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Video Game / Max: An Autistic Journey

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Max: An Autistic Journey is a retro-style RPG by Stéphane Cantin, which deals with a day in the life of Max, an autistic boy based on Cantin's own son. The game shows Max struggling to get through his day, with various RPG-style segments and mini-games in which the player deals with various problems, from getting dressed to navigating the school, the way Max imagines them.

The game is currently available on Steam.


In fact, this game has examples of:

  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Max has ADHD in addition to his autism, and fitting the game, this is portrayed more realistically than most examples.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mathis ends up suffering misfortune, such as Max taking his earmuffs (In all fairness, Max did legitimately think that Mathis stole his).
  • The Cameo: Jon Snow, Ygritte and Ghost all appear in the block world.
  • Difficulty Spike: Max helping Jimmy with his game is unusually difficult, given that the enemies are fairly strong and some of your weaker abilities do negligible amounts of damage.
  • Disappeared Dad: It's unclear what happened to the father of Gege's children, Elisabeth and Charles.
  • Downloadable Content: The game has a brief scenario focusing on Max's birthday, which can be purchased for a dollar.
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  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Charles and Elisabeth join the party during the power outage, the last part of the game.
  • Forgets to Eat: Max sometimes forgets lunch, so his father has to send him a pictogram to remind him.
  • Genre Savvy: When the Nightmare has seemingly been defeated, Jimmy says that things aren't usually this easy in games. Shortly thereafter, you face his final form, Electric Death.
  • Good Parents: Max's father and stepmother care a great deal for him and the rest of their children.
  • Good Stepmother: Both Gege and Stef are shown as being good parents to their stepchildren- respectively Max and Jimmy, and Charles and Elisa.
  • The Grim Reaper: Electric Death, the Final Boss.
  • Grumpy Old Man: After the clown scares Max and his friends, an old man at the fast food place complains about the youth of today. Playing as Max's father, you can choose a few different responses, from reasoning with him to telling him off.
  • Guide Dang It!: For the presentation, you have to be able to pick out the true facts about the emperor penguins, which is difficult unless you look it up or happen to know your subject very well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Max goes into one after being sent to the relaxation room.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Max complains about this while in the relaxation room.
  • Innocently Insensitive: As a result of his autism making it difficult to understand others, Max ends up saying some fairly mean things, like making fun of a blind classmate.
  • Interface Spoiler: If you look in the Steam Achievements section and see that you haven't gotten some of the Pictograms yet, you're not done with the game yet.
  • Lack of Empathy: Downplayed, but Max often doesn't understand how others feel when he says the things he does.
  • Mini-Game: There are several, such as the recurring breathing mini-game to calm Max, driving to or from school, playing the psaltery, a racing game with Charles and an optional "Vaccination" shmup.
  • Missing Mom: Max's mother is never mentioned outside of the opening scene in which his parents learn that he has autism.
  • Money for Nothing: There's no place to spend the money, so apart from getting an achievement for 200,000 coins, there's no reason to earn money. The DLC has an item shop at the fast food place, but since this is after the last battle, you can't use what you buy.
  • No Antagonist: This game is about an autistic boy going through an ordinary day, and fighting imaginary foes.
  • No Social Skills: Max. Some of his bad behavior that isn't due to acting in anger is due to not realizing that what he's doing is wrong.
  • Noob Cave: Max's clothing drawer is the first dungeon. While Max is the only party member you have, the enemies aren't especially challenging, and the dungeon is fairly small.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Final Boss has three different forms.
  • Random Encounters: Averted. Combat begins when you run into the monsters wandering around, and the game uses this as a promotion.
  • Reality Ensues: In the DLC, Max searches for a cure for his father's allergies so that he can get a pet for his birthday. Elisa tells him as kindly as she can that it isn't possible to cure allergies.
  • Running Gag:
    • Max telling everyone that his brother has a mustache.
    • In the DLC, at the start of each of the encounters, Jimmy makes three animal-related puns. Max finds the first two funny, but doesn't get or like the third.
  • Self-Harm: Max is tempted to do this at his lowest point, but luckily, the King of All Monsters talks him out of it.
  • Shout-Out
    • The scene where the bullies harass Max in the lunchroom is a reference to the scene where Ponda Boba loses his arm in Star Wars.
    • Max is said to be a big fan of Five Nights at Freddy's.
    • As mentioned above, Ygritte tells Jon Snow that he knows nothing.
  • Sore Loser: Max can be this if you lose to Charles.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: During the preparation for his presentation, Max talks to several emperor penguins for information about their kind.
  • Standard Status Effects: Party members can get poisoned, confused, silenced, put to sleep or stunned.
  • Summon Magic: Max's strongest Special is the ability to summon the King of All Monsters.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Max does this if he wins against Charles in the race.
  • Verbal Tic: In fact, Max likes to begin many of his sentences with "In fact."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Max gets a few of these.
    • When Max realizes that he stole Mathis' earmuffs, Mrs. Caroline makes Max apologize to Mathis in front of the class.
    • When Max insults Mathis and then loses his temper, he's sent to the relaxation room and later gets a stern lecture from Mrs. Caroline.


Example of: