Strange Sickness

A fictional story based on Aberdeen’s real medieval records

What is Strange Sickness?

Scotland, 1498. A ‘strange sickness’ threatens to bring turmoil and death to the land. In Aberdeen it falls to an aspiring scholar, Robert, to devise a strategy to protect the town.

Strange Sickness is an experiment in merging historical research and records with digital storytelling. It’s a micro-budget indie game, built by historians, for gamers and non-gamers young and old, for history buffs and the merely history-curious!

Gameplay. Explore Aberdeen’s sites and characters to find strategies and evidence, then present your plans to the town council. Make choices to shape the story as you tackle the threat of plague outbreaks in 1498, 1500, 1507 and 1514. Follow Robert’s personal story and relationships as his responsibilities grow in an irreverent tale that is also an encounter with the past, built by historians from some of the richest historical records of medieval Scotland. 

Features. Immerse yourself in a story that brings real historical sources to life. Collect strategies, evidence and glossary words. Challenge curious characters with verse battles called ‘flytings’ to unlock more evidence. Meet alewives, mediciners, royal courtiers and blustering aldermen. Trace the contacts of those arriving on an infected ship. Save lives by convincing the council to take action, and face the consequences.

With music from DIM, Strobotone, and ‘Songs From Medieval Aberdeen’.

Written in ink.

You decide how to protect your fellow townspeople from plague!

The Aberdeen Burgh Records

Strange Sickness is built from historical research into the UNESCO-recognised council registers of medieval Aberdeen.

For more information about the Aberdeen Burgh Records check out

BAFTA Scotland Awards nomination (Game), 2022

Scottish Games Awards, Nomination (longlist), Creativity Award, for Strange Sickness, 2022

Edge : An “absorbing piece of interactive fiction” … “Strange Sickness is far from a dry history lesson: it’s necessarily sad and occasionally anger-inducing” (A plague tale, March 2022)

The Scottish Games Network: Out Now: Strange Sickness (2021) ; Strange Sickness: Play With The Plague in Medieval Aberdeen (2020)

History Scotland: Video game based on historical research brings medieval Aberdeen to life (2021)

The Press and Journal: Strange Sickness: First look at new video game which shows Aberdeen life in the Middle Ages (2021); Game set in plague-ridden medieval Aberdeen garners global interest (2020)

The Times: A ‘strange sickness’ from Aberdeen to become a video game using burgh records (2020)

Strange Sickness is a game by Common Profyt Games, built with support from our wonderful Kickstarter backers, the University of Aberdeen, the Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service, ONE CodeBase, and the Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives.