“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” – Martin Luther
The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a challenging point-and-click game about the town’s new physician, Oswald Keller. Set in the late middle ages, he must help local residents suffering from the dreaded black death.
Released: 5th October 2022
Price: £7.49 – £9.99
The Plague Doctor of Wippra features fairly standard point-and-click gameplay with lots of inventory-based puzzles to solve. They are quite tricky in places and often require certain interactions to have taken place before a solution is available to the player resulting in some confusing back-and-forth. While most of the puzzles are logical and satisfying there are a few that felt a tad convoluted and were solved with guesswork and trial and error! The gameplay is tied closely to the narrative and both are progressed in tandem with one another with dialogue often being key to solving the different conundrums.
Edit (24th October 2022) – It was brought to my attention that I had not been properly utilising an in-game medical book; playing the game again with this knowledge shed new light on some of the puzzles I had found troublesome and made their logic clear. This in turn increased the satisfaction of completing the puzzles and inevitably made the game even more enjoyable.
The game’s narrative is relatively straightforward but full of little details that really bring it to life and make it feel believable. The player takes on the role of Oswald, in roughly the early 1500s, (based on the mentions of Reverend Martin Luther and his work) and must help the residents of the town of Wippra in their fight against the plague and other illnesses, ailments and injuries!
Catholicism is the order of the day and the game aptly demonstrates the rife antisemitism and shunning of science in the name of God that might have occurred at the time. The medieval setting is further solidified with barbaric and often nonsensical medical procedures such as bloodletting or the use of leeches for pain, based on Hipprocrates’ theories on the four humours.
There are a number of interesting characters in the game, each with their own motives and needs. From the humble nuns requiring help at the hospital, to an uncaring miller that needs his injured servant fixed up, to a countess with a headache! Most of the story is delivered through dialogue making interactions with the different characters key to the experience.
The Plague Doctor of Wippra has a square aspect ratio and charming pixel art that gives it a distinctly retro feel. Its muted colour palettes with only minor pops of vibrancy feel befitting of the plagued medieval setting. Similarly, the dramatic string music that we hear in the game’s introduction is evocative and well-suited to the subject matter. Music is very limited throughout the gameplay itself but there are some highly immersive and well-implemented sound effects such as chickens clucking, patients screaming or a guard hammering.
The Plague Doctor of Wippra will take 1-2 hours to play and is a gritty tale of illness, prejudices and death told through a series of challenging puzzles and satisfying narrative design. The retro styling fits the game well and is a nice nostalgic nod to older titles in the genre. Overall, it is a well-made and enjoyable game, but its short playtime does make its GOG price tag of £9.99 feel a bit steep. I’d recommend getting the game on Steam for £7.49 or waiting for a slight discount.
Looking for more pixel art games? Check out these reviews:
How We Know We’re Alive – A Free Melancholy Mystery – Witchhazel Woods – Charmingly Eerie Point-and-Click Adventure – The Librarian – A Short but Sweet Point-and-Click Adventure!