Pathologic was first released by Ice-Pick Lodge back in 2005. It was an interesting game about surviving and trying to cure a plague within a strict time limit, but its execution wasn’t quite what the developers had wanted it to be. Now, with years of experience under their belt from releasing games like The Void and personal favorite Knock Knock, they’ve come back to remake their first game from the ground up, looking to Kickstarter to fund it. The fans have already spoken, as the kickstarter has raised over $170 000 in its first three days. With its concept, it’s not hard to see why.
Pathologic puts you in the shoes of one of three playable doctors, all of whom have different stories and paths through the plague. Placed within a small, infected town, you have twelve in-game days to do what you wish. You can try to save people by looking for the outbreak patient and creating a vaccine, or you can choose to just help whoever you can with the medicine you have on-hand. Do you help important people to learn more about the outbreak, or do you help the average person on the street? Keep in mind that the sick aren’t going to appreciate you looking over them to help someone else, and may attack you for medicine.
This isn’t even factoring in your own survival, as you need to eat, sleep, and fight off the disease yourself. What is the cost of food as a plague sweeps the town? Prices will go up and thieves will be everywhere as the town is brought to its knees by sickness. Can you find anywhere to rest that’s safe? Even if you do, rest costs you time from your precious twelve days, which is all the time you have to accomplish anything. And what happens when you get sick? Did you hoard medicine to save your own life, or did you give it away? When you can help the town the most, isn’t it most important that you stay alive?
Moral questions and the brutality of living in a town under siege by sickness abound in Pathologic, and this remake is looking to make the experience as good as it can be. Ice-Pick Lodge has a pedigree of making intelligent, different games, so consider donating to the Kickstarter if you want to play a unique experience.