Treasure Rangers, the game that makes autism visible
The action title Treasure Rangers, exclusive to PS4, tries to encourage inclusion by incorporating a protagonist with autism.
That video games have a brutal potential when it comes to creating symbols to interpret reality is something that no one denies. These can be used to make the population aware of various issues and put on the map situations that are generally in the background. Treasure Rangers is an example of this: the Spanish indie title, made in collaboration with the Spanish Autism Confederation, makes autism spectrum disorder visible.
Made by the Basque studio Relevo together with PS Talents, this independent action and platform game with puzzle mechanics perfectly combines the story and the gameplay with the characteristics of this syndrome through Randy, one of the four protagonists of the series. History and that stands out for being a lover of video game consoles and music.
Next to him are Lucy, the athlete; Éric, a lover of animals and nature; and Roxy, the rebel. Together they make up the Treasure Rangers, teenage superheroes trying to solve a problem plaguing their world. His skills are directly related to his tastes: jump more than the rest, collect rocks, play the guitar…
The work, in the third person and located in a neighboring neighborhood, presents some young people who have to recover a series of electronic devices that are suddenly being lost.
It is presented on a variety of scenarios with enemies and objectives to meet, a backdrop that aims to promote essential values for society and young people such as inclusion, equality, communication and self-esteem.
Jon Cortázar, one of the developers and the father of a son with autism, denies that it is “the autism game or a game for people with autism, but rather a game in which one of the characters has this disorder and is perfectly integrated into both story and game mechanics.
The characters, with different abilities, must work as a team to overcome the obstacles imposed on them. There is none better than another : the only exception is that Randy does not talk to his teammates. Even so, it is as necessary to advance the plot as the rest: precisely therein lies the leitmotiv of the game, to show that autism does not prevent anyone from functioning in the social, work or professional world. Randy needs his teammates as much as his teammates need him.
Responsible for the Confederation Austismo España emphasize that the difference of the title lies in the fact that “disability is approached from the capacity, not from the difficulties”. And all those who play the title will be able to learn about the barriers that people with the disorder face.
Cortázar has explained that Treasure Rangers was a project that had been in his head for a long time, and that thanks to PlayStation Talents he has been able to carry it out. “We want to make autism visible by showing a different representation than what we are used to in other branches of entertainment,” he details.
The title, exclusive to PS4, can be purchased at its official digital store for just €20. At the moment the ratings are quite positive, since the connection between plot, game system and characters is perfect.
The graphics and music are very characteristic and beating the final bosses is quite entertaining, although they do not pose a high challenge and the way to eliminate them, jumping, ends up being somewhat boring. However, in the end it ends up becoming too linear and perhaps for the older ones—the game is recommended for those aged seven and up—it ends up being too repetitive.
Treasure Rangers also imposes various object collection challenges on you, such as gems, which function as your own life and which are lost with any enemy attack. Its 6 hours of duration are also an incentive : in one or two afternoons you can complete it without any problem.
Still, it says enough for Sony that the PlayStation Talents program helps launch works that might not have gotten off the ground otherwise. Because video games are not only a source of entertainment, they can also become a means of transmitting messages to build a better society.
The Spanish studio Relevo is also the author of Baboon, another addictive and challenging platform title that pays homage to the classics in which learning the automatisms and differences of each level is essential to overcome them. Each map is a different world, and it will not even be strange that you often have to return to previous ones to unlock attacks or abilities to continue advancing.
Relay games are perfect, due to their duration, to enjoy on the train, plane or car. If during the transfer you only want to think about what challenges await you on the next screen, trust MAPFRE so that the trip is perfect and any possible inconvenience is easily solved.