The Creepy Syndrome is the latest from BOOMFIRE Games, out of Cordoba, Spain. For $5 US at launch, you can take a trip through four “anthology” style stories, as you discuss your past lives as a little girl, a police detective, a nuclear missile base operator, and another young woman. It’s weird as hell, and a bit of a mess.
The game begins with your psychiatrist staring at you as creepy piano music plays. From there you will begin your journey through four very different, and all terrible “memories”. It’s an odd setup because you are a grown man, yet two of the memories are from women, one is a male police officer, and the last is an undetermined missile silo operator. First up is a young woman who is walking down an endless tunnel. BOOMFIRE specializes in low-budget throwback-style games, and this one is akin to an incredibly low poly/effort interactive novel.
The color count is low, and the tunnel is sparsely detailed. You’ll walk forward until either you see an item or your character talks. In English, her dialogue lines rarely match up with the on-screen text, and the voice acting itself is subpar. There are a few sections where other gameplay styles crop up and it never feels good. I imagine this game was originally set up for a mouse and keyboard because the controller cursor speed is painfully slow and bogs down what is otherwise a dreary experience.
This is the only scene to have voice acting outside of your psychiatrist’s truly terrifying laugh. It also relies heavily on jump scares. There is some genuinely creepy artwork that is matched by painfully shrill sound effects. The second scene harkens back to the Intellivision era with its extremely low pixel county look and terrible audio quality. You are a detective walking around a cult area for, reasons. It controls poorly, makes little logical sense if you want the “good” ending, and features poor writing like the rest of the game.
El Missile Silo
Third, we have the Nuclear Missile Silo… memory? I’m not sure what the actual setup is for this game, but you’ll take on the role of someone working a missile silo. After some of the worst, most basic point-and-click action possible, you’ll have a moral choice. Most of these scenarios appear to require multiple playthroughs to get each end if you want to get all of the achievements. A full run of the game is roughly an hour at most, and less if you don’t bother reading anything.
Finally, we have the “little girl in a house turning on lights as she walks side to side” segment. It’s dull, looks bad, and features a binary ending choice that makes little sense. If you get all the good endings you’re treated to a truly awful cutscene, and if you get mostly bad ones you get one last jump scare.
Going back through for achievements let like a chore, as the fade in and out of each scene upped the playtime. If it just opened and closed into new areas quickly for the point-and-click sessions you could speed-run the entire thing in 20 minutes.
Wrapping Things Up
The Creepy Syndrome is not creepy and features no syndromes. It is a low-budget horror title that relies entirely on jump scares and stilted, cliché-filled writing. If you skip the dialogue and get a strategy video you can get an easy 1000g out of it in an hour or two, but you will not have an enjoyable time while doing so.
The Creepy Syndrome
Xbox Series X
- Some Decent Music
- Terrible Writing
- Ugly Graphically
- Over-reliance on Jump Scares
- Non-Logical Puzzle/Choice Design