Duru – A Game about Mole Rats and Depression

A 2D puzzle adventure with a twist: players have to solve puzzles as mole rat Tuli with and against an unfriendly AI companion.

In Duru players are the mole rat Tuli that one day is affected by depression. They learn more about this illness, get advice how one can help people affected by it and get to know a story about depression and friendship.

An Unhelpful Companion

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In this story-driven 2D Puzzle Adventure Tuli has to collect food for a West-African inspired mole rat colony of which she is part of. For this she uses her agility and special power: Tuli can draw objects from her mind into reality to solve puzzles. But one day this once easy task becomes a big challenge as Tuli meets a six-legged creature that sticks to her and manipulates everything she is doing. Players have to learn more about the behaviour of this creature nobody else can see to continue everyday tasks.

Serios, but Colorful and Light-Hearted

In Duru this mental illness is explained with a colorful and light-hearted approach, closing the niche between Serious Games and entertainment. Players are not meant to "experience" the illness on their own. They see how it changes the main character Tuli and how her friends in the mole rat colony are distancing themselves from her, because of her changing behaviour. The game shows common misunderstands between people who suffer from depression and their environment and gives hints how these misunderstandings could be solved. Even if the topic is very serious, it is told in a colorful and light-hearted way.

Picture Dialogs

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To bring the story about a topic, that is too less spoken about, to a broad audience, the mole rats in the colony don't talk with words but using symbols in picture dialogs. Thus players are also able to follow the thoughts of Tuli and how the creature is twisting them.