Tim Schaffer wrote Psychonauts. Previously, Tim Schaffer wrote Grim Fandango. That should tell you all you need to really know about Psychonauts.
But, cynics that you are, you want more. So here goes.
“If I were you, I’d buy Psychonauts. Otherwise I’ll come round and lop your head off its scrawny neck.”
The mind is a curious thing. It’s also filled with infinite possibilities, which makes you wonder why it hasn’t been the setting for more games. Schaffer takes this setting and plays with it to his heart’s content. His own imagination runs amok, in order to give you enough bizarre dreamscapes and thoughts to play with and keep you happy.
Psychonauts plonks you in a seemingly typical American summer camp for kids, except these kids all have psychic powers. And although it seems at first as though you’re going to spend all of your time trudging around a typical platformer, things take a much more interesting turn when events lead to you becoming a kind of psychic detective.
Carrot Top was horrified that he’d fallen for the old “pull my finger” trick again.
You never know quite what you’re going to get when you jump inside someone’s head. From the disorganised clutter of a troubled boy to the hilariously organised cube of the Agent Smith FBI agent-type teacher, every mind is a joy to explore, and an intriguing piece of the puzzle that you’re trying to put together.
It’s probably fair to say that there’s just a little bit too much trudging around, and yeah, occasionally you might get stuck and not quite know what to do next. But it never gets frustrating or takes too long to work the problem out. And those things never get in the way of a good time. You get all the typical platform game elements, but with psychic powers and some dark, intelligent humour and dialogue thrown in. And with each mind being completely different from any other, it never becomes samey at all.
Hello. I think I’ll be killing you now. That is all.
Simply put, there’s more humour and imagination in just one section of Psychonauts than you’d find in a dozen more mainstream titles and it will be a crying shame if this magnificent game shares the fate of Beyond Good & Evil and Oddworld Stranger. What’s wrong with you people?
Get out there and buy this game.