About a week ago, I played through Depression Quest for the first time. The game never quite left me since then. It grabbed me in a way no movie or book about depression ever has. And came through with a clearer message about how to live and deal with it than any self-help article or well-meant advice from a friend ever did for me while I’ve fought my battle against an actual depression through the course of my life.
Yeah, for me there’s a personal reason why I want to talk about this game. I don’t want to make this post about me though. I’ve talked enough about my ups and downs this life on the blog, and parts of it are well documented online on other places.
What amazed me about Depression Quest is how incredible the presentation of it is. The scenarios played really close to things I’ve experienced, the mindset of the main character was completely recognizable, and the presentation with sound and images filtered thought static perfectly represent what it feels like to feel stuck and worthless like that.
Not many other games forced me to take a deep breath, relax, and think about what I’d just experienced quite like the ending of Depression Quest has done. Even a second time, I needed a moment to put aside that heavy feeling the game was giving to me. Which is not a complaint, it’s part of the game’s package.
It tries to put you in the mind of someone who is depressed, giving relatable scenarios while you have to try to figure out the best course of option.
The catch is that the more depressed you are, the more options are crossed through and not available. And yes, they are often the options that will make your character feel better about himself, leaving ones that make you feel worse in the process. Setting yourself up for a cycle that becomes increasingly harder to break.
Which is exactly what happens when you’re spiralling into a depression. Even with your best efforts, you often just do not have the energy or confidence left in you to do what you know is the right thing.
I honestly don’t want to write too much about the game and give too much away. It’s something that should be experienced if you really want to understand it. If you’re fighting against your depression, play this game. It’ll show you you’re not alone in this fight. If you have any friends or relatives who are depressed and you just don’t understand what’s going on, play it too. Heck, maybe even put in multiple playthroughs to see how different the perspective becomes during different stages of depression.
It’s a free game, although they do take donations. You can follow this link to play Depression Quest right now.