AbleGamers Foundation Announces Their Top Three Titles For 2014 Game Of The Year

By Steve Buja , Updated Jan 07, 2015 09:31 AM EST
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AbleGamers Foundation, the charity organization devoted to improve the quality of life of those persons living with disabilities through the power of video games, have announced their game of the year choices.

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The company looks towards accessibility such as one-button mapping, color patterns, sounds, readability and more, working with AAA and indie developers to make games “as accessible as possible.” Their 48 page document can be read HERE.

This year, AbleGamers awarded three titles as their picks of the year, with two Indie titles and one Mainstream game. A number of factors went in and the picks are certainly to be among some of the more unique Best Of titles you’ll read at this time of year.

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The award for Indie title went to: Always Sometimes Monsters and This War Of Mine. Monsters (Steam) was chosen because the “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.”

This War Of Mine (Steam) received considerable praise, and struck a chord with the charity. “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.”

What does come as a huge surprise, however, is that the AbleGamers’ Mainstream Game Of The Year was awarded to Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U! This is a surprise because the Wii U is not a particularly accessible system for those with mobility impairments.

“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.” In addition, the organization cited the one-button combat mode, which allows for easy accessibility – for everyone!

“Multiple control schemes interchangeably allow combat to be as streamlined as possible without degrading any of the overarching game play design choices. Touch and motion controls are optional, quick time events are of minimal impact to the game play.” They added.

Congratulations to the three titles, all of which are worth your time, whether you are able or unable. 2015 is shaping up to be a battleground between VR systems, let us hope they can consider those with disabilities in their race towards the future.

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