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Max, an Autistic Journey - Max's Birthday DLC Review

Max, an Autistic Journey - Max's Birthday DLC Review

I reviewed Max, an Autistic Journey shortly after it released, and liked it so much that I put it forward for Game of the Year. It didn’t win, but I still think it should have. Also since release, developer Stéphane Cantin and his son Max (the hero of the game) have been working on some DLC - which I’m reviewing right here!

In Max’s Birthday, you spend a day with Max as he excitedly wakes up eager to celebrate his birthday! When loading up the game you get a choice​ whether to play the original game or the DLC, so you can play either one without spoilers.

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Max wakes up jumping about all excited for his birthday, he goes to wake up his father 'papa’ at 4am who tells him to go back to bed. They’re going to a restaurant for Max’s birthday and he's worried that they will be late when his papa tells him the restaurant doesn't open till 10am and his friends are invited for 12pm. Max wishes he can have a cat or a dog but his papa says they can't have one due to him having allergies, and saying that they’re his demons. Max says that the tissues are his papa's shield and sword and that when Max is older he hopes to find a new way to fight allergies. Max then makes his way back down to his room and goes back to bed.

While he's asleep Max has a dream, and his best friend Adam is there and tells him that they’re in front of Allergy Castle and it's the home of Max's father's personal demons. Adam says that if Max gets rid of all the demons maybe he will get rid of all Max's father's allergies. Max sees what looks like a ghost next to his friend and asks why he has a ghost with him, when Adam tells Max that it's a tissue and that you can blow your nose to save the story (the game) and also recover your powers so like a save point.

You go through some doorways and see Max's brother Jimmy who joins your team. you see his other siblings Elisabeth and Charles locked behind bars shouting “GET ME OUT OF HERE”, so you have to go through the castle fighting cats and dogs to free them. You fight some demon dogs and free Charles so he joins your team, then go and fight a demon cat. Once defeated it then frees Elisabeth and she joins your team too.

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I do like the fact that Elisabeth says “and they say people with autism lack imagination”, which is true as a lot of people seem to think that autistic people lack any sort of imagination when they don't. They have more imagination than a non-autistic person does in my eyes anyway. Max and his siblings then all go through the castle where they meet all manner of creatures, from a demon horse, to a chicken dragon, and even some eyeballs to fight… Yes, eyeballs I tell you!

Anyways, you have to fight these in order to open another gate, and once you get to the throne room you meet up with a demon snot king… Charles says “GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!”, so Max and the gang go to the roof and find a big chest which ends the dream once they open it.

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Max wakes up and gets all excited knowing it’s his birthday, and they head for the car. Max then gets to the restaurant and gets worried no one will turn up, so does his deep breathing and calms down. All of his friends arrive and they get food, and Max asks his papa if he can go to the counter to get his own food now that he's 11 years old - which makes papa proud and he says that it shows Max is getting older and wiser.

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Max then goes to the counter and you can select anything you want with the money you have, from chicken nuggets to fries to a chicken burger. After eating, a clown comes over to the table and oh my god I have a phobia of clowns, so I wasn't too impressed, and neither was Max and a few of his friends it seems, as they all jump up and run around the restaurant. Papa says “there just has to be a friggin clown…” and then you get to control papa to try to calm Max and co. down, and of course there has to be an old man saying “you know, you should really put a leash on those kids… in my day, that kind of behaviour got us a spanking! You snowflakes nowadays, you let your kids run all over you… SHAME” I mean really come in on man that's not nice. As papa you get a selection of words to reply with 'give him hell’, 'explain the situation…’, 'push him!’, or 'do nothing’. Well I went with “explain the situation” because that's what I would do if anyone said that to me about my two boys who are autistic.

It was then time to do the cake and I believe they used the real audio of Max's siblings singing happy birthday to him. Anyways, Max shouts stop and everyone stops singing to him, but he tells them he doesn't like singing and complains there is pink on his cake and Adam explains that it could be strawberry frosting on the cake. After that Max gets his gifts, and his papa tells him there is one last gift, but it's hidden in the restaurant. He has to pick a friend to help him and right away he picks Adam, his best friend. The game ends once you find the gift, and you see both Max and Adam happy but we never find out what the gift was.

I enjoyed playing the DLC, with new locations and enemies it was more than just fun a new story. It was something I looked forward to once I heard about it, and discovering how Max reacted knowing it was his birthday was just how my eldest boy reacts, it ran well and I definitely think people will enjoy this DLC also.

10.00/10 10

Max, an Autistic Journey - Max's Birthday DLC (Reviewed on Windows)

Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?

I enjoyed playing the DLC, with new locations and enemies it was more than just fun a new story. It was something I looked forward to once I heard about it, and discovering how Max reacted knowing it was his birthday was just how my eldest boy reacts, it ran well and I definitely think people will enjoy this DLC also.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Anna Duncan

Anna Duncan

Staff Writer

May very well be an assassin with a wrist blade and everything.

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