There was also a lot of green gas located all over the place on specific floors, early in the game there is no way you can progress through that gas without dying, but you keep it in the back of your mind that it's there and you keep wanting to progress through the story so you can get to that point where you can explore what is in the gas filled areas. These obstacles make the game quite linear, but it's an intelligent way of making the player wanting to keep progressing so they can get to the point of realisation on what is beyond that locked off point.

It's extremely hard to pinpoint my favourite moments within the story without spoiling all of it, but for me every character was extremely well written, they had extremely funny ones, extremely creepy ones and extremely friendly ones that helped guide you through your experience. The whole game took me around 8 hours to complete, but I noticed I did miss quite a few things in my play-through. But I will say I was extremely satisfied by the end. I really didn't want to put this game down but when it did come to a close I felt like it was the perfect ending.

Speaking of endings there are a couple which all depend on the choices you take during your adventure, it's a great little feature that I didn't realise until after I completed it and realised my ending was different to other reviewers, but because of this it also really makes you want to go back and play through it again, making different choices as you progress through the game.

There were a few things that were a bit weird for me, some areas within the corporation had certain creatures that weren't massively explained that could have been quite cool to learn about, like the lip people in Human Resources, and the box head people in floor 2 and 3, but I could overlook this simply due to the nature of the corporation and how they used to experiment with their employees.

But there was one section near the end of the game which felt out of place and for me just felt like it was trying to be a bit of a breaking the fourth wall statement against corporations more than anything. Near the end you meet some union reps, the dialogue is funny but when you meet them it felt like the wrong time. It did clear some things up for me that happened at the beginning, but I don't know what it was, it just felt a bit weird to all of a sudden throw in those characters. Maybe that's just a personal gripe though.

Overall I extremely enjoyed the story from start to finish, every mission or task I was put on I wanted to see where it led. The characters were great, the twists and turns of the story was also very well executed and the ending satisfied me and felt like a nice way to end the game. But also because of it's multiple endings it made me want to just go again straight away.

How Can Something So Dull Be So Full Of Life? - Atmosphere and Graphical Style

I briefly mentioned earlier that the atmosphere the game had gone for was very dull and painted the world in this horrible corporate prison grey. This graphical choice is brilliant and you can see how it keeps to this style as you progress through the floors.

Every NPC that walks past is outfitted in these grey boring suits that all match one another, the only real sense of colour are from the characters who are new or important to the story. The fact that your character is outfitted in blue makes him standout from everyone else in the building, it shows that he is still full of life and has still got some colour too him compared to the lifeless drones that walk around the office.

On top of that the dark bags under each of the NPC's eyes was a nice touch and although it may not seem like much, really gave you a sense of how dire this corporation was and how overworked they were.

Considering the front cover of the game is absolutely filled with bold colours, the game is actually quite void of this. Most rooms as I say are grey or just filled with muted colour. Even the forest area on floor 8 is so dark that the green is extremely muted and not vibrant at all. This may seem like an annoying thing that the world is void of any colour, but for me this was a great direction as it made all the items that were important stand out completely. When walking around a grey boring room, if there was any blood on the floor it stood out completely. Blood writing on the walls instantly drew your attention and anything in fact that was bright instantly drew your eyeline to it like red envelops or coloured books for example.

Even the enemies, the small eyeball mines on the floor, lit up as green when they saw you and turned red when you were too close to them. If the rooms were filled with colour then they would be an absolute nightmare to see and stand out from the environment. The fireflies in the forest area are also an extremely bright green colour which means you are able to see them much easier and they don't blend into the darker green background.

You also had Sintranet which was your sort of mission hub within the computer, that was filled with vibrant green and red light. It fit the look of an internet server and it also showed me that this was going to be a safe place to be where I can just take a minute to relax and work out what I do next.

Each floor was so different to the next as well which made the building feel more engaging. The fact that you didn't get any duplicating floors meant that every floor had a purpose and there were set things going on within that level, like the busy initiation floor that was filled with hundreds of workers walking around in circles like headless chickens, and floor 8 which as I mentioned was surrounded by trees and at the end contained a spooky graveyard.

Overall the design of the game and its levels were brilliant. A lot of love had gone into creating the world of Sintracorp and I could tell that every time I was venturing around it.

It's All In Your Head...Hopefully - Music & Sound

To me you can't have a good horror game, or good game in general without a good soundtrack. Yuppie Psycho definitely falls into that category.

Every track in the soundtrack fits what is going on perfectly and there is so much variety within it. Most of the communal floors like your office, the canteen and the intro lobby plays what I can only call lift music. It's mellow, it's calm and it fits nicely over dialogue scenes with your colleagues. It is definitely the music you would hear within a corporate building, the only thing missing was a voice over telling you how amazing the company was.

You also have the epic Sintranet music which is this really upbeat motivational techno music that when it drops just makes you want to get on with work and find the witch. It makes you feel like a bad-ass listening to it and it works so well for this area in particular, as this is your safe space, this is where you are getting all the clues towards killing the witch.

On top of that you also have some happier songs when you go and see a fellow friendly worker which again like with the communal areas feels calm and helps you realise that this is a relaxed area where all that goes on here is work and socialising.

But then, without notice you can then be hit with some horrifying tracks that are consisted of eerie piano chords. The minute you hear these tracks, you know something had changed and now something horrifying is on its way. It completely changes the atmosphere of where you are and you become much more aware when venturing about.

There are also some quiet tense tracks that add to the mystery of certain areas. They fill you with dread and because they are pretty quiet and in the background you become super aware of your surroundings and start being alert, just in case anything suddenly jumps out.

Overall the music sets the atmosphere, you know what you're getting yourself into when the music plays, you know if it's going to be a stealth section or if everything is fine again simply by the music tone. Usually indie game get music wrong, but Yuppie Psycho's music certainly sent shivers down my spine throughout my play-through, especially near the end of the game.

As well as this the sound design was really well done, each monster has their own effects that made them stand out from one another and made them each quite creepy. The footsteps were well recorded as were the other simple sounds like doors closing, watercoolers, coffee machines etc. Everything felt well designed and well recorded.

There were a few that I felt were a bit comical, like drinking sound effects, but overall the sound design was pretty solid, especially near the end again with the extremely terrifying monster sounds. The sounds were pretty ear piercing and creepy which just added to that tension and once again just added to that atmosphere.

Luckily there were no jump scares so that was a positive in my eyes. Most of the horror aspect came out of building tension and putting you in quick thinking sections where you had to think extremely quickly. Most of the tension however was certainly done through the use of fantastic sound design and creepy, well paced music.

I'll Get This Witch, One Puzzle At A Time - Gameplay

I left the gameplay till last because I have a lot of things to say about this part. I mean after all, if the gameplay is bad in a game, you know it's going to be a poor experience for the player. Even if the story is gripping.

Yuppie Psycho's gameplay is pretty simple most of the time, it isn't some action packed game where you run around with a gun shooting enemies each floor you go. It focuses solely on puzzle solving like most horror survival games do with some stealth sections as well.

The puzzles for the most part are really well designed. Majority of the time I really had to stop and think about what I had to do and what the solution was. If you are no good at puzzles then unfortunately this isn't the game for you, you do need to pay attention to clues dotted about the levels, you need to read NPC dialogue and you need to be constantly picking up items and checking your suitcase to see what is in your inventory to succeed in this game. If you don't you just won't go very far.

Every puzzle I successfully completed was extremely satisfying, and again made me want to keep pressing on in my adventure. However there were some puzzles, specifically boss battles that just had me more frustrated than anything. Sometimes the game just put you in a situation that had never happened before, no hints had been given before that and you were just told you have to work it out now under immense pressure.

The boss battle in the canteen was the worst for example, because not only did it put you in this tense situation, it had you trying to multitask different things at the same time whilst also trying to stay alive. There was also nothing previously in the game like this situation so despite all you had learnt from the previous missions it just didn't apply here. I died multiple times in this battle and each time I kept trying to work out what on earth I was meant to be doing. It was a satisfying one to complete but to me it was just too frustrating and I just wish there had been a smaller mission which taught you about some basic things of what to do in that situation. But that was for me personally, maybe I just don't do well under pressure.

There are some side missions which are quite fun to get involved in, searching for specific items for people like VHS cassettes that you can watch was quite enjoyable, searching for a bit of jewellery as well was a fun task albeit I wasn't able to find it, and my favourite one of all of them, the initiation test for your good old buddy Chapman. This was completely optional, and you can do it for Chapman for free, he can give you 1000 credits to do it or you can just leave it as well. It really tests your puzzle solving skills and although it was frustrating, it wasn't the main part of the story so it meant you could keep coming back to it to try new things.

Yuppie Psycho is filled with hidden things that are great for anyone who is a perfectionist or even anyone who just wants to keep replaying it to find new things.

The health system was affective but very tricky to master. Like all good survival horror games, food and health is extremely important and using it needs to considered at all times. Picking up pieces of bread for example, may seem like a quick way to gain health but it also can be bad to do that as it means you can't create better food like a cheese toastie which can heal you for much more, which could serve as a life saver in boss battles. The same goes for cups of water, although they can heal you for a little at a time, you will then waste opportunities to create cups of coffee which would heal you for much more. Everything that happens, everything you pick up needs to be thought about, and if you go around wasting ingredients like bread, cheese, water etc then your survivability gets lowered, something I figured out a few times.

When you do have to use a weapon however, its quite funny and satisfying. I won't say what those weapons are as that will ruin the early game experience. But it was quite satisfying to be able to kill certain creatures. However my one gripe with this was that every time you went to use your weapons, you had to open up your inventory, go over to your items and press use item. It felt a bit weird for me and took you out of the pressure of getting it right. For me it would have been nice to have a specific button mapped on your keyboard that you could press to equip the weapon or at least use it. It was just a little irritating to keep opening my inventory every time I was near a monster or one came near me, I lost that pressure and urgency, especially as when you enter the inventory system it pauses the game for you.

My other real problem with the gameplay was something I noticed a lot of people had a problem with and that was, the save system. When I first got to save the game I thought it was a brilliant way of doing it. Photocopying your soul on witch paper felt so fitting, especially as the whole game is set within offices. However the more you progressed through the game, the more irritating it became. Printers became more scarce, ink which is used to power the prints seemed to be hard to find and if you had 0 credits (which I did most of the time) you couldn't buy any, and the same applied to paper. It meant that when venturing into new areas you were constantly praying that nothing would kill you because you wouldn't know where your last save was.

When I was playing through the game, I started at half 5 and during my whole time I couldn't find a single piece of paper, it got to 9 O'clock and I died in game. I thought I would be able to go back to the start of the mission I was on but no, the save took me back to where I started at half 5 simply because I hadn't photocopied my face at any point during the play through. I would have blamed myself but I honestly couldn't find any paper and because of this I felt completely vulnerable and it really was the most irritating thing.

The other problem is that sometimes the printers are so far away from certain points, if you make it close to the end of a level for example, you have to back track to the printer to save to then go back just to make sure you don't go right back to the beginning. I understand what they were going for when it came to the saving, and I understand that it was fitting for a survival horror game that makes you focus on staying alive, but I just felt the saving system was too primitive and surely there was a better way of going about it. Even if it was having more printers around and more ink and paper.

My real frustration was backtracking on every mission between the printer and my next objective, it felt unneeded and as I say just irritating.

Yuppie Psycho is fully about puzzle solving, there are a few sections that are focused on stealthily making your way around the rooms which are extremely tense and break up the gameplay a bit and these were extremely enjoyable even if they did have you on the edge of your seat most of the time. But Yuppie Psycho's gameplay choices are very well done, completing puzzles is satisfying as I say and although it had problems when it comes to its save system and extremely steep learning curve at times, it doesn't affect the enjoyment you get out of the game. Every level felt different and every puzzle was different from the last, which meant you were always experiencing something new and it wasn't just regurgitated levels.

Take That Corporate - Conclusion

Yuppie Psycho is one of those games that comes around that completely surprises you. I went into it with such low expectations, but after my 8 hour play-through I was clapping my hands and wanting to experience it all over again.

It's whole design was clearly crafted with a lot of passion, and it's theme of corporation exploitation were quite refreshing for a horror game. It's level designs were unique and the puzzles the player has to solve were really enjoyable.

Yuppie Psycho has a few problems when it comes to a weak save system and irritatingly difficult levels that don't give a chance for the player to stop and think. But overall the game has a strong premise, it has a gripping narrative and it constantly makes the player want to know more and keep pushing on to reach their final goal.

Yuppie Psycho is filled with humour, weirdness and horrifying moments (a bit like a day out with me). It's a brilliant little horror game and for me proves you can't judge a book by it's cover. Yuppie Psycho certainly surprised me and I cannot recommend it more. If you are into indie games, this is definitely one to pick up, and if you enjoy survival horror games then you certainly will want to experience this one.

Matt Salmon

“Overall the game has a strong premise, it has a gripping narrative and it constantly makes the player want to know more and keep pushing on to reach their final goal.. ”


4/5

The Good Stuff:
  • Engaging story with some great twists and turns and a satisfying ending/s
  • Well written characters that were funny, creepy and interesting
  • Well design puzzles and levels
  • Great art style with a big focus on atmosphere
  • Music and sound is brilliant with some fantastic tracks that add to the tension
  • Horror that focuses on atmosphere and sound rather than jump scares
  • Focus on survivability
  • Good player choice and lots to do for perfectionists
The Bad Stuff:
  • Irritating save system that requires a lot of back tracking
  • Extremely intense puzzles that instantly throw you in the deep end with no preparation

Yuppie Psycho

During his unconventional employee orientation, Pasternack discovers what his new job really entails: hunting a “witch” whose powers made the success of the corporation possible in the first place, but who now seems to have returned to torment its employees. Brian will meet all kinds of odd characters, escape from terrible creatures, and unravel the hidden secrets of Sintracorp’s dark past.

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Robin Bates

Coaching for Geeks Overlord at Coaching for Geeks
Robin Bates is a 40 year old manchild who somehow ended up in charge of Coaching for Geeks. He has a penchant for gaming, dressing up, music festivals, and the Oxford comma. He is a terrible typist despite many hours playing Typing of the Dead.
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