The Plague Doctor of Wippra
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 9

The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a brief point-and-click adventure with an interesting setting and characters. The game features neat pixel art visuals and a great soundtrack. The experience is very linear, though; veterans of the genre should have no trouble with the puzzles. However, it is refreshing to take on puzzles with real-life historical and medical context that isn’t too esoteric.

Gameplay: The game is short but engaging throughout and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Graphics: The hand-drawn pixel art has a certain charm and is a good match for the game’s tone.

Sound: The game features a beautiful soundtrack with many wistful or melancholic tunes

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The Plague Doctor of Wippra

Developer: Electrocosmos | Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg | Release Date: 2022 | Genre: Point & Click Adventure / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

The Plague Doctor of Wippra transports players back to when the bubonic plague broke out, and ignorance and superstition were rife. The setting is the small German town of Wippra, where doctor Oswald Keller arrives to bring healing and relief after the previous doctor succumbed to the plague. Doctor Keller is tasked with assisting the Sisters at the local church but cannot stand by idly while those who contract the plague are boarded up in their own homes and left to die. Unfortunately, the church is profiting from selling salvation to the people and doesn’t take too kindly to the doctor’s more pragmatic approach.

Taking the form of a short retro point-and-click medieval adventure, The Plague Doctor of Wippra offers players a more somber take on the genre. Instead of the usual wisecracking protagonist and obscure puzzles, this game focuses on medieval period detail and puzzles that have real-life historical and medical context. It is the work of Electrocosmos, the studio of solo developer Alexander Leps, who also made Runic Rampage. Although TPDoW is short enough to complete in one sitting, it is a game where choices matter, and players can experience different endings based on their actions.

The moody medieval setting of the game is brought to life thanks to low-res pixel art that gives it a painterly look. Players are restricted to only a handful of locations in and around town, but each one looks good, and the art style never detracts from the gameplay. The game also uses the choice of not animating all the actions and movements of NPCs, but enough is depicted so that it is always clear what is happening. While Alexander handled all the art, code, and writing, the soundtrack for the game was done by Titus Drissen. The music features string and piano sounds, which fit the rather bleak tone of the game perfectly. There’s an excellent selection of tracks, and the music is good enough that we recommend picking up the Collector’s Edition of the game, which includes the soundtrack and artbook. Although it does not feature voice acting, the game has a handful of sound effects for important scenes or background ambiance.

The Plague Doctor of Wippra sticks closely to the conventions of the point-and-click adventure genre, so most players should have no trouble making their way through the game. The game is controlled via a mouse, and moving the cursor over interactive objects will reveal an icon indicating whether players can examine or collect the thing.

Doctor Keller will only encounter a handful of useful objects over the course of his adventure, and these are all stored in an inventory displayed at the bottom of the screen. Items cannot be wasted or misused, and objects that are no longer useful are removed. Since the game attempts to use realistic puzzles, there is rarely a need to try and combine objects in obscure ways. In fact, the only puzzle that really left us scratching our heads for a bit involved retrieving a feather from a bird. Players can also consult a medical journal for advice on puzzles that involve creating medicine, but it is possible to complete the game without ever looking at it.

The game is mostly quite linear, and Doctor Keller will refuse to leave certain areas if there are still puzzles that need to be solved first. The pixel art visuals can make it tricky to spot certain items, such as a rake lying in the grass, but the game does offer the option to highlight hotspots at the press of a button. This is off by default and must be enabled via the options menu, but it is convenient for players who don’t want to pixel-hunt each screen. We would have liked the option to have manual save slots, but the game is short enough that starting from scratch to see the different endings is not too time-consuming.

The Plague Doctor of Wippra began as a submission for the $105 Adventure Game Challenge, where it earned praise for its visuals and historical yet contemporary setting. Based on this positive reception, Electrocosmos decided to develop it into a complete game and give the story more depth. Unfortunately, it does feel like the game is over just as it begins to pick up Steam, which might leave some players wanting more. However, anyone searching for a point-and-click adventure that doesn’t overstay its welcome or relies on obscure puzzles to pad things out will enjoy this one.

System Requirements

  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2.8Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450, AMD Radeon HD 5670 or better
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX compatible graphics card
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 300 MB available space
  • OS: High Sierra 10.13+
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 3.2+ or Metal capable
  • Storage: 300 MB available space

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