"Unfortunately for Depression Quest, fun or lighthearted experiences are what most people are looking for in their games. But they’re not the only things most gamers look for: interesting graphics, immersive sound, novel or challenging gameplay, and a compelling story can also make a game worth your time. Depression Quest fails on all of these criteria."— Steve McMahon
Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game created by Zoë Quinn. It is available on its own web page created in 2013, as well as via Steam since 2014. Despite favorable coverage and reviews from critics, it is heavily criticized by players. This game as well as the scandal involving Quinn, led to the consumer revolt known as GamerGate.
You roleplay as a Nameless character with depression. Throughout the story you will decide what happens to the protagonist through his actions, that these can change your relationships, your story and your mood.
Why It's Depressing
- Little to no gameplay; it's essentially a choose-your-adventure game in which you make choices to continue the story. While choose-your-adventure games are not bad, the real problem is that great part of the game is just text, feeling more like an old website.
- No real fun factor, which is mentioned at the beginning. It's just one boring and bland game with not interesting features.
- Doesn't accurately teach anyone about depression. In fact, the protagonist seems to simply be more or less a stereotype of a depressed person. They doesn't have any aspirations in life, is always sad and has no energy, which does not actually represent what a real depressed person is like, to the point that people with or have suffered depression couldn't relate to the protagonist.
- Some moments aren't very well written, others have grammar mistakes and sometimes there are pointless moments.
- The game is easy to beat, and has literally no challenge in it. In fact, a speedrun of this game can be done in 27 seconds.
- The only "graphics" are visuals; a small photo at the top of the screen that sometimes it doesn't relate to the event in general.
- Very monotonous and boring music by Isaac Schankler that will make you want to sleep.
- The plot is unoriginal, bland and pathetic. Is just "You are a person with depression".
- None of the characters of the game are interesting. They don't have personality, or any interesting on them.
- The characters doesn't have names. They call them "Your girlfriend", "Your neighbor", "Your dad" which makes it more difficult to relate to the characters.
- The endings are bad and none of them (even the best one) are satisfactory. The worst ending is the problem here, where the protagonist isolates for the rest of their life. Wouldn't the worst case scenario in real life be that the protagonist commits suicide?
- Apart from the overall abysmal execution, its concept of showing how living with depression is good, although other forms of media (including movies, TV shows, books and even other video games) have shown the theme better.
- The controversy surrounding this game exposed how corrupt and unethical games journalism had become.
Despite favorable coverage and reviews from game journalists and even winning awards, gamers found the game to be boring and it currently holds a 1.5/10 user rating on Metacritic. On comments around the Internet, many people that have suffered depression said that they never once experienced anything the character in the game went through. Steve McMahon of Reaxxion, called it an "anti-game". It is Grust's (the founder of this wiki and Awesome Games Wiki and therefore the founder of Qualitipedia) least favourite game, having made a blog comparing it to Plumbers Don't Wear Ties back on Fandom due to similar style only for PDWT to be the better game, and another just to make fun of it. He even stated that he hates people that like the game due to being insulted on TV Tropes for criticizing the game. Finally, Grust reviewed the game, without counting the surrounding controversy.