AbleGamers crown mainstream, indie titles as their Accessible Games of 2014

AbleGamers today released a statement crowning their mainstream and indie Accessible Games of 2014.

On the mainstream front, the award was presented to Bayonetta 2.

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,” AbleGamers said in a statement. “This game allows players to choose from a plethora of options with the WiiU GamePad, Pro Controller, the GamePad’s touch screen, or in any combination that is most comfortable for the player. Some might say this is a visual masterpiece with astonishing graphics, top tier subtitles, and a visual style carefully crafted to not impede the enjoyment of the game for those with colorblindness.”

Runners-up included Hearthstone, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, Tropico 5, The Sims 4 and Civilization: Beyond Earth.

When considering indie games, AbleGamers gave the gong to both Always Sometimes Monsters and This War of Mine.

Always Sometimes Monsters is a game of choices, much like the choice Vagabond Dog made to keep a focus on accessible game design. 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,” AbleGamers said. “The game is entirely text based with fantastically created closed captions. Vagabond has created a world that allows players to follow a story they create from their own choices, and does not let anything stand in the way of accessible options for players to enjoy Always Sometimes Monsters.

“The team at 11 Bit Studios makes the full experience of the atrocities of war accessible by careful consideration of controls and theme,” AbleGamers continued, speaking of This War of Mine. “Allowing the game to be controlled only by the mouse creates an amazingly accessible PC title while being very tense. 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.”

AbleGamers is a charity that provides news and reviews on the accessibility of mainstream video game titles, as well as consultation on assistive technology. “As an alternative to Serious Gaming, mainstream video games supply many disabled individuals and veterans with rehabilitation as well as social stimulation in situations where they may be otherwise shut out of society’s idea of normal everyday life,” the charity said of itself.

Congratulations to the winners of AbleGamers’ Accessible Games of 2014.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.