Excerpt: You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoys high concept games more than I do, but regardless of how fancy or sophisticated the idea is, there still needs to be a solid core of enjoyable play behind it. Psychonauts 's premise hooked me from the start, and though I have great respect for what creator Tim Schafer has contributed to the world of videogames, I found the "mental spelunking" experience here to be lacking both in terms of plot and content.
Excerpt: Few games go through four years of development and two publishers, and come out smelling of roses. Psychonauts is a game Microsoft no longer wanted as part of its first-party portfolio and despite positive word of mouth and much interest from the gaming hardcore, Tim Schafer's debut console project looked to be in trouble.
We predict you'll love this quirky, creative game.
Common Sense Media
4 January 2007
Summary: Parents need to know that this game is witty, creative, and at times extremely funny. But its scary-looking, bizarre, and sometimes cruel characters make it inappropriate for younger children. There are also some references to tobacco use and some negative social behaviors that are encouraged by adult characters.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: For anyone who wants to experience how games can provide entertainment beyond the simple act of play, Psychonauts is one of only a handful of titles that can give you what you're looking for. It is a game that deserves not to be just played, but experienced, by everyone who loves videogames.
Excerpt: What is it? We've had to wait seven years for Tim Schafer to create a new game, and this one went via Microsoft for a while, so no wondering about the delay then. (Can anybody see a release date for Longhorn yet?) But now, Majesco has released Double Fine Production's new opus.
Excerpt: It is impossible, philosophers tell us, for the mind to understand itself. But that doesn't stop neurologists, psychiatrists, or the reporters on 60 Minutes from trying—nor should it. This interest in our own wiring has led to the concept of neurodiversity and the popularity of authors like neurologist Oliver Sacks.
Excerpt: I believe you will agree with me that psychic powers are cool. I bet many of you would enjoy the ability to explode things with nothing more than the thought of it. Would it not be interesting to enter people’s minds and listen to their thoughts or how about running through an obstacle course set within the mind of a war veteran? Well you can have all that psychic fun with Double Fine Production’s Psychonauts.
Excerpt: I’m sure many of you remember when adventure games were a big deal. The arrival of a new adventure from Sierra or LucasArts was monumental, equivalent to a release from Valve today, including the subsequent domination of the sales charts. Before massive shake-ups at the company, Tim Schafer was responsible for some of LucasArts’ greatest classics: Day of the Tentacle , Full Throttle , Grim Fandango , and more. But since leaving, he hasn’t been up to much.
Conclusion: While some puzzles may not be exactly challenging, they certainly make for a worthwhile experience. The game successfully evades the trap of being boring or too predictive thanks to the unique nature of each of its elements. And it's basically a platform game. But, nonetheless, it's a platform game that I loved. And you will, too, if you know what's good for you. And now... *brain mode off*. (FYI: You're getting paid while you're in that mode -Ed.
Pros: Just about everything; well, just about;
Cons: Overall, the game is less challenging than it should've been; some low-res textures and blocky objects, camera gets stuck occasionally.
Excerpt: Psychonauts is a quirky, offbeat game set in a special summer camp for clairvoyant kids, in which a group of psychic children end up in a wacky adventure filled with brain-stealing hijinks, psychic secret agents, and a little romance on top of everything else. It's rooted in the sorts of 3D platforming sensibilities we've all come to know over the years.
Pros: Tim Schafer's gift for creating unique characters and entertaining dialogue shines through wonderfully here, Great platforming mechanics that excel in both variance and control, Lovely graphics engine, The game's psychic powers are a lot of fun
Cons: The game isn't especially challenging, except in somewhat sporadic spurts, Not a terribly long adventure and not a great deal of replay value, PC version features some annoying audio bugs