Synaptic is a side-scroller platform game about a praying mantis named Axle who has lost his mind and must travel the world to recollect his thoughts. Some thoughts are good, and some thoughts are bad. The player must contemplate what to do with certain thoughts after they are collected. Some are used to solve puzzles, or introduce new abilities, and some are highly volatile and must be disposed of immediately after collection. The combat system is mainly based on stealth hack'n'slash combat.