Yuppie Psycho: Executive Edition gives console players a taste of the Pandora’s Box of indie horror. Yuppie Psycho is a strange merging of Resident Evil, Outlast, and Va-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. Expressive and detailed pixel art decorate the scenes of our unfortunate blue-collar protagonist’s first day at his new job, and all the fun that comes with it.
The horror captured in the art is very impressive, and the game manages to be both scary and hilarious. While some horror experiences fail to be scary to the point of being funny, Yuppie Psycho actively tries to be both and succeeds with flying colors. Everyman Brian Pasternack is a great protagonist, constantly playing the straight man to his wacky new coworkers. He reacts to the situations realistically, and you genuinely want him to succeed.
However, some of the worst vices of indie horror are present here as well. There’s a tendency to over-rely on symbolism and not explain key details. The limited budget shows as well, with certain scenes not being nearly as creepy as they could have been. Along with that, the game is a bit too similar to Resident Evil, adopting many of the series’ most aged mechanics. Especially the save mechanic, which will be incredibly annoying for completionists trying to get all 49 trophies. Getting them requires at least two full playthroughs.
Yuppie Psycho: Executive Edition is available digitally on Steam & Nintendo Switch for $16.66, and for $16.49 on the PlayStation & Xbox stores. Physical copies are available for $34.99 for Nintendo Switch, with a limited Elite edition available for $39.99.
This review contains minor spoilers for Yuppie Psycho.
Story – Snake in the Grass
Yuppie Psycho follows middle-class working man Brian Pasternack as he follows up on a mysterious job offer from renowned megacorporation Sintracorp. He soon finds out that he’s been chosen as the newest Witch Hunter. The Witch Hunter’s job is self-explanatory. Brian has to journey through Sintracorp’s nine different floors to solve puzzles in the name of finding the Witch and putting an end to her corruption.
The actions Brian takes throughout the game impact the story, as there are six total endings depending on what he does or does not do. He will encounter many different people throughout his journey, from the hardworking Kate to the slimy Hugo, along with plenty of special employees he won’t soon be forgetting. Let’s just say Sintracorp has quite the remarkable HR team.
The story is handled very well for about 95% of the game, and only really falls apart at the end. The grand explanation feels rather rushed, and the moment isn’t allowed to breathe long enough to feel as impactful as it should. As I touched on earlier, this is where the overreliance on symbolism is apparent.
Gameplay – The ’90s Called
This is not what they mean when they say “fear is in the unknown.”
Aside from basic movement and hiding, Yuppie Psycho is all about puzzles. Brian’s briefcase stores items, and if the game is feeling generous, you might get a vague hint about how to use them. Some puzzles are exclusive to the room he’s in, others span across multiple floors. My tip to you is to keep a notepad handy to keep track of things you think might be important later.
Brian needs light in order to see in dark areas, funny how that works, and he eventually gets a flashlight to help. Alan Wake players know what that means: battery management. Luckily, the flashlight is not as big a necessity in Yuppie Psycho.
Brian has to scavenge to find batteries for his flashlight, and many other useful items. For example, food to recover his health, and Witch Paper to save. Because, also like Resident Evil, you need items to save. Yes, items plural. Witch Paper is used at photocopiers to save the game. Sometimes the photocopier is broken, so Brian needs an ink cartridge to fix it. Only then can he use it to save.
Sintracorp also houses many secrets and collectables, some of which are permanently missable. For example; there are creepy VHS tapes, animal drawings, electronic parts, and barcodes. Some are only for trophies, but others are very helpful to find.
Overall, Yuppie Psycho‘s gameplay is nothing special. There’s nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary, and it relies too heavily on outdated annoying mechanics. Puzzle solving is always fun if you’re into it, though some are a bit too vague to solve.
Graphics – Not Everyone’s First Pix
Yuppie Psycho uses a pixel art style, which is not to everyone’s liking. Someone who puts an emphasis on a game’s graphics may pass on it just for that reason. I don’t feel strongly about it one way or the other, though what they manage to do with the style is impressive. All of the characters, especially Brian, have unique and expressive designs that make them stand out from one another. The text box also gives a more detailed look on them to help that.
The game also has some pretty creepy visuals to boot. All of the corrupt creatures have great designs that really stand out and add to the horror experience. Yeah, they’d be scarier in a AAA hyper realistic first person horror game, but they would not have as much character.
Sound – Speak Not A Whispered Word
Sound is a very important part of any horror experience, and Yuppie Psycho shows why.
The game takes full advantage of ambiance, as most areas have little-to-no music in favor of background noise that makes you want to be anywhere but there. There is still music to be had, and it is also very good at doing exactly what it’s supposed to. But music and ambiance aren’t everything there is to sound.
It is worth noting that none of the characters speak. I think it’s a detriment to the characters, as a voice really could’ve made them that much more memorable. However, it’s not my biggest gripe with the voices. Brian will hear whispers throughout the game, and the audio will only rarely match the subtitles. It would have added to the creepiness of the game if the only dialogue you hear is the whispers in your ear, but it’s just gibberish half the time, so it falls real short of its potential.
Yuppie Psycho: Executive Edition was reviewed on PS5 with a key provided by UberStrategist PR.
What is different in the Elite edition?