The Infectious Madness of Dr. Dekker
Developer: D’Avekki Studios
Publisher: Wales Interactive Ltd.
Category: FMV Adventure
Release Date: 06.05.2018
No Great Mind Has Ever Existed Without A Touch Of Madness
Occasionally a game comes along that I have absolutely no choice but to recommend. Sometimes this is because it is so good. It can also be because of how bad it its, or because of a unique game play hook. The infectious madness of Dr. Dekker falls under the latter category. For that reason I will honestly say, play this game, give it a try. It might not be for you, but it will certainly offer you something new.
The infectious madness of Dr. Dekker is an overly ambitious title that tries to do things just a little bit differently. This is, in no way a bad thing, it just falls a little flat, in no small part due to the nature of the game.
In The infectious madness of Dr. Dekker you take the role of a psychiatrist who is tasked with filling in for the recently deceased Dr. Dekker. The good Dr. has been murdered and you are tasked with taking his patients and seeing if you can establish who ultimately ended his life. Every time you start a new file, the identity of the killer is randomised. This creates suspense at every play through and offers a little bit of re playability.
By talking to the patients you can establish what makes them tick, what ails them and by asking pre determined questions, push and probe them into possibly divulging more information.
Herein lies my main gripe with this title. The stop start nature of asking questions, listening to responses and then choosing a follow up question really wears thin quickly. Of course, this is the nature of the beast, however it does grow tiresome very quickly.
Everything is very well acted and the assembled cast do a great job of portraying the various mental conditions that the patients have. The great benefit from a production view is that, because of your position as a psychiatrist, nearly all of the scenes take place from a POV perspective on that most cliched of things. The shrinks couch. From time to time there would a scene in your office, but they were few and far between.
In addition to the majority of the sessions, which obviously share the same setting, there are a few videos from archives that further help to weave the story together.
A unique feature of Dr Dekker is the addition to interact directly with your patients using your own questions . You can literally type anything you want and will get a reaction. I found that key words were picked up, such as husband and affair, and would trigger a female patient to talk about how she stabbed her husband when she found out he was sleeping with his receptionist.
However, most of the time when trying to construct a proper sentence, the results were far less positive. On the other hand, those moments where it worked and everything clicked into place were perfect examples of those really joyful gaming moments.
I also had a lot of fun asking inappropriate questions only to be told things like ‘ I don’t want to talk about that now’ or ‘Please Dr, try to stay on subject’. Depending upon the stupidity of my line of question, this did create some laugh out loud moments.
Unfortunately for The infectious madness of Dr. Dekker, these moment are too few and far between and I found my self using the pre programmed questions more often than not.
Overall, The infectious madness of Dr. Dekker achieves what it set out to by offering something different. All the actors excel in delivering solid performances and I did often find myself thinking about the characters in between plays. For this reason, the game manages to create a suspenseful and at times powerful experience. As well as this, the randomised nature of the killers identity offers a little bit of variety.
When you manage to include appropriate keywords in your own questions, the results are honestly brilliant and really felt like a triumph by the developer for being brave enough to try something different.
With this in mind, unless you are the most die hard fan of the FMV genre, this title will only manage to keep you engaged for a couple of playthroughs at best and the stuttering nature of the narrative does slow the pacing down at times.
Consequently, what you are left with is an experience that will certainly leave an impression. Whether it is good or bad boils down to your personal tolerance of scrolling through reams of text and sitting through hours of video content, albeit very well acted .
Interesting concept. Excellent acting throughout. Compelling cast of characters and engaging, unpredictable story. Uncomfortable pacing. Repetitive questions.