Post-traumatic stress disorder is an insidious mental illness that punishes its victims – and those around them – long after the original ordeal has ended. Indie developer Little Guy Games' The Last Sky tackles one man's harrowing attempt to deal with this disease, and has recently been released on Steam Early Access.
The game stars an ex-soldier named Jake, who has been suffering from PTSD for years when he finally "hits rock-bottom" and seeks assistance from an "enigmatic shaman" named Tarak, who "promises to help Jake overcome his condition and thrusts him deep into a subconscious dream world through a shamanic ritual." Within the fantastical manifestation of his mind, Jake must "confront his past and contemplate his future" in order to "overcome demons in the present." Only by doing so will he be able to finally conquer his fear, find peace, and "learn how to live" again.
The Last Sky is a side-scroller that "combines elements of 3D puzzles with 2D platforming," but unlike many similar titles, this one promises to be a "narrative-driven adventure game with a lot of branching narrative paths." Describing the game as a "spiritual journey of learning," the developers hope the story will "promote a broader discourse about trauma, mental health, and PTSD – their causes, ways of coping, and especially ways of healing."
A fully playable version of the game is available now on Steam Early Access, where it should remain for the next three or so months. Through community engagement in the meantime, the developers hope to implement "more branching story paths and more different endings" before the game is considered content-complete.