The recent flurry of FMV games have been some of my favourites of recent times; Late Shift provided an excellent adrenaline ride of suspense, whilst The Bunker delivered a slow-burning, psychological story that hit all the right notes. Well now it’s time for another one – the rather snappily titled The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker. So pull up a chair and get yourself uncomfortable – The Doctor is ready to see you now…
You play as a psychiatrist, who is not only trying to treat patients, but is also trying to probe them for information on the recently killed Doctor Dekker. You can either select dialogue from a suggested list, or you can type in a question and see what answer you get. And you don’t have to worry about your friend Bob inanely tweeting spoilers about who the killer is either, because the killer is selected at random at the start of your playthrough. It leaves the door open for multiple endings, multiple dialogue choices and more importantly, multiple surprises. There is a hefty collection of dialogue here to go through, but you only need to gain certain information before you can move onto the next day of grilling your patients. Be careful though, your questions and answers have consequences.
With a game that is solely relying on story, the characters must be strong. Luckily, these are as intriguing as they come. There’s the man who keeps reliving the same day over and over. Or the guy who thinks he has 25 hours in his day and can do whatever he likes in the extra hour. Or the woman who gets blackouts and keeps waking up naked on the beach. Slowly but surely their personal stories are revealed, as well as their relationships with the infamous Doctor Dekker. There are 5 acts, and after Act 1, the story moves at a superb pace. The amount of thought, planning and imagination on show here is impressive to say the least, and is only pipped to the post by some sterling acting. The acting is solid from all cast members, but the star of the show is Marianne, played by Aislinn M De’Ath. The juxtaposition of Marianne being distractingly good looking but clearly holding onto a darkness beneath the surface is portrayed masterfully.
By the end of my run-through, I wanted to play again, making completely different choices. My ending the second time around was completely different, and I had the added incentive of getting the game’s Platinum trophy. Trophy hunters will be pleased to know it’s a relatively straightforward one to add to your collection. Not only that, but just when I thought I’d seen all the twists and turns Doctor Dekker had to offer, they threw a Cher Easter Egg my way. Good job, Doctor Dekker.
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is a cool, curious and creepy prescription that is just what the doctor ordered.
Punk rating: 8/10