Reviews for "Social Dysphoria The Game"

I signed up for an account just to leave a review. This game is really well-done. The faux-retro aesthetic is cleverly implemented, and it's fun and cute to play.

The only problem I really have is that the words you have to dodge and collect are universally referred to as "pronouns". Pronouns are words like he/she/they, words that replace nouns in speech. Woman, man, homo, lesbian, tomboy, etc. are all nouns.

There's an awful lot of cisplaining going on in these reviews. Personally, I think calling the antagonist Cisbot was to the point. I also appreciated including the unlockable genderqueer character, although it took me a little while to get enough points. Of course for such a small game, the rhetoric is simplified, but personally as a cisguy I thought it wasn't bad. The music was great, too, and the mechanic, though not *too* different from any other shoot-em-up, is executed well. My main complaint is that while the controls were very smooth, every so often they would freak out for a second and the character would keep moving right into a pronoun-bullet.
Also, on the victory screen, it says "conglaturations" instead of "congratulations"--might want to fix that :P

VOEC responds:

That last one is deliberate. Search for "Gostbusters Nes" ;)


All right, before I get started with this, I just want to say that I think making a game based around the struggles transgendered people face is great. It's a concept you don't see too often. So I'll give you props for that.

With that said, I don't think the concept was executed well. In fact, at first I wondered if this was satire, because it actually seemed to be REINFORCING negative stereotypes of transgendered people, and social justice bloggers in particular (obsession with pronouns, for one, not to mention "Cisbot"... without reading the disclaimer in the description, that could easily be taken the wrong way). Instead of trying to communicate what trans people have to go through on a daily basis, which is what I expected, it felt like a guide on how not to be offensive. Unless the player is taking notes, I don't think it's going to have much of an impact on anyone.

As for the game itself, it's your average vertical shooter, with the main gimmick being that you're shooting and collecting words instead of more generic objects, like ships and powerups. It actually plays pretty well. My issue is that it feels like the game exists solely to drive the message, resulting in a somewhat barebones experience. Also, I don't understand the artstyle. What does imitating a Game Boy add to the game? Not much, really. It's just sort of... there.

Overall, this could've been thought out better. The concept is good, but there are some serious flaws in the execution.

VOEC responds:

A fair review. Thank you. I wnat to comment on a view things though.

You're right that the game could have been a lot better designed and the are major flaws with its gameplay and story. It could have been also a bit broader at shoing the player how it is to be transgender.
But I still think that there was some interesting value in the original idea from the tumblr-post. Because being misgendered and insulted is a thing that trans people have to go through on a daily basis. I've seen lots of my friends get shit like this every day. I think it's an important part about being transgender.
(But in case you're interested in a game that really shows what transgender people have to go through in their lifes I recommend Dys4ria from Anna Anthropy, also here on Newgrounds, if you haven't played it yet)

Regarding the artstyle. I choose it because it is simple and quick. I could have made it black and white or Atari-like, but I like the colors of the Gameboy. 4 shades, pretty easy. And honestly I didn't want to spend a lot of time on the graphics, since I was just trying out this idea, and wanted to get back on working on my "proper" game-projects.

"Are you a boy? Or are you a girl?"

Well, the game is about dysphoria, I supposeā€¦