FMV games were a largely antiquated genre for the longest time, relegated to niche games that only a few people fully embraced. However, YouTube and the popularity of horror games have allowed for games like Her Story and more recent mind-bending efforts like Simulacra to gain an audience. However the one that wrapped its tentacles around me was The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, helped by an intriguing story and some spectacular performances.
Doctor Dekker, a renowned psychiatrist, has been murdered under mysterious circumstances. You have to talk to his patients to find out what happened, and if any of them were involved in the crime. Initially you are greeted by his assistant Maya, filling you in on each of his patients, before you are let loose with each of the patients. Each one has their own condition, some patients are concerned with their dreams, while others have a more troubling past. The thing that sets this apart is that you can ask them questions by typing it out, rather than just selecting the correct option. It’s surprisingly old-school in that regard, more akin to Kings Quest and other 1980s adventure games than modern detective games.
The beauty is in how far you can take your line of questioning. Do you just get the information you need, or do you want to know everything. How much further can you push the unstable Bryce? What can you accomplish by delving further into Claire’s case? Some of the acting can be a little on-the-nose, but when Marianna (played by Aislinn De’ath) simultaneously drew me in and unsettled me with her carefree mannerisms paired with the things she talks about, that’s when I knew this was something special.
Given that D’Avekki Studios have more recently released the equally eerie-sounding FMV adventure, The Shapeshifting Detective, it’s been more than enough of an excuse to delve back into this. It’s such a good horror-themed adventure game that I challenge the video team to take on this case and to embrace the madness.