Happy Halloween!


Every Day the Same Dream

Screen shot from the starting screen of Every Day The Same Dream. A black and white 2D angular side on cartoon scene of a man in his bedroom preparing to start his day.

Every Day the Same Dream is a gloomy existentialist game, that's just perfect for Halloween. After clicking to start, three buttons or switches are all you need: Left and Right cursor keys and SPACE BAR.

Use the likes of JoyToKey to get this working with a joystick compatible controller or D.I.Y. switch interface. I recommend playing Fish Fish Bang Bang for the antidote.

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To Hell with Johnny

Michi.nu have a reputation for producing games with some of the best thought out and diverse accessibility features seen anywhere. Their latest, To Hell with Johnny, goes even further, as demonstrated in the amazing top video.

Great accessible fun for Halloween. Expect to see a review at the Accessible GameBase soon. Available to buy from Michi.nu for £10 ($15 USD) for PC with Mac version due soon.

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Fotonica and Tales of Unspoken World

Screenshot from Tales of Unspoken World. A monochrome dream like view across a forest.

A sepia vectorised pathway leading off to a vanishing point.

Dream-like just about sums up Santa Ragione's Tales of Unspoken World (see top picture). Placed in a monochrome world, your controls are simple (once started). Stand still and you'll hear all manner of strange sounds, tap UP to take a somnambulistic wander. Hold to run at super human speed. Hold SPACE to take a super-human flying leap. Wonderful!

Fotonica is the follow up to TOUW, this time with pure one-switch controls (SPACE bar) and beautiful Cinematronics inspired vector graphics. Play has been made much more game like this time around. Imagine mixing Tales of Unspoken World with Run Rabbit Run 3D and Canabalt and you'll be not too far away.

This is a work in progress, with more accessibility features to come. As is, this is a brilliant one-switch game, and better than Canabalt. Can't wait to see this with easier play options. Fantastico! 

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Xbox 360 Kinect Accessibility Round Table: Some Questions and Answers

Image of Microsoft's slim-black Xbox 360 with Kinect, flanked by symbols for a game controller and the universal symbol of accessibility.
On the 2nd of September Microsoft drew together some of the biggest advocates of accessible gaming to a round table event on Kinect, the Xbox 360 and accessibility.

I couldn't make it (expense and timing) and nor could SpecialEffect. Boo. But, we did submit our thoughts and some questions for the day. These are now shared over at the Accessible GameBase, alongside Microsoft's answers. Feel free to draw your own conclusions. My personal thoughts...?

Absolutely chuffed to bits that there is a small exponent within Microsoft pushing for greater accessibility in game development. Really happy that they ran this ground breaking round table. Don't think we'll see any massive improvements in accessibility this year, but who knows what's around the corner? Could be very exciting times ahead. Are Microsoft listening now? Will Sony and Nintendo follow suit? I'm hopeful.

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18+ Accessible Games

Mind F**k by Auntie Pixelante. Two space women, staring each other out within a video game setting.
EuroGamer was fantastic this year, but the 18+ section was just full of games where you shoot people in the face. That's not grown-up stuff. That's just nasty. I would have liked to have seen some of the themes that film directors like Ken Loach and David Cronenberg run with, find their way into an 18+ gaming area. Especially considering how far some things have come since Pong in 1972.

These aren't quite what I'm talking about (I'm thinking more grown-up themes with Shenmue quality), but if you're 18+, give these two a look. Auntie Pixelante's 2-player one-switch game Mind [rude word] and Tembac's two-button racer Symphorophilia. You have been warned!

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Urban Explorers and Haikyo

Denbigh Asylum. Image of a corridor with severely pealing paint. A single row of sky-lights illuminate the scene.
Denbigh Asylum. Image of a collapsed floor, with an old fashioned rusting wheelchair that down that hole. The photos above were taken at what's left of Denbigh Asylum in Wales, by an urban explorer. There are tons of photos like this at "28dayslater - The UK UE Urbex Urban Exploration Forums", and also at Michael John Grist's Haikyo site.



Image of a countryside scene, with a man strolling down a lush green hill, with two glowing orbs hanging in the sky. Text reads, 'Pond'.

Breathe in. Breathe out. pOnd is a one-switch game like no other. Your one-switch control is linked to inhaling (hold) and exhaling (release). It does require accurate timing, and some will find a latching switch helps. Later, JoyToKey's auto-fire could help those needing assistance in rapid-taps, without wishing to give too much away.

Many thanks to Gavin Philips for the tip-off.

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"little girl loves APHEX TWIN"

Fun! I can listen to stuff like that all day long. Love it. See the "Hyperactive Machine" too for some similar interactive music shenanigans.


Olympics Squared

Screenshot from Olympics Squared of a retro styled ski-jump with multiple athletes at once.

Not seen a new true one-switch game, no mouse required, for a while now. Olympics Squared from Lexaloffle puts that right. It's a cute-surreal collection of three sports events: Ski-jump, javelin and diving. Set your switch to left-click. Click pretty soon after your event starts to split into multple athletes, then again to jump/throw/dive. Once (if) you get the knack, this is quite a compelling little on-line game.

Thanks to RetroRemakes via Twitter for the link.

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Tomorrow's World review of the 1970's

Tomorrow's World review of the 1970's, including Toby Churchill's Lightwriter and converted Mini. You can also get a feel for what a state the UK was in, and via Prestel, what internet shopping looked like in 1979 (expensive!).

Link via: the British Assistive Technology Association


One Switch Swarm

Image of a Crocodile flying a jet-plane, bombing some wild animals below.
Lately there's been more one-switch games than I have time to give my attention to properly. Thank goodness for the Accessible GameBase. Here's a swift list with a few of my comments...

AMAZE-O-Tron (PC): Simple, but really nice implementation of a maze game for various interfaces from TamToucan. The one-switch mode works very well.

Ashes to Ashes Zombie Cricket (on-line game): Good one for Halloween. Will require assistance to navigate the menu and between level option screens. Huge fun if you have a slightly sick sense of humour.

Blitz Bombing (on-line game): 1970's game "Air Attack" given a fresh lick of paint, and actually highly accessible once you get past the horrible amount of adverts. The aim is to clear a city of skyscrapers so that you can land your plane, whilst Louis Armstrong plays in the background. A bit sinister really.

Epic Coaster (on-line game): Also inspired by Canabalt, but with a fun fair theme. Probably a bit easier than Canabalt, and definitely easier than....

Hard Way (on-line game): Fast and difficult martial arts themed game also inspired by Canabalt. I found it plenty irritating to be honest.

Mouse Click (on-line game): Extremely simple race game. Gets very tough very quickly, but you're only in competition with your own scores.

Net Blazer (on-line game): Lone Basketball practice. Requires very quick timing skills. A huge jump up from Hoop Stars in difficulty.

Nano Ninja (on-line game): Fairly likeable retro martial arts themed game. Each floor poses a slightly different challenge, and a different way to use your one-button control. Requires accurate timing and rapid presses at times.

Prison Throw (on-line game): Another partially one-switch accessible Nanaca Crash rip-off. Needs mouse to navigate menus but SPACE BAR to play. Tap once to start power meter, then again to launch. Okay.

RetroVaders (PC): A re-jig of Taito's Space Invaders, including the ability to adjust the graphics to use Atari VCS invaders. Not bad.

Runnerby (on-line game): Very tough high-speed puzzle game.You can slow it down with CPU Killer to make a bit easier though. No great shakes.

Strap On Bomb Car (PC): Partially one-switch isometric racing game. Another game requiring quick reactions. S'allright.

Switch Lanes (PC and Mac): 10-pin bowling for one to five one-switch players. The best one-switch bowling game available. Perhaps a little expensive in the UK at $70+ (with a horrible exchange rate at the minute) but nothing to match it.

Wave Spark (on-line game): Race your ball across mountains, using your single control to activate gravity. Try it! It's pretty fun, if very basic, providing you can grasp the control system.

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