STAFF REVIEW of Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, The (Xbox One)

Friday, June 22, 2018.
by Kirsten Naughton

Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, The Box art I'm the type of gamer that loves a new challenge. I love games that keep me engaged and that make me not want to stop playing. The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, made by D'Avekki Studios, is one of those diamonds in the rough that is like this, and a game that you need to play as soon as you're done reading this review. In this review, I'll go through gameplay, sound and video quality and finally the characters. Now, I don't want to give away too much with the characters or the gameplay because they are what makes The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker amazing.

When I first saw the trailer, the first thing that caught my eye was that it's a full motion video murder mystery game. You don't see many games like this anymore. I started playing and I was immediately hooked. You play as a new psychiatrist taking over Doctor Dekker's practice. Doctor Dekker suddenly passed away and it's your job to find out who murdered him.

You will find that you learn about Doctor Dekker through the game. He had quite an impact on several patients he treated. Now, whether it was a negative or positive experience is based upon the opinions of Dekker's patients, who you will be interviewing. The camera is set in a first person view, allowing you to see your patients in real life as if you're actually sitting there. This is a fantastic idea and that's one of the reasons why I'm such a fan of the game.

After the starting cutscene you find that your view is of a couch in your office, and depending on how many people are scheduled for the day, their images will be below the couch for you to switch back and forth and interact with at your leisure. Every single one of your characters has something “wrong” with them, such as anger issues, trouble with the law, personal insecurities or grieving a loved one. This game makes you think about their feelings, and as you ask questions, you may hesitate at times because they may lash out, question your judgment, start crying or do not understand why you're asking about certain subjects.

As you uncover more and more details of their personal lives and opinions on Doctor Dekker, you begin to see their real personalities come out and their true intentions. For those who have ever wondered what being a psychologist, or anyone in the field of helping people mentally and emotionally is like, here is a game that will give you a very real idea as to what you'll face.

I'd like to touch on how questions work during gameplay. You must ask each one of your patients a series of questions in the order of your choice. You can literally ask them whatever you want via a custom chat box through typing questions in with a Xbox controller or via Windows 10/Android with SmartGlass integration. The main point of this game is to get the most information out of each patient to determine who you want to accuse of murdering Doctor Dekker. At the start of the game, the killer of Doctor Dekker is randomized. You don't know who it is until the end. I find this excellent because it gives you the opportunity to play it more than just once.

The UI is easy to navigate. There are three options you can use, the question mark, the notebook and the lightbulb. You also have access to moving back and forth between patients using the left and right bumper. This, I feel, gives you all of the control in how you want to run your practice. The question mark in the UI will give you a list of questions you can ask that patient, and as I said before, you can ask the questions in whatever order you please. The notebook keeps tabs on what the characters have said for you to reference. They also give you tips on what you should follow up with and questions to ask the patients when the sensitive touchy topics come up such as the death of a loved one or a theft accusation.

The one criticism I have about the game is that besides some of the cut scenes, you are staring at your patients and a green couch 99.9% of the time. This makes the game slightly bland to look at. This by no means is a deal breaker, in my opinion, and it shouldn't be for you. The reason I say this is that the actors that are performing should be getting the spotlight, not the background they are in.

Speaking of the actors in this video game, you will not be disappointed. Each one brilliantly plays their role extremely well. I'm sure if you think about it, you just may know someone in your life that you'll be able to somewhat relate to here. As you play, it's heartbreaking, it's upsetting, it's sad and it's happy. You should be able to experience quite a range of emotions listening to the stories of all these patients. A few examples are are: no one wants to lose the love of their life, no one wants to fall out of love and no one wants to battle depression. In reality, these things affect people daily. As the psychiatrist, it's your job to try to “cure” them, or at least make them feel a little better about themselves. That means if they put themselves down, you try to help build them back up, or if they are feeling extremely angry you need find out why they are so angry and help put out the 'fire'.

Irregardless, these actors seem to ace the answers they give with full emotion as if they are the person they are portraying. There is a bit of drama between the patients as you learn more about them which makes things interesting. The actors make this game gold. As their psychiatrist, you will either believe them wholeheartedly or you'll will suspect there is more to the story. The characters will try to deceive you, try to flirt with you, or are just genuinely in need of someone to listen.

All in all, The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is an amazing experience, and more than just a 'game'. It's well written, well performed and something that I will be recommending for quite a while. It's not your typical video game. It gives you a unique perspective that even most television shows can't provide you. The acting, as I've said, is phenomenal. The actors don't miss a beat. For gamers that like to sit for a few hours and analyze every single question, it's my opinion that they should find this game enjoyable. I feel the price isn't too much to ask considering there is the option to play it a few times over again.

Well, I'm sorry to say, but our time is up. Please schedule another session with my receptionist up front. Have a good day.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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