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Synapsis is an escape from the room/point and click adventure type of game, but with a surreal twist: the imagery is unusual and it suggests that the player could be in a mental ward or hospital or even dead, as theories on the net have suggested.
As per the usual game of this fare, the player uses their mouse to pick up objects from rooms and use them in a certain manner to access more areas and objects in hopes of winning the game.
The game begins in someone's office, which a cube that looks like the puzzle box from the Hellraiser movies is rolled along a desk as a voice welcomes you to something called Goldsmiths and that they've heard good things about you (which they address you as "Mr. Carter").
Upon performing the correct actions, the player begins their journey.
After getting past the introductory screen, the player is taken to this main area, with three doors on the left and one door on the right to choose from to enter, pick up objects and perform various actions. The cube seen during the intro is slightly right of center in this area.
This room -- the first door at the bottom left in the Subconscious area -- has a green gas can, a spark plug, a wrench and a cog wheel that can be picked up, as well as a disc later once certain functions are performed with these objects. Also in the room is a robot on a treadmill, a locked door on the left, a small machine at the right and lights in the background.
This room is accessed from Motion, once all items are gathered and a few actions are taken, which the door becomes unlocked then, allowing the player to enter it with a click of the mouse button.
In this room is a lit candle, a small table, chairs and two paintings with crows either perched on posts or flying in between the paintings. After certain actions are performed, a book also becomes available from the table drawer.
This is the second door from the left of Subconscious, which is a filthy padded room with a dirty bedspread, a radio, a clock, surveillance camera, a tattered paper (a tract about John the Baptist) and what appears to be blood on a wall. Also, a cross, a screwdriver and razor blade also can become available once a few functions are performed, along with another room made available as well.
This room is accessed from Contained when the proper actions are taken. There are two small platforms -- a transparent brain is sitting on one of them -- and there are lasers being reflected at various angles. Upon configuring the laser beams in a certain manner, the brain will become solid and can be taken from this room.
This is the third door from the left of Subconscious, being a subway station. After every several seconds, a train will appear. A train door can be opened and a cell phone can be confiscated from the train car's floor.
There is also a phone booth in this area on the left, although the player cannot interact with it.
Being the last door on the left of Subconscious, this is a small room with only a light and what appears to be a circuit box with the outline of a brain inside. There is nothing that can be taken from this room.
This is the only door on the right side of Subconscious, which is the inside of a church. There are several candles, along with a ceremonial bowl at the front, a cross and benches. When the right actions are performed, the player will be presented with a beating heart to collect.
This room can be accessed near the end of the game; after all objects have been gathered and the right steps taken, the player will be taken back to Transport, where a man will appear in the phone booth, ask what you are doing and that he's been watching you. Also, if you want to get out, you're going to have to cooperate.
An opening with a ladder appears in the subway floor; upon taking the ladder down, it will lead the player to this room, which has the live feed from the padded room and another circuit box.
Upon taking the correct action in this room the game will be beaten.
- Usually at what appears to be a random time during a game, at some point the player could encounter a person in a suit and tie with a television set for a head in Subconscious. There doesn't seem to be any way to interact with this person (/thing?), nor does it interact with the player either, much less even move. Once the player enters a room and returns this thing will have disappeared.
- There is a toolbar at the bottom of the screen showing all objects that have been collected. There is also an exit command at the right of the toolbar (a down arrow), which will allow the player to leave any room they have entered, taking them back to the Subconscious.
If all items in a game have been picked up and used in a certain manner, the player will beat the game, which there is a brief cinematic ending, showing several scenes that are named, like with the rooms in the game. These scenes are named "the event", “the occasion”, “the consequence”,”the outcome” and "hospital".
At the end of this sequence, the cube reappears, showing an eerie mask while sinister laughing is heard. Due to this being the first in a series of games, more could be revealed as to what all this means and if the player is indeed in a mental ward, as it seems unlikely that, with the laughter and the unsettling image at the end, they are in a regular hospital.