“D: The Game”: review of re-release on Steam

Still from D: The Game / Gog.com

 

Originally released on April 1, 1995, “D: The Game” placed gamers in the midst of having to deal with a mass murder at a hospital on the outskirts of town. The perpetrator is also the director of the hospital, Richter Harris, and he’s taken several patients as hostages inside the hospital. You come into the game as Laura Harris, his only daughter, driving to the scene of the crime. Steam, a digital distribution platform, re-released a version of the game for Windows, Mac OS X and SteamOS + Linux on Oct. 27, just in time for a spooky revisit in the name of all things Halloween.

“D: The Game” is listed as a psychological horror interactive movie and adventure game, but the actual gameplay is less intimidating than its categorizations. It’s important to keep in mind that when this game came out, it was played by young teenagers or, sometimes, their even younger siblings.

Although it is fun to play a “90s game” and gawk at how video games have changed, “D: The Game” has had almost no retouching or updating, which leaves the sentimentalism as one of the only good things the game has to offer for the modern player. The time it takes to move around in the game hurts gameplay and the graphics are low resolution polygons.

The plot points are laid out poorly, the dialogue falls flat and the puzzles are frustrating when having to be executed with poor motor controls. Overall, I would not recommend playing this game, unless it’s to take a look into the sometime dark past of gaming. This being said, the premise of the game is interesting. A doctor who goes beserk out of nowhere? A daughter who enters into the world her father’s mind has created in order to save the hostages? For its time, the ideas that this game offers are fairly unique and explorative. So, if the game were to be majorly revamped with new writing, a new engine and some more details for the story, it might be worth a play.

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