Psychonauts melds with retailers

After years in development and turnaround, Double Fine's offbeat platformer bounds onto the PC and Xbox; PS2 version still cooking.

It's been a long, strange trip for Double Fine's totally mental adventure, Psychonauts. Tim Schafer, founder of Double Fine and creator of classic games such as Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, has seen his latest game go from one to three platforms, through two publishers, and through nearly a two-year delay.

At long last, fans of Schafer's oddball vision can rest easily. Majesco today announced that Psychonauts has shipped for the Xbox and PC. A PlayStation 2 version is expected to materialize in June.

In Psychonauts, gamers assume the role of Raz, a young psychic who attends a summer camp for the unusually gifted. Raz can beef up his psychic prowess by delving into people's minds to collect figments of imagination, as well as sorting through emotional baggage. As he grows in power, Raz will develop abnormal abilities, such as telekinesis and clairvoyance.

The game features 13 levels with nonlinear gameplay and combines third-person platforming action with puzzle elements.

Psychonauts was originally set to be an Xbox exclusive, published by Microsoft Game Studios. After missing an initial release date, Microsoft ended the agreement in March 2004, putting the game's future in jeopardy. Majesco then swooped in to pick up the reins in mid-2004, freeing the game up to expand to other platforms.

Psychonauts is rated T for Teen and retails for $49.99 on the Xbox and $29.99 on the PC. For more information on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage, or check back later today for the full review. PC owners who want a piece of the game's mind can download the demo at GameSpot DLX.

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