Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures in The Internet Archive #23: Psycho (1988, Starsoft Development Laboratories)


For my next horrific adventure in the Internet Archive, I played Psycho (1988, Starsoft Development Laboratories).

Psycho is an example of game that borrows a famous name but has next to nothing to do with its supposed inspiration.  Despite the picture above, you do not play Norman Bates in Psycho.  You are not Marion Crane, either.  You are not even Aborgast, Lila, or Sam.

Instead, you are a nameless detective who is searching for some jewels that were stolen from a museum.  For some reason, you believe the jewels were stolen by Norman Bates and that Norman is holding a curator hostage at his motel.  (None of that sounds like Norman.)  You go to investigate.

You have only four hours to find the jewels and rescue the curator.  Unfortunately, once you enter the house, you will be randomly besieged by ghosts, dogs, and other members of the Bates family.

If they touch you, you fall asleep for a period of time.  Somewhere in the game, there is a gun. If you find it, you can at least shoot at the ghosts.  Why wouldn’t a detective have his own gun?  I’m not sure.

Psycho the game has not aged well.  What was probably state of the art in 1988 now feels clunky and slow.

I do like the painting of Mother Bates, though.

Since first discovering it, I have tried to play Psycho on ten separate occasions.  Each time, I got frustrated with the slow gameplay and I quit.  Norman can have the jewels and the curator.  After all, he wouldn’t hurt a fly.

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