By Nathan Grayson on May 16th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to non-offensively pronounce Wunderheilung‘s name. Not in a million years. That’s fine though, because I’m about to lavish it with praise all the same. It’s an incredibly brief, simple thing, but it was made in only 48 hours for Ludum Dare 29, so them’s the breaks. For now. The basic premise is that you’re some kind of weird doctor in a world of surreal, broken monstrosities who don’t understand why their eyeball-coated innards aren’t sloughing just the right way anymore. So you examine them with your magical medical magnifying glass and fix them up using controls that remind me of Papers, Please. Oh what a delightfully silly, strange thing it is.
At this point, Wunderheilung only has two very brief encounters, and in both cases the formula is the same: drag your magnifying glass across your ailing patient, find some offending protrusion or another – for instance, a cigarette or a giant, pulsating zit – and then do away with it using your hand and/or a furnace. The whole game will probably take you about five minutes to play.
The setting is so strange – so alive in its own fantastical way yet so sterile, clammy, and cold – that the mundanity of your in-game job is just… perfect. I love games that give me a window into their world not as The Chosen One or some badass super soldier, but as somebody just doing their thing in a place that stopped being strange to them the second they were born into it.
The possibilities for more bizarre/elaborate maladies (and corresponding interactions/mechanics) are numerous. I fully acknowledge that Wunderheilung has so little meat on its bones that you can practically see its skeleton’s skeleton, but I really want to see this one fleshed out and turned into something larger. I want to know more about this place and its otherworldly inhabitants. I want to pump fluid from their boils and replace their bone marrow with ever-so-slightly moldy sponge cake.
That is why I wrote this thing. So take notice, play this pin-prick sliver of a game! Maybe its developer will decide to treat it as more than just a throwaway jam game. I can hope. For now, you can play Wunderheilung for free right here.