Back in Medieval times, there were no masks that would protect from the Black plague nor time for anti-vaxxers to organise and protest against governments. There were just poor doctors roaming around infected cities, risking their lives to save as many people as possible. As one of them, you’ve just reached the town of Wippra, are things as desperate and bleak as they sound? Find out in our The Plague Doctor of Wippra review.
The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a short point-and-click adventure developed by the studio behind brutal action RPG Runic Rampage, inspired by a story by the same name. You play as a new doctor in the German city of Wippra and have to do your best to tend to the sick, while also trying to fight against people who seem to actively want to let the plague take over, namely the town’s priest. Will you succeed in your quest to protect the townspeople or it will be futile to resist?
While the topic is indeed quite dark and bleak, the game rarely feels so, with dry descriptions and events; there won’t be that many graphic or disquieting scenes (except for one close-up). Graphically, the game is heavily pixelized, especially in its character design, so that even a potentially gruesome scene like draining the blood of a patient is little more than a couple of pixels moving on the screen. Skimping on the human/emotional side of the plague tragedy doesn’t do the narrative of Plague Doctor many favors.
Especially because of its short length, the main thing you will be up against are puzzles and, while they are generally quite logical (since the locations are also few), there are a couple which left me scratching my head in perplexity. In particular, there is one moment where you’ll have to lure leeches out of a hole in the wall, to do so the protagonist notes that it is necessary to spread a bit of blood on the wall. You have many potential items to do so, along with the clear possibility of doing it with a finger (you’re a doctor after all!).
Well, no dice. This particularly obtuse puzzle asks you to illogically repeat the same action again and again before an item you need drops on the floor, which you then have to use elsewhere. The game gives you no indications of having to do this and it quickly becomes a “throw everything at the wall to see what sticks”. It feels very retro in all the wrong ways.
Strange “old school” puzzles aside, Plague Doctor plays its best cards with its atmosphere and topics, quite far removed from the usual “light” adventure game fare and dealt with historical accuracy. But, again, the lack of drama and emotions leaves us with a short story which, sure, reflects on topics that are – sadly – still current, but is over before we have the time to actually meditate on what is going on. The game also lacks sound, with no voice acting and a limited soundtrack, definitely doesn’t help.
The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a game that can be recommended only to those that are after playing each point-and-click adventure game out there or, perhaps, are looking to experience something different from the rest. But, especially in 2022 with so many potentially more interesting alternatives, it is quite hard for me to recommend the game to anyone else but those hardcore adventurers.
Our The Plague Doctor of Wippra review was made possible with a review key made available by the publisher. The game is available on Steam.
The Plague Doctor of Wippra: The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a short point and click adventure game which, with some obtuse puzzles and limited emotional spectrum, does little to stay memorable. – Damiano Gerli