Help Me Doctor – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game
Developer: Angry Angel Games
Publisher: IceTorch Interactive, Ultimate Games
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Help Me Doctor – Review

Site Score
0.5
Good: The graphics have that "so bad it's good" factor
Bad: Everything. Don't play this game.
User Score
1.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (2 votes cast)

On very rare occasions, you might have a gut feeling that a game is going to be terrible before you’re even starting to play it. Of course, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and a terrible-looking game might end up being pretty good, or so terrible that it becomes good ironically. We gave Help Me Doctor a quick check-up to see if it’s better than it looks. So what’s the diagnosis?

Story

We’re going to go ahead and assume there’s supposed to be a story here, though it’s never really made clear whether there actually is one. As you start the game, a pop-up dialogue box appears and a sinister-looking bureaucrat, supposedly from the ministry of Health starts to mumble incoherently about taxes that you paid in order to start your practice. Apparently, paying health taxes is enough to declare you a doctor, so now you can start treating patients. Everything then moves to the doctor’s office, where all the “exciting” action happens, as you welcome patients and try to deduce what exactly they’re suffering from. The game information page on the various digital platforms that Help Me Doctor is available on also mentions scripted events, but we didn’t encounter any. 

Graphics

This game feels like it was cobbled together with recycled assets and we wouldn’t be surprised if the in-game models are a patchwork of free 3D models that were collected from dubious websites. Everything looks -and feels- disconnected, ugly and cheap. Strangely, however, there is a weird and indescribable charm to this clash of art styles. Somehow it gets that “so bad it’s good” look just right. If it wasn’t for the outright terrible gameplay, the game would be worth a look in an ironic way simply because of how everything doesn’t mesh together. 

Sound

There’s no original sound design to be found here. Like the graphics, everything is done as cheaply as possible, and the game uses license-free music and stock sounds. 

Gameplay

In theory, Help Me Doctor is a medical-themed version of Papers Please. In practice, it’s a buggy mess that barely deserves to be called a game. As the titular doctor, you receive patients in your office. They’ll tell you their symptoms and your job is to diagnose them. It’s a simple enough concept that could’ve been the basis for a decent indie game. Unfortunately, a decent game is nowhere to be found here. Instead, Ultimate Games offers up a confusing piece of crap where nothing -and we do mean nothing– makes sense. In a misguided attempt to be funny, the patients suffer from absurd diseases, such as ‘morphing into a Hobbit’. The info sheets on these diseases are riddled with bad grammar and spelling, and the result feels like the incoherent ramblings of a mad man. Patients will tell you their symptoms and while there is overlap in symptoms between diseases, it’s easy enough to figure out what they suffer from. However, correctly identifying the disease actually punishes you by deducting money from your bank account. If you run out of money, you go bankrupt and it’s game over.

This whole tax thing is never really explained and you’re left figuring it out on your own, but it’s all illogical and it’s nearly impossible to follow the game’s logic without an explanation. Whatever little semblance of a plot there is involves the corrupt ministry of Health, and assumedly, this all has to do with insurance fraud and taxes, but as the game never explains what is going on, it’s nigh impossible to figure out what you’re actually supposed to do. There’s also no incentive to keep going, as even the short experience that is a single playthrough of Help Me Doctor manages to be incredibly frustrating and mind-numbingly boring at the same time. If you manage to achieve what the game wants you to do, you’re treated to a little dance from the doctor, as the game triumphantly declares that you beat the system – whatever that means. Either way, there is no fun to be had here at all, and instead, you’re left wondering what it is the game wants from you. Apparently, new features are introduced as you progress through the game -such as patients offering bribes and VIP patients that try to cut in line- but you won’t reach these points in the game if you can’t figure out how the game works in the first place. 

Conclusion

The title perfectly describes how you’ll feel after playing this game. Help Me Doctor feels like an elaborate joke, with developer Angry Angel Games as a terrible comedian and the player as the punchline -as publisher Ultimate Games is laughing all the way to the bank. The game was clearly produced as cheaply as possible. While the asking price isn’t ridiculously high, it’s hard not to imagine the developers turning a profit, as this game was likely produced on a rainy afternoon with a shoestring budget. Here’s hoping this game doesn’t sell well enough to warrant a sequel, although we don’t really expect it to. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Help Me Doctor - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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