In Legacy Games’ House M.D. players take on the role of the titular character and are tasked with working alongside the team of doctors at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital. There are five medical cases to solve through a varying array of mini games, dialogue trees and puzzles. Each of the five chapters is almost exactly like an episode of House M.D. so for fans of the TV program this is an essential buy.

The game makes good use of characterisation and at times you truly feel as if people’s lives depend on your every mo-  ok I can’t do this. This is the worst game I’ve ever played. I hated every second of it. I’m convinced that this was some form of sadistic initiation that Gavin made me do for joining Lazygamer.

I’m going to battle to find anything positive to say about this game, if indeed you can even call it a “game”. It really is more like a mildly interactive slideshow of static scenes populated with irrelevant crap. It does, however, have visually well-presented characters from the TV series. Alright, so maybe I have found something positive to say: the renderings of the characters look identical to their TV show counterparts and the art style is somewhat pleasing to look at – which is great because looking is pretty much all you’ll do.

Gameplay (I say “gameplay” begrudgingly because this is not a game) is made up of about four different and insultingly basic “puzzles”. For example: you might have to run a blood analysis which involves clicking various parts of some stupid analysis machine and turning valves around by continually moving your mouse in a circular motion. The sad thing is that the blood analysis bits are probably the most “interactive” parts in one of the episodes.

The rest of the time you’ll be pixel hunting static scenes (they can’t even animate a simple leaking tap? Seriously?) for various clues to help you diagnose patients. Stupidly, however, most of the clues that you collect you won’t even interact with so you’ll click through a scene trying to find twenty different objects only to find that one out of the twenty is useful. And by useful I mean you’ll do nothing with it and all it does is spark another few lines of text before the scene changes. Of course, there is some inconsequential grading system at the end of each scene, so you can expect to be patronised into oblivion by Dr. House because you scored less than an A+ during a patient examination.

Just in case you’re incredibly stupid the game holds your hand from beginning to end. No matter what you are doing you’ll have some condescending character telling you exactly what to do, even if you’ve done the same nauseating blood analysis a hundred times. You’re even told that you need “to keep the conversation flowing” during dialogue trees – seriously. Actually, I know why Legacy Games opted to instruct players during everything: it’s because anybody who actually voluntarily plays this game is a colossal idiot and probably needs guidance on how to dress themselves in the morning.

About halfway through one of the episodes I became desperate and attempted to make the game more interesting by misdiagnosing patients (you diagnose patients in a kind of hang-man, word guessing game) and purposefully screwing up lumbar punctures. At one point I even messed up a CPR session by deliberately moving the mouse in the opposite direction. Sadly, nobody died and the game just carried on; the patient I had just tried to kill cheerfully greeted House as he entered the room the following day.

I can’t even say that fans of the TV series should check this out. I can’t even say diehard fans of the series should check this out because it’s more like an insult towards a pretty good program. I’m convinced that 95% of the budget this “game” had went to purchasing the rights to the likeness of each actor from the TV series. If I were one of those actors I would sue the hell out of Legacy Games for putting my likeness into a “game” that made a reviewer want to gouge his eyes out with broken glass. Do not buy this “game”. Do not go anywhere near this “game”. The only people who would be entertained by this brazen cash-in would be those who have never played a game in their lives, or frontal lobotomy patients.

Scoring:

Gameplay: 2.0

There is no gameplay here. You’ll get more gameplay clicking around Lazygamer’s website.

Presentation: 4.0

Character likeness is very good and the art style is not bad, but the rest of the game is revolting.

Sound: 1.0

There is no sound except for occasional grunts or screams from patients during injections. The music is very limited and there is no voiceover dialogue at all.

Value: 1.0

House M.D. costs $19.95 (about R150) to download off the Legacy Games website. I wouldn’t pay $1 for this game. In fact I’d rather spend the money on cheap alcohol so I can try to cause myself permanent short-term memory loss right about now.

Overall: 2.0 (not an average)

House M.D. is honestly the worst game I’ve played in 24 years of gaming and I’d rather have gargled wasps.

[Reviewed on PC]

Last Updated: September 17, 2010

House M.D.
Summary
2.0

Miklós Szecsei

I'm a freelance writer who has somehow managed to convince people to pay me to play video games. By day I work a job, but by night and early hours of the morning, I write about video games. The one job provides a living for my family; the other provides a living for my soul. Dramatic, right?

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