Featured Items
Games
Software Demos News Recommended
Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment.
Release Date: Aug 11
Watch HD video

Play Depression Quest

Reviews

“Depression Quest hinges on its deeply personal writing style. It feels as though you’re reading someone’s unfiltered mental diary. Depression Quest is uncomfortable in that it feels voyeuristic, but the cramped proximity is how you develop a relationship with the character. It’s why, by the end, I was able to say I understood depression a bit better. It's a window.”
Giant Bomb

“[Depression Quest] is ‘game’ as communication, comfort and tool of understanding.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Besides the blues-ridden story, it's just a well-made game overall. It's excellently written, well-paced, and so engaging that you might just find yourself playing again to find out what might happen”
GameSpy

About the Game

Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment. This game aims to show other sufferers of depression that they are not alone in their feelings, and to illustrate to people who may not understand the illness the depths of what it can do to people.

  • Over 40k words of interactive fiction.
    Playthroughs are short enough to be done in one day, but long enough for the game to have gotten it's point across.
  • About 150 unique encounters.
    Based on your depression levels, different choices open and close off to you.
  • Content generated based on your decisions.
    The choices you make have a real effect on how your playthrough turns out.
  • Multiple endings.
    See how your choices affected the game's world, and how well you've managed your depression.
  • Audio and visuals react to your depression.
    Listen as the music gets glitchier and see how much stronger the static gets. Watch the color get sucked out of how you see the world.

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2+
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 or later
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Intel
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 13.04+, Fedora 18+, Arch, Gentoo
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 3 / Athlon 64 or later
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Additional Notes: Gamepad support unavailable on Linux platform
Helpful customer reviews
4,950 of 5,455 people (91%) found this review helpful
791 products in account
119 reviews
1.1 hrs on record
This is a free text based experience that just has you clicking hyperlinks as you would a webpage. I can't really call it a game since I don't think the point is to entertain you. It was originally a website and this is just the web-kit version of the site put on Steam. I'm not sure it will help anyone with depression, so much as it lets people with depression think, no you are not alone (the player, not the character 'You'). Other people feel the way you do.

The basic gameplay in Depression Quest is that you will read through things (You is the player character that you will play) and then make a choice of what to do (click a hyperlink).

It sets a story and gives you background information on things. You have everything going for you, a significant other, a circle of friends, a day job. Your girlfriend, Alex is supportive of who you are and understands you. That's more than some people have in real life, but it illustrates you can have everything and yet depression still affects you. At least the characters in the game are supportive of you and not questioning why you have depression or does depression exist or are you just lazy? Its almost like everyone accepts you, but you are the one with a problem that doesn't accept yourself. Its all inward in this experience. You make enough money to support yourself, so money isn't the issue, but money is never a discussion or a reason to the depression, its just all you.

Below each life choice, Depression Quest bluntly tells you that you are not in therapy, nor taking medication for depression, you are just dealing with it. The 'happy' or 'logical' choices are always crossed out forcing you to select the sad choices such as, 'watch TV, work on a project (Depression Quest) or crawl into bed.'

The big thing that I take away from this is everyone around you (the player character) really cares about you. It also seems like there's no way out. Maybe there would be a way out to happiness with diet, less beer, soaking up some sun so your body can make vitamin D or a life change, but that's never explored, you are just suffering from depression and forced to live that way. Depression Quest brings up minor what ifs, such as going back to school or finding a better job might help... but well there's risk. Those statements are never followed up. You have no choice to change things in your life (the character's).

You see the character get worse and worse with no help in sight. Almost as if the entire point of this is to make you the player depressed (which is different than depression). Crossing out logical happy choices for depressing ones. This is a quick experience that finishes after maybe 2 dozen pages of text. I quickly played through it three times and it felt like while there are multiple endings, it didn't feel like I wanted to take the time to see them all. Like reading and carefully selecting my choices leads to more reading to endings that I didn't feel were satisfying. It was too quick of an experience to feel nothing more than a brief diversion. Someone did write me on how to get to the 'good ending' where you are allowed to get help, but with so many choices and endings, I found it difficult to even get the good ending with someone telling me how to achieve it. Again, the happy ending just didn't feel good or satisfying. Maybe that's depression in a nutshell or maybe that's poor writing.

To anyone suffering from depression, there is always help. There are always people willing to help and you are never alone. *hug*
Posted: August 18
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3,863 of 4,280 people (90%) found this review helpful
14 products in account
1 review
1.1 hrs on record
Point blank: I think this game fails at what it set out to do. It doesn't make the user understand depression at all. In fact, it's just the story of some overpriviledged guy too stuck in his head. Nothing awful actually happens to the character. The player isn't made to sympathize with him in any way. Instead it just comes off as "Make the right decision and get moderately better". Actual depression is nothing like that. It just fails on all levels to capture just how dreary and dreadful the world actually looks when you've got depression. There's no sense of hopelessness or despair. The name itself "Depression Quest" is utterly uncreative and unimaginative as well.
Posted: August 17
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3,963 of 4,442 people (89%) found this review helpful
760 products in account
51 reviews
9.5 hrs on record
I don't care if the developer of a game was bullied online. I don't care if the developer of a game is a girl. I also don't care whether a game has action or not. This should've just been a choose your own adventure book sold on Amazon that most people wouldn't care about. The argument over whether or not this is a game is still up in the air, but it's really silly when some youtube videos have more gameplay through their annotations than this.

The only reason anybody gives this title any slack is because it has to do with depression and because of the developer being a woman when that shouldn't really matter. Journey for PS3 was developed by a woman and was a far better experience that won numerous awards. If not having women in the video game industry is an issue then we need more female devs like that and less like Zoe Quinn who are getting a huge pat on the back for making something less impressive than Zork.

P.S. Most professional developers don't get into half the controversy this dev has, and it's not because she's a woman, I don't see Jade Raymond having a blog about her, and you know why? Because when you actually work in a professional industry you have an image to present.

If this title was called ice cream quest and "played" the exact same way, it wouldn't have been greenlighted, and everyone knows this.
Posted: August 18
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3,558 of 4,042 people (88%) found this review helpful
148 products in account
1 review
0.7 hrs on record
I "played" this "game" for FIVE minutes, and GUYS, let me tell you, I was already sick to my stomach, but I continued giving this "game" a chance.

GAMEPLAY: 0/10

There is no gameplay here, none. In the genres listed on the Steam page for this "game", it says RPG and simulation. As someone who played D&D and grew up playing CRPGs, this is not a RPG, not even close, even Call of Duty is more of a RPG than this. And how is this a simulation? According to this logic, books are simulators.

AUDIO 2/10

There's generic piano playing, some generic party music and people chatting when you go to the birthday party, etc. I've hardly played the piano and even I can bust out better piano playing than this. There was also some distortion in the music's audio, which was annoying.

GRAPHICS: 0/10

I don't know, do books have graphics?

STORY: 2/10

As someone who has had relatives who have suffered from depression, and even gone through depression myself, this story offends me. The "game" tells me that I'm going through depression, yet it tells me that I have a significant other, a social circle, a job, etc. This is a stupid story made by someone who never suffered from depression.

FINAL RATING: 0/10

This isn't even a game. It's like reading a book, but a terrible book. Why "play" this "game" when I can go read a decent book? I couldn't even force myself to try to finish it.
Posted: August 17
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3,260 of 3,736 people (87%) found this review helpful
29 products in account
1 review
0.5 hrs on record
Horrible 'game.' You're better off reading a good novel,
I recomend anything by Kafka.

Also Quinn isent the greatest author for this kind of game.
Posted: August 16
Was this review helpful? Yes No

Awards

Boston FIG · Best Narrative

MassDiGi · Category Winner

IndieCade · Night Games Selection