AbleGamers select most accessible games of 2014

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 16:38pm

AbleGamers, the organisation working to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games, has named its most accessible mainstream games of 2014.

Bayonetta wearing the outfit of The Legend of Zelda's Link, in the game Bayonetta 2 for Wii U. Image credit: BagoGames

In a blog post announcing its winners, AbleGamers said that while many games failed to meet the standards of accessibility for the inclusion of everyone, there were still a number of games which clearly showed that their developers made intentional choices to include accessibility in their games.

These included Hearthstone, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire / Omega Ruby, Tropico 5, Sims 4 and Civilization: Beyond Earth.

Discussing the winner of the most accessible mainstream game developed by an independent studio, AbleGamers said that two games tied for the top spot: Always Sometimes Monsters by Vagabond Dog and This War of Mine by 11 Bit Studios.

“Always Sometimes Monsters is a game of choices, much like the choice Vagabond Dog made to keep a focus on accessible game design,” the blog post reads. “Game play is never action-based, allowing the player to follow the story and complete objectives at their own pace. Color never plays into core gameplay elements without other descriptors. The game is entirely text based with fantastically created closed captions.”

Commenting on This War of Mine, AbleGamers said that developers 11 Bit Studios had made the full experience of the atrocities of war accessible by careful consideration of controls and theme.

“Allowing the game to be controlled only by the mouse creates an amazingly accessible PC title while being very tense,” the blog post reads. “11 Bit Studios dedicates a conscious effort to a colorblind friendly art style that only increases their game’s style. Audio accessibility is carefully considered by the team, turning footsteps into visual information and sticking to their game’s theme. This War of Mine is a somber tale, with careful consideration to features that allow anyone to witness that experience.”

The organisation also named PlatinumGames’ Bayonetta 2 as its 2014 accessible mainstream game of the year developed by a major studio.

“Bayonetta 2 pulls out all the stops for accessible game design while staying true to their creative vision, revitalizing a genre known for inaccessibility, on a system inherently inaccessible, but ultimately making a near perfect example of game accessibility,” the blog post reads.

For more on gaming accessibility, our noteworthy accessible game releases in 2014 article provides reviews and descriptions for last year's accessible titles. For more information, resources and mainstream options, visit our gaming page.

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