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The controls were a little wonky. The music was great and suited the mood very well. The story was beautiful. That said...
The thing I love most about this game is the creators' ability to portray (in my opinion) a very believable and subtle Aspergic character. Having an Aspergic sister, I usually end up cringing when I see what media and pop culture seems to think "autistic" means. There were so many small touches that the creators gave to River that really sold it and made her feel like a real person with Asperger's: she had a tendency to shift her eyes around a lot rather than keeping eye contact; she would say things in a very formal manner (her answer to "Are you two a couple?" among other things); she tried to have the same conversation multiple times over a long period of time ("What else?")... It really was a wonderful, realistic representation of an Aspie.
What makes it even better is how respectful the game is towards her condition. No one talked about "fixing" her, but at the same time, she did have adequate therapy to help her cope. Side characters pointed out things that are often misunderstood or overlooked about ASD (Izzy pointing out that it's exhausting to act neurotypical, though it can be done; Izzy pointing out that neurotypicals don't always know what's best for Aspies; Eva pointing out that Aspies don't always have perfect memories; etc.).
What makes it EVEN BETTER on top of all that is the way that the game captures how strained and difficult a relationship between an NT and an Aspie can be. Communication is not always easy, even between two N Ts or two Aspies, but putting one of each together is like sending Mac files to a Windows computer; the content can be the same, but the process is so different that it's impossible for one side to know what the other is trying to say.
Being an NT myself, I might not have the right to say this, but, in my opinion, this game does a lot to promote autism awareness and to show that, while often difficult for everyone involved, it is possible to have a caring relationship between someone on the spectrum and someone off of it.
Commenting on my own review to say that I probably screwed up that computer metaphor, but please pretend that it makes sense if it doesn't. Thank yoooou!
As an Aspie, I really agree with this review. One of the few pieces of fiction I've come across that portrays it accurately. I really identified with Izzy, when she said she was an actress "on-stage and off-stage". It was probably the most emotional moment of the game for me, more than even the ending.
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