Same salary, more responsibilities!
Horror. Pixel art. And survival elements. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect psychological thriller. But the developers deftly added an extra ingredient to the concoction: TOXIC OFFICE CULTURE. Thus, Yuppie Psycho was born! Using its undeniable charm, Yuppie Psycho has added extra content to give players more fun while uncovering the mystery of the witch once more.
Which is why, over a year later, we’re right back here again with the same game featuring a new and improved name: Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition. Developed by Baroque Decay and published by Another Indie, Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition adds around three extra hours of content, three new endings, and offers plenty of answers while still creating even more questions to add to the lore of an incredibly cursed company and its employees. Players who already own the base game will simply have to update their game to receive the additional content for free, the bonus fun simply a few clicks away.
Players will take on the role of Brian Pasternack, a class-G kid from the suburbs showing up to his first day at the extremely esteemed corporation Sintracorp. Despite the mystery surrounding his job offer, this is a pretty big deal for the kid, whose social standing means he’s locked out of many opportunities afforded the higher classes. Upon his arrival, he learns that he’ll receive 10,000 credits per day and will be elevated to class-A in exchange for the completion of a single mission: Kill the Witch. What this cryptic demand means, he’s not sure, but the offer is too great to pass up, so he signs the paperwork and begins his life at Sintracorp as its newest Hunter.
Of course, a mission like this isn’t going to be easy — Brian doesn’t even know who the witch is, let alone how to kill her. But with the help of Rei, the AI trapped in a very old computer, and Kate, another new hire, Brian is able to take it step by step and free the organization from its curse. From wandering through the annals of the library to find ancient tomes to traipsing around the company’s cemetery to unlock the secrets of the mysterious Sintra family, Brian grits his teeth and forges on, putting his life in danger as he climbs the corporate ladder and through air ducts to fulfill his top-secret mission.
I had the pleasure of reviewing Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition for the Switch in addition to the Steam version, so I got to know the game fairly intimately. While I preferred the Switch controls, I will say that the PC controls were excellent. It’s always fantastic when a game allows you to switch controls around mid-game without pressing the pause button, so I really appreciated the flexibility of the control scheme. WASD moves Brian and E interacts, but so do the arrow keys and enter, respectively. I felt most comfortable with my left hand on WASD and my right hand on enter and shift (running), mastering the control scheme immediately and hitting the ground running.
The aesthetics of Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition are glorious. This may be my favorite pixel game I’ve ever played, and I say that having previously reviewed for a site focusing specifically on pixel games (my love for them will never die). It’s more than just the exploration segment, but also the use of color and the cutscenes which look like a pixelated anime sequence. Coupled with a retrowave soundtrack and live-action creepy movies scattered throughout, Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition is a feast for the eyes and ears in every single scene.
When it comes to level design, Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition delivers in spades. Sintracorp has 11 total floors, each one a world within itself. One floor is a labyrinthine library where you feel the dust of decades, where another is a security floor with cameras for miles. Yet another is an entire forest with the family cemetery situated in the far back, and another still an art gallery full of spooky, questionable paintings. One of my favorites was the fourth floor, nicknamed “The Hive” which was filled to the brim with office drones that would draw blood if you got too close to them. Every single floor felt completely different from the last, a series of buzzing, thriving worlds all sitting on top of each other with secrets to unlock as you progress through them.
I have only one complaint, and that’s that there’s a slight difficulty curve when it comes to unlocking the new content. This isn’t a casual game to pick up and play whenever — it’s actually a mildly intense experience that becomes something of a commitment. It was actually fairly easy to breeze through the older stuff having played it previously, but without dedicating a good chunk of time to some trial and error figuring out the security floor map it’s not possible to keep that same pace. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not, but after barely surviving the dot matrix I just wasn’t feeling the third floor as much as some of the other ones. Still, that complaint is so slight in an otherwise near-perfect game that it just feels nitpicky, but it feels worth mentioning for the sake of just how abrupt that difficulty felt.
Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition is a fantastic commentary on toxic corporate culture without being annoyingly on the nose. It’s got a great storyline, awesome survival mechanics, and seven different endings to encourage replay after replay. It’s not a true horror game in the traditional sense of the genre, but it’s still a worthy addition for those who love psychological thrillers that stick with you and make you think. Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition is an absolute no-brainer — whether you get it on Steam or on the Switch, you absolutely must get it. Become the newest hire of Sintracorp today!
Final Verdict: 4.5/5
Available on: Switch, PC (reviewed); Publisher: Another Indie; Developer: Baroque Decay; Players: 1; Released: October 30, 2020; MSRP: $16.66
Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of Yuppie Psycho Executive Edition provided by the publisher.