Living with autism can be challenging and isolating for children and their parents. A new independent video game, Max, an Autistic Journey, set to release this week on Steam, aims to alleviate that by providing a great in-game experience that represents the journey autistic children frequently face.
The game is a turn-based RPG focused on Max, a 10-year-old boy with autism. The story follows him as he struggles with symptoms and gets a diagnosis. Creator Stephane Cantin developed the game to give others an in-game idea of how it can feel to live with autism, a disorder experienced by his son, and he worked closely with his son throughout the creative process. The monsters faced by the player in the game represent the genuine emotions and frustrations experienced by autistic people and gives insight into situations that can be challenging for them. The game manages to present the new ideas and viewpoint without losing its focus on fun and adventure.
The top-down view and graphics give the game a great retro feel. It includes several minigames and puzzles the player must solve. The turn-based combat system includes fun weapons and powerful abilities. The challenges faced by Max give players insight into the challenges faced by many people with Autism, and classic gamers will enjoy the core leveling and customization mechanics.
Autism has gained more awareness recently, and Cantin’s new game will continue that trend. The innovative game goes beyond that, though, and looks to provide a unique gaming experience that players with autism can identify with and those without can learn and grow from. The game supports standard mouse, keyboard, or controller and will be available for purchase on Steam this week.