Depression Quest

Good
  • An interesting concept that explores the challenges of depression by forcing your hand to make non optimal choices as the video and audio quality declines with your growing depression
Bad
  • The basic mechanics result in fiddly experience as you click back and forth between pages and doesn't feel like a traditional game
6.5

Exploring the dark side of life and the struggles of depression in the modern world Depression Quest is a tale contained within the over 40,000 words of game writing that explores everyday experiences and encounters with a shadow of depression hanging over players. Your ultimate goal in Depression Quest is to make it to one of the several endings available which are based on how you’ve managed your depression throughout the game and thus encourages players to attempt the game multiple times as they make different decisions each time.

Available to play for free in your browser Depression Quest is focused on raising awareness of the devastation that depression can create. Players can also download a Windows, Mac or Linux version for free or through a pay what you want program as an optional thank you to the developer.

depression-quest-gameplay-story

Whether you’ve been impacted by depression at some point in your life, have seen someone close to you struggle with it or have no experience with depression you’ll find an emotional driven story in Depression Quest. With it’s writing and game design Depression Quest ensures you’ll feel as if you’re going through your own depression episode as you have feelings of the real thing, with great descriptive story telling that gives you a real sense of dread as you go about the seemingly basic decisions at hand. The result is that players will likely leave the game feeling enlightened although sad at the events that have transpired.

Playing as an interactive fiction game, gameplay in Depression Quest revolves around your decisions and the impact that these have on your human character and their status. Relying on a mountain of text along with atmospheric music and various still images players will go through a daily life routine with multiple branching choices available to players regarding the actions they want to undertake. These choices can number as high as five option in some situations and can change based on your current status of medication, therapy and how deep your depression currently is.

depression-quest-gameplay-choices

Depression Quest starts on a Monday morning and introduces players to their life which includes being in your mid 20s, a new relationship with Alex, a dull day job, parents that wish you’d do more with your life and a current slump in motivation. All of this information is presented to players like an old fashioned website with clickable links to advance the story or learn more about a particular element of your life, such as the history of your relationship with Alex.

A mechanic used heavily in these decision trees is crossed out options which often represent the most logical option (such as confiding in some one for support) but aren’t available to be selected. It’s this small touch in game design that does a fantastic job at representing the realistic struggles of those with depression where the choice may be clear to someone on the outside but unavailable to the player. Other mechanics of a similar theme in Depression Quest are the changing audio and visuals in response to your current situation which further build on the unique game design.

depression-quest-gameplay-text

While Depression Quest can be a bit fiddly as you move back and forth through the writing heavy game screens the writing, story, choices and presentation of a depression struggle is a stand out and enlightening game experience.

Summary:

  • A video game that explores the challenges of managing depression through everyday real life situations.
  • Uses text, image and music to build atmosphere and a growing sense of dread as depression starts to take hold.
  • Multiple endings based on how you handle your depression with 5 potential endings to your story.
  • Over 150 encounters that include 40,000 words of story, information and choices.
  • Free to play on Windows, Mac and Linux or available as a browser based story.

Links:

Videos:


Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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