Yuppie Psycho is a psychological horror game with puzzle-solving elements. Developed by Baroque Decay and Published by Another Indie.
Brian Pasternack a low-grade nobody receives a letter from Sintracorp the biggest company on the planet. The letter he receives tells him to come to the Sintracorp office where he will receive employment. For a low-class person like Brian, this seems like a dream come true. But when he arrives he finds it might actually be a nightmare. Even from the outset things are not what they seem at Sintracorp. Once Brian signs the contract (which is in an empty room with the words “Kill the witch” scrawled in blood). Things only get stranger. Insane co-workers, an intranet avatar of Sintra themselves, flying coffee pots. As Brian’s orientation continues it is revealed that killing the witch is his actual job. Now officially a hunter things are about to get weird.
Yuppie Psycho is primarily a puzzle game. Find clues and items, solve puzzles and of course try to survive. As a horror game, there are a number of jumpscares, most of which can actually damage and even kill Brian. The game uses darkness a lot. Both in setting the creepy atmosphere and to block off later areas of the game until you reach an adequate light source. Talking to your co-workers and making the right decisions when prompted are essential to the game. Almost as essential though is searching for items. Most story-based items will be hard to miss. But you can also find food items, credits and even bonus illustrations hidden in places.
There are two items that you can never have enough of in Yuppie Psycho. Witch Paper and Ink Toner. Much like the Resident Evil series, you are not able to save the game wherever you like, there are also no autosaves. Instead what you will need to do is find the aforementioned Witch Paper and a photocopier so you can photocopy your soul. Each soul is a new save file so you can reload an earlier soul if you wish to go back a few areas instead of just one. I also mentioned the Toner earlier as being important, this is because some photocopiers will need this item to become active before you can use the paper. It is a diabolical system set up by the sadist developer, but if you search like the game wants you to then you shouldn’t have trouble finding what you need.
Food and drink are used to heal Brian when he takes damage. On the first floor which can be accessed via the elevator, there is a cafeteria with various amenities you can use to improve the effectiveness of your items. For instance, if you have water you can drink it for a small amount of health, but if you have water and coffee powder and find a coffee machine you can make coffee which restores more health. It is always a better idea to combine the items for maximum healing but sometimes you’ll need to use the lesser versions because you don’t have everything you need or can’t get down to the first floor.
Yuppie Psycho is a mix of art styles. The character portraits and cutscenes are done with super detailed pixel art and a Japanese anime style. Whereas the gameplay graphics use larger pixels that carry that old NES retro feel to them.
The characters are all well designed, distinctive and emotive. Brian looks like he is in over his head and is mostly a timid and worried individual. Ms. Sosa has a frayed afro hairstyle and bulging eyes. Sintra’s avatar has glowing green eyes and robotic metallic skin.
There is a lot of darkness in the game, as well as flickering lights, movable light sources, etc. Which all adds to the creepy atmosphere the story is setting up. Inside the darkness though is generally something much worse. All manner of monstrous abominations lurks in the shadow waiting to strip Brian of his life and his job bonuses.
The Yuppie Psycho OST is made by Michael “Garoad” (Composer of VA-11 Hall-A). I love the music in the game. The intro music sounds a lot like one of my all-time favourite games, Shin Megami Tensei Lucifer’s Call (or Nocturne depending on where in the world you live).
Actually a lot of the music in the game reminded me of SMT, which is a positive thing. There are a lot of slightly off-kilter sounding keys which add to the tension and the general feeling that something is wrong.
Also adding a lot to the atmosphere of the game are the sound effects. Creaking doors, echoing laughs, the sound of wind in an enclosed room, footsteps in the dark. Each element in the game building on the others to create a wholely unsettling experience.
Yuppie Psycho is a solid survival horror title that feels a lot like The Count Lucanor (the previous game by Baroque Decay). It contains a lot of the dark humor and bizarre imagery that made Lucanor special, exchanging the medieval folk setting and themes for the far more evil realms of corporate greed.
A fairly linear experience with multiple endings and various routes to take, there is a lot to uncover, especially with a recent Halloween update.
The development team are obviously fans of a lot of dark and not so dark media and have weaved a lot of elements into their games in a satisfying way.
With a soundtrack that I’d love to have in my collection and still more spooky goodness to explore I’d say this is a game worth checking out.
Rating: 9/10 – Creepy, funny and entertaining survival horror at its finest.
Title: Yuppie Psycho
Genre: Psychological Horror, Survival Horror, Puzzle
Developer: Baroque Decay
Publisher: Another Indie
Release Date: 25 Apr 2019