Treatment: A Psychiatry Card Game
Treatment: A Psychiatry Card Game, designed by Markus Takanen, is a light card game for 2-5 players. In the game, players are working at a psychiatric clinic and compete with each other to offer the best treatment for patient cases, using a combination of resources: social support, pharmaceuticals and therapy.
Treatment is a game that takes me back to my freshman year at university, living in the dorms. Every night we would sit around and play classic trick-taking card games like Spades, Euchre, and Canasta. Mechanically, Treatment feels like playing one of those games but slightly more complicated.
The game is light and simple to learn but for the best experience, I recommend having one player who is comfortable with the game introduce it to new players. It really seems like the designers made a conscious effort to make Treatment as universally accessible and inclusive as possible. So, it is a good game to play with non-gaming partners or friends. But be aware that more "serious" gamers may be put off by the reliance on luck in the game, as well as the limited breadth of decisions required of players. However, even a 4-5 player game should only take around 20-30 minutes, or even shorter.
Designer Markus Takanen himself works within the field of psychiatry and intends Treatment to go beyond simply being en enjoyable playing experience. The game also has a mission. Takanen says that he hopes it can help people talk about psychiatry, and break the social stigma surrounding the field: "If this game leads to one person telling people about her/his disease and getting more support we consider the game a success." This is mainly done through the evocative art and text on the cards, with disorders like bipolar, anxiety, substance abuse and neurodevelopmental. Treatment is not pushy with its message, however, and remains a light and fun card game before anything else.