Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Synapsis is a pretty standard point-and-click adventure puzzle. You're thrown into -- well, it's not clear where it is exactly; a set of connected rooms -- and your job is to escape by solving a bunch of puzzles. As is standard for the genre, various interactable objects are scattered around the landscape, and you can click on them to do various, hopefully useful, things.

The puzzles are, to be honest, not the strong point of this game. There's too much time spent hunting for objects (some of which are really small and inconspicuous) and not enough time thinking about how to use those objects -- indeed, most of the time, when you acquire an object, its purpose is immediately apparent; there's only a few exceptions. As a result, the game ended up being a little disappointing on the intellectual front.

Graphically, though, the game is very impressive -- the graphics are excellent, and the rooms, though each quite distinct, fit together well to create an overall unusual, disorienting atmosphere. The sound effects are also a cut above what you'd see in your typical Flash game; they definitely add to the general environment. There's also some background music which remains very much in the background, so while it contributes a little bit to the overall atmosphere, it's not something you'll really notice strongly. (Well, with the exception of the jaunty music for the ending sequence, which is really quite baffling. Then again, the game description implies that this is the first in a series, so perhaps we'll learn more later.)

Overall, Synapsis is not an easy game (at least if you don't avail yourself of the walkthrough, as we didn't), and the lack of a save feature is slightly annoying, since you may be best off playing it in more than one session (though once you've figured something out, it's pretty quick to get back to that point), so it was definitely a feeling of accomplishment to finish it. Still, while this is one of the finest-crafted Flash games I've seen on Kongregate, I can't help but feel that a little sharper attention paid to the puzzles would have made this a much better game.

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