Depression Quest


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.

Since the goal is to spread awareness, there is no minumum amount you need to pay to play the game. However, if you do choose to pay the developers for their efforts, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to iFred, a charity that aims to fight back against depression and the stigma against it.

or


(if the link is giving you problems feel free to paypal zoetquinn (at) gmail.com instead)

Get the Soundtrack by Isaac Schankler
  • Part of one of the encouters
  • Depression Levels looming over your choices
  • Static levels change based on how depressed you are.


Features:


  • 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.
  • Five endings. See how your choices affected the game's world, and how well you've dealt with 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.
  • Aid a charity. Contribute to the developer's hard work and support depression sufferers worldwide at the same time.



Press & Testimonials



  • "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." - Patrick Klepek, Giantbomb

  • "Similarly, content that addresses the complex and nuanced issues regarding mental illness and stigma, such as Depression Quest, should be lauded as providing something beneficial, in that users gain insight and understanding with stigma reduction as a consequence" - Ian Mahar, Kotaku

  • "More than four decades after Pong, players are tackling a range of heady subjects including cancer, depression and alcoholism. Instead of pumping adrenaline, these "empathy games" use the videogame form to tell stories that are far more personal than the Hollywood tropes most big budget games still rely on." - Connor Dougherty, Wall Street Journal

  • "The short of it: Depression Quest is not only good, it is truly revolutionary. It sets standards for relationships with games. It sets standards for relationships with ourselves, with our bodies, with our minds. It shows us what we can do and what we are, like a mirror that gives you the future and the brutal present all at once." - Cameron Kunzelman, This Cage Is Worms

  • "Depression sufferers often have precious little motivation, and in Depression Quest, you must try to manage your motivation level as you progress through the situations the game presents you with; as your motivation declines, options become grayed out and unavailable. Depression Quest makes use of imagery that changes depending on your depression level, and has a soundtrack by Isaac Schankler, who composed the music for the well-regarded narrative-driven game Analogue: A Hate Story." - Carolyn Petit, Gamespot

  • "In the same vein as Anna Anthropy’s Dys4ia made an effective attempt at getting players to emulate going through hormone replacement therapy, something that likely they’ll never have to deal with, Depression Quest serves as much as a tool for understanding and acceptance as it does an impeccable gaming one. Spare an hour to play it and ensure you’ve some time after that to decompress. It will make you a better person." - Mathew Jones, Gameranx

  • "The truly great thing about Depression Quest isn't the writing: it's the dialogue options you cannot choose. Anyone who plays it who doesn't understand depression will wonder why the fuck they can't click those 'sensible' options: tell your girlfriend how you feel, immediately go to the therapist. I am the ignorant mother. Because it's not a matter of choice, it's about what you feel you can and cannot do. Having those options there, then realising that your character claws back those options by forcing themselves to go on medication and talk to the therapist, is really enlightening." - Alan Williamson, Editor of Five Out Of Ten Magazine

  • "I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate to the toils of depression and the complete drag it takes on your being. If you’ve been there, then we can probably give an acknowledging nod to each other as if to say, “I know; I know.” Once you start spiralling into that hole, it becomes very hard to stop, and it takes a lot to get out of it. This is what Depression Quest translates into gameplay inside an interactive (non)fiction consisting over 40,000 words." - Chris Priestman, IndieStatik

  • "The new interactive fiction game from Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler begins with a quote from David Foster Wallace and a warning. Both of them tightened the knot in my stomach and made me feel a little less sure of myself. I decided that now is not the time to click ‘Begin’. I’ve never lived with depression, at least not my own, but I’ve experienced it through others and know that at least one of those people would be extremely anxious but hopeful when faced with that button. This is ‘game’ as communication, comfort and tool of understanding. " - Adam Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun

  • "Thankfully, Depression Quest doesn't try to dress up the experience of depression into an 'Hollywood thrill-ride', and instead goes for something much more genuine. I'd wager that's why it's already making a difference in people's lives." - Jonathan Holmes, Destructoid

  • "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 if you'd accepted the offer of psychological help, or asked for a prescription for anti-depressants." - Katie Williams, Gamespy

  • "Not only were the scenarios all too familiar. Depression Quest’s description of the symptoms and feelings that come along with the disease is the most poignantly accurate depiction of depression I have ever read. Zoe, Patrick, and Isaac didn’t merely stop at spying on me. They were in my head. They knew every ounce of my anguish, my sadness, my embarrassment. And then they laid it all out on a page in a way I had never dreamed possible." - M. A. Chabolla