Let me start by saying The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker may not be for everyone. In fact, I’m almost certain that if your idea of a great game includes multiple explosions, hand-to-hand combat, and massive bloodshed, this game won’t impress you in the least.
If, however, you’re the kind of gamer who is patient, enjoys a compelling character-driven story, and who loves digging into a good mystery, then D’Avekki Studios’ latest release was hand-tailored for you, and you won’t regret a moment of gameplay.
Doctor Dekker has been murdered and you are the psychiatrist who has been brought in to take over his patients, all of whom are naturally suspects in the crime in question.
Over the course of several days, as each patient visits the office, you begin to discover that strange things have been happening in the office, and the Doctor’s patients suffer from much more than the common maladies that a psychiatrist might see in his practice.
Take for instance, Bryce, a gravedigger by profession. The pressures of his job were becoming too much for him until he discovered that he had an extra hour during the day that no one else has. The world freezes, and Bryce is free to walk around, catch up on his work, and relieve some of the anxieties he feels in his day.
Or perhaps, you’ll find Nathan intriguing. Nathan suffers from PTSD, but outside the normal effects of the malady, he has also discovered that he lives the same day over and over and has had to find new ways of making time move forward.
How about Claire? She tells you on her first visit that she’s a “delusional psychotic with obsessive tendencies,” but really that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
These are just three of the fascinating patients you get to know throughout this truly unique game, but that’s not the only selling point here.
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is a full motion video game so you aren’t interacting with computer generated people. No, they are actual people sitting in your very real office which only adds to the reality of the world the director Tim Cowles and his co-writer Linda Cowles have created.
In fact, the game set a Guinness World Record for the most full motion video in a single game with 7 hours 11 minutes and 58 seconds of real actors with real reactions.
Game play is, on the surface, simple. You ask each patient a series of questions as they visit your office, but you soon realize that asking the right question at the right time and responding to their questions in just the right way is the only way for you to get to the bottom of what’s been going on in Dekker’s practice and to ultimately discover who his murderer is.
Console gamers will find a series of questions to choose from as the game progresses, but there is also an option to enter your own questions using an onscreen keyboard.
This is one of the most fully-engrossing gaming experiences I’ve ever had. The story had me in its hooks by the end of the first round of appointments with the patients, and as I began to make connections between them and what they might have in common, I simply could not stop until I had discovered who the murderer was.
The fact that a different killer is chosen at the beginning of each new game is only more intriguing and fans will definitely want to play more than once to discover the subtle differences and clues that will lead you to the game’s conclusion.
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is available on PS4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam with a 20% launch discount available now.
Check out the trailer below and prepare yourself to take your place behind the desk!