The Plague Doctor of Wippra
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Genre(s): Point and Click, Noir, Pixel Graphics, Exploration
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 05/10/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Big Shoes to Fill
The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a puzzle-focused point-and-click adventure published by Application Systems Heidelberg. Having played Unforeseen Incidents earlier this year, I was excited to explore another of the titles that they published. Did this game live up to my expectations? Find out in this Rapid Review.
As I began The Plague Doctor of Wippra, I was immediately impressed by the world-building. I was introduced to characters slowly, yet they largely stood out from each other. Moreover, I thought this game stood out from the other point-and-click adventures I have played. Instead of going on some otherworldly adventure, I simply explored a local village undergoing a plague. Despite the lack of an outlandish setting, I enjoyed exploring the town and meeting the people. Each aspect of the theming worked well to create a believable environment.
While I enjoyed the setting and atmosphere, I did not get attached to the characters in The Plague Doctor of Wippra. The first reason this may have occurred was that the title was short. This meant that despite meeting a bunch of characters and interacting with them, I did not often find myself reuniting with characters after I had concluded completing a task for them. Additionally, the time I did spend in the game I largely spent completing puzzles. Though this meant that I was not drawn to the characters, I ended up enjoying this. The puzzles are the primary draw of The Plague Doctor of Wippra, so while there is a decent storyline, I was not disappointed when some areas were not gripping.
One Big Puzzle
Moreover, while the game is not as lengthy as I would have liked, the game offered some altered endings. Initially, I was excited by this, as I thought my decisions would have an overwhelming impact on the world. However, in practice, it was much less significant. Instead, after playing the game to get a different ending, I played through about ninety-five per cent of the same game and explored a few more dialogue options. I did not get to experience more gameplay, and the narrative largely remained the same. While branching paths could have led to an interesting game, I was disappointed by the lack of alterations in the gameplay and by needing to replay every puzzle in the exact same way if I wanted to alter my behaviour.
Despite being disappointed by my second playthrough of the game, I enjoyed the puzzles featured in The Plague Doctor of Wippra. The puzzles were never too easy but were not overwhelmingly difficult either. On one hand, I had to search the surroundings to find the objects I could interact with. However, at the same time, any interactable objects would alter the appearance of my mouse, which made finding these objects significantly simpler. I was never frustrated by being unable to know whether an object was interactable or not.
Additionally, I solved several puzzles as I continued throughout my journey. These were often logical, and I had a lot of fun experimenting with the objects and seeing how they would combine. Again, I had fun solving the puzzles, and I only got frustrated by one. The puzzles within The Plague Doctor of Wippra are one of the strongest aspects.
In addition to solving puzzles, I walked around and explored different locations. As per the theme of the game, many of these locations were simple. However, I liked visiting the different areas and thought there was a surprising amount of depth in them. Unfortunately, while the locations were fun to explore for the first time, as I was continually moving back and forth between them, I became tired of watching my character traverse these sections. Granted, once the exit door was in sight, I could double-click and teleport out of the room. Still, I think it was even more frustrating to have to watch my character take ten or so steps until teleporting out, as having the exit and entrance simultaneously on screen would have made traversal so much quicker.
Even though I did not appreciate the slight inconvenience of the suboptimal fast travel, I did enjoy the pacing of the game. Again, The Plague Doctor of Wippra is very short, and I wish it was longer, but I never felt like I was in one section for too long. I was constantly surprised by a new development in the story or a new puzzle to solve. The game segmented itself well.
To supplement the story and puzzle-solving, the developers of The Plague Doctor of Wippra incorporated a lovely soundtrack that was grim, foreboding, and somehow still symphonic. It worked wonderfully, and to be entirely honest I was surprised at how much I was moved by the music. While this is not something I would listen to in my free time, I thought it complimented the game nicely.
At the same time, the visuals were solid. I was not overwhelmingly impressed, but I was always able to identify what everything was. Moreover, since the game used a pixel art style, the developers were able to show more grotesque and disturbing symptoms that patients had without disgusting me. I think that may have been the strongest part of the art style. Still, it was more than satisfactory.
Overall, I enjoyed playing through The Plague Doctor of Wippra. The game is short, the multiple endings are disappointing, and even the main storyline does not have as much of an impact as I would have liked yet still, the game is fun. I had a good time with it, especially because I primarily look forward to intuitive and interesting puzzles. Despite the short runtime, there is a decent bit of fun to be had with The Plague Doctor of Wippra.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
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