Rated T for Teens
Empathy, Grief / Mental Health
Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler
[Note from the developers: Depression Quest is a game that deals with living with depression in a very literal way. This game is not meant to be a fun or lighthearted experience. If you are currently suffering from the illness and are easily triggered, please be aware that this game uses stark depictions of people in very dark places. If you are suicidal, please stop playing this game and visit this link to talk to someone.]
Depression Quest mirrors the day-to-day experiences of depression in a compelling, 40,000-word interactive fiction that branches into five different endings depending on the player’s choices. It’s an intense experience compressed into a single sit-down session of less than a half-hour.
As players’ levels of depression rise and fall, certain choices and paths in the story are either opened or closed off—a highly effective mechanic that can help players to understand how depression can drain motivation and prevent those affected from engaging in the “sensible,” “sociable” options, even if they want to. The game’s sound and visuals are also affected by depression levels, leading to a grayer, static-filled world with a more distorted soundtrack as these levels increase.
Portions of proceeds to Depression Quest will benefit iFred, a charity that fights depression and the stigma surrounding it.