Top Critic Average
Awkward platformer Sym speaks to a vulnerable issue, but it's difficult to figure out what exactly it's trying to say.
The game represents social anxiety in all of us and the choices we make each day to mitigate that. But ATRAX Games put all that stuff there to tell you, "This is for you." And it is. Hopefully, this opens up new avenues of understanding regarding a condition that can be life or death for actual people, not just characters in a video game.
There is also a subtle beauty to this game, and one that I can relate to. The constant battle of light versus dark, of fear and loneliness, building yourself back to where you need to be -- these are struggles that most humans face at some point, and Sym allows you to play through that emotional roller coaster in a visual way. I enjoyed its thoughtful nature and its ability to evoke feelings that I only thought were available in darker moments. However, Sym's atmosphere transcends its loose gameplay and controls, which unfortunately creates a frustrating experience and stifles the impact of its message.
If you like puzzle platformers, and you're prepared to be a little forgiving, then it might just tide you over until the next must-have atmospheric adventure is upon us.
Sym is a valiant effort to convey how social anxiety feels, but its platforming mechanics aren't solid enough and distract from the story and themes. The art style is striking, but the story and thematic elements are too broad to leave a lasting impact.
Sym paints a stark picture of the disorder it explores. A simple yet interesting visual style, along with difficult obstacles, helps create a sense of accomplishment when players advance.
The world of Sym is very cool, but the flaws that don't belong really hurt the overall beauty of the game.
Sym is a middling platformer with a wonderfully delivered message
Interesting, but too loose to be fulfilling
With this kind of game, it's easy enough to say that the difficulty is intended, but some of these reactions tended to stray close to interrupting experience rather than enhancing it.