A beautifully made game that puts you in the shoes of someone with Aspergers syndrome to help change the public perception of autism and enlighten people’s understanding through the medium of a video game. And what a great game it is to play!
I can’t say I have played a game quite like this, the premise is simple, you have to complete a daily routine of tasks however it certainly isn’t as simple as it sounds. Completing a checklist that includes getting food, optionally buy a game and make sure you are home by a certain time. You move left to right walking the mean streets and interacting with many people, this is where the game really puts the emphasis on the difficulties people with Aspergers have in everyday social situations. You are given a number of options from looking at the person, to typing in responses to get the best outcome based on the situation and current emotion levels, specifically; stress, courage, happiness and uneasiness. The lower the emotions the less options you have in conversations and this makes for a great game mechanic as it challenges you to decide whether certain situations are worth doing based on how you feel. The little driving mini-game at the beginning was also a nice touch and I’m sure there were other mini games to play, unfortunately I didn’t make it all the way to the end.
The audio and soundtrack is extremely well suited to the gameplay and fits in well with the lovely art style but what the developer has done so well are the sounds that are created for the confusing noises such as police car sirens and going up the elevator perceived by an ‘Aspie’. As the game states all of the sounds are intentional and definitely does well to evoke empathy from the player. The art style as previously mentioned is lovely and retro, from the intro cut-scene of the town from above, to the mini–game car explosions An Aspie Life has a beautiful charm about it. Whilst it being set in what looks to be quite a rough area of a large city, the colour scheme does really well to create that sense of anxiety and stress, which people with Aspergers have to deal with regularly.
Annoyingly for me the game crashed before I could get much further than 10:00 on the first day, however I intend to play it again and hopefully get to the end as there is a story arch in this game and I want to know more about the relationship of the player and Brad ‘who had to leave’. I’m not surprised this game has won awards as it is a great teaching and learning experience through fun game mechanics that deserves so much praise. I implore anyone out there to try this game out over on Gamejolt (and also try and beat my 10000+ score on the Drive mini-game). I would argue that the takeaway from the game is far more important than the playthrough itself, learning one thing about yourself and your perceptions or autism in general is what makes this game stand out above the rest and I look forward to seeing other games take note of An Aspie Life.
Play the game and support the developer: http://gamejolt.com/games/an-aspie-life/209217