The Plague Doctor of Wippra










Genre:  Adventure  

Developer & Publisher:  Application Systems Heidelberg               

Released: October 5, 2022               

Requirements: OS, Windows 7, SP1

Processor: Core 2 Duo or equivalent

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Graphics: DirectX compatible graphics card

DirectX: Version 10

Storage: 300 MB storage








By flotsam


The Plague Doctor of Wippra

Application Systems Heidelberg

Another pixel art game, this time very low res, The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a short but rather thoughtful piece of adventuring.

You are Oswald Keller, recently arrived physician in the plague riddled medieval town of Wippra. As a doctor at the convent hospital you seek to understand and heal but ignorance, superstition, and religious zeal is all around. It’s a dangerous world, and it will stand you in good stead to remember that as you do your best to treat the sick.

The humble appearance of the game belies what lies within. Whilst it is a traditional inventory driven point-and-click adventure, it delivers an interesting insight into the plague doctor’s world. I thought it covered both the methodologies of the doctor and the environment in which it had to be practiced particularly well, allowing for the fact that I wasn’t there. By which I mean that I have no idea what a plague doctor actually did, but I can readily buy into it being something like this. Leeches, blood letting and a well placed gilder, not to mention the vinegar rubs to deal with fleas, all under the suspicious gaze of almost everyone.

Consistent with that aspect, choices apparently matter. The game promises multiple endings and so I might gotten a different one based on some of my decisions along the way. Reflecting on things after the event, there might well be decisions which are more about you than they are about your patients, should you want a ‘better’ ending. Another nice nuance.

Apart from a puzzle or two, the conundrums are predominantly inventory based, and as is typical of such games you will try some things with every other thing at times. Or perhaps that is just me. Looking at things is essential, and will often generate an action hotspot or result in an item becoming accessible or available. I thought once or twice it was a little clunky (things just appearing where they weren’t before), but it was a small thing, and people leave stuff lying about all the time.

The game utilises about the middle two-thirds of my widescreen monitor, the inventory ribbon occupying the bottom portion. Click to move around the world, and while Oswald won’t run, double clicking will jump you to an exit. Some screens scroll left and right, others are limited to what you see. You can left or right click hotspots to interact, whichever you prefer, as the hotspot will behave the same way regardless. However right clicking an inventory item will describe it, while left clicking will select it for using in the game world or with another inventory item. If where you propose to use it in the game world is correct, the item will be surrounded by a yellow outline.

With respect to inventory items, I did find one occasion where using item A on item B didn’t work, but doing it the other way around did. That single instance wasn’t a big deal, and made a degree of conceptual sense given what I was trying to do, but whether it might occur more often I don’t know.

Hotspots might generate a number of cursers, but only one at a time. For instance when you first find something you might be able to look at it, after which you might then be able to take it or interact with it in some other way. You don’t ever choose which curser to select, other than through your earlier actions.

A speech bubble curser indicates you can talk to the character concerned and while much of it is about gathering detail and moving the story forward, some dialogue choices might well impact the ending. It is all read, there being no spoken voice, with ambient sounds and an intermittent soundtrack providing the ‘noise.’ It all came together well, and each did its bit in contributing to the whole.

The game saves when you exit, and you choose continue when you next play. There is no saving at will but it isn’t needed. You can tweak a few settings, including whether to play with the space bar indicating the hotspots. I had it turned on, and while the game isn’t hard, on occasion I found it helpful. The hotspots were fairly generous which compensates for some of the fine detail missing in the pixelly environment.

I confess to being pleasantly surprised by the almost three hours I spent as Oswald. Despite its modest visage, it provided an interesting and enjoyable window onto its subject matter. So much so that I will certainly be playing again in an effort to find that better outcome. 

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-9700K 3.7GHz

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB


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