Games with definite social messages are always interesting to review, because I have to navigate just how much that influences my final decisions.
Reviews ultimately require you to analyze all elements of a game that would affect a player. A game that’s stated as commentary or a representation of some kind of real-world trouble – in the case of Sym, social anxiety disorder – will undoubtedly affect how one approaches the game. There’s an unspoken pressure to evaluate games differently based on their cost, their developer, or whether they seek to raise awareness. You will often forgive a game flaws you wouldn’t a AAA product for these reasons – or, conversely, be more critical and negative because it’s attached to something that’s emotionally valuable to others.