Rather than a typical game, That Dragon, Cancer is more like an interactive story that, want as you may, you will never win. The story is based on the life and struggles of the creators Ryan and Amy Green and their family as it documents the journey of one of their kid’s battle against cancer. The game is visually very beautiful and it celebrates the life of Joel, taking you through key moments of his life both happy and sad. The disease morphs into black spiny structures in the game environment that always seems to be lurking around even when you are trying to enjoy a tender family moment.
Joel was Ryan and Amy’s fourth child and was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor at 12 months of age. Though he was given just four months to live, Joel continued to live for four more years. The game serves as a memoir for Joel featuring audio taken from home videos, poetry, hope, despair, helplessness and love. That Dragon, Cancer is a very linear story and the inevitability of you connecting with Joel and then feeling the loss of him through the journey is a very humbling experience.
The game will make you uncomfortable, very much so. Yet, perhaps, it will also make you more sensitive to the suffering of others around.
That Dragon, Cancer
Developers: Numinous Games
Price: Rs 479 (Steam download)