Two Switch Music

The video above came about from a request for help with switch accessible music. Supported by SpecialEffect, I delved into some of the possibilities.

Added to the Performing Music with Switches section at OneSwitch. 

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EuroGamer 2011 Accessible Gaming

Image of two cars jumping down onto some race track in the PC game Track Mania.

EuroGamer 2011 was a true celebration of gaming this year, with indie, retro, mainstream and accessible game tastes all catered for to varying extents. Personal highlights beyond the time spent on the wonderful SpecialEffect stand where two brand new accessible gaming world records were set included...

Seeing Fotonica on a high-speed rig in high-definition and talking to its co-author Nicolò Tedeschi; Meeting Tim Brogden, creator of the invaluable Alt-Controller which makes keyboard games mouse accessible; Playing retro games to my heart's content in the Replay area and planning for a joint OneSwitch / SpecialEffect stand in November.

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Record Breaker


record breakers.

Roy Castle.

Tomorrow will be the start of a Guinness Book of Records Accessible Gaming event, at the SpecialEffect stand, EuroGamer Expo in the UK. On top of that, there'll be Fotonica in the indie arcade, REPLAY retro zone and a ton of new releases Can't wait!

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"A little taster of Skoogmusic's new SMART/IWB software. A fun and engaging musical world where children are free to explore make and play. With this software and a couple of Skoogs kids can start performing,composing reviewing and evaluating their own music. Supporting flexible grouping, activities can be pupil or teacher led, so come along to the Scottish Learning Festival." via the Skoog YouTube channel.

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Fotonica logo.

Love. This. Beautiful speed-sonambulism. I mentioned Fotonica back in October, and since then it's come on giant leaps. I highly recommending downloading, playing then paying out what you think this is worth.

On the easiest level, this still requires some pretty accurate timing, but for those who have it, this game is one of the best one-switch games ever made. Completely new since October is the two-player split-screen mode. I particularly like the ribbon trails that unravel behind you making it easy to see the path your opponent took whilst chasing them. Huge fun.

Small tip for those without super powerful computers: Go for the low-res and lower quality graphic options upon start up. They still look fantastic, and it's all much more fun smooth and speedy. For anyone going to the EuroGamer Expo from tomorrow, expect to see Fontonica there as well as SpecialEffect.

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Image of a pen on squared paper geometric 2D puzzle game.
Ichi - one-switch game.

Getting a bit more modern now, with a lovely one-switch puzzle game, called Ichi (which I know is Japanese for one, thanks to the catchy "itchy, knee, san, she, go!" for 1,2,3,4,5).

The aim of the game is to rotate the angle of your red triangle to bounce a ball into all the inner grid shapes. It does require some pretty rapid thinking and responses, but it's easy to retry levels or go back to easier levels thanks to a nice hold and release menu system. Like the catchy J-Pop music. Very Star Trigon.

Game found via the excellent Video Juegos Accessibles blog

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Retro Blitz

Retro Blitz - mock-up title screen.

Did I say newer games in my last post? Well by a couple of years anyway. Blitz games, inspired by the 1979 Commodore Pet game Air Attack, itself inspired by Canyon Bomber were common 30 years ago. Understandably, much rarer now.

The premise is disturbed but if you can put aside the poor taste scenario ("flatten the city so that you can land your aeroplane"), it's not a bad little game.

You can play a slightly updated version called Blitz Bombing on-line, which is perhaps even more twisted with the Louis Armstrong sound-track. It's not true one-switch as you have to use left-click to start then SPACE to play. I'm looking forward to TCKSOFT's promised new PC and iOS version. Would love to see a more peaceful version, perhaps a bit more abstract, and pure one-switch.

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One Switch Gaming Blitz

Canyon Bomber for the Atari VCS. Colourful blocky game with two planes flying overhead.
Image of a remake of Atari's 1977 Canyon Bomber black and white arcade game.

Atari's Canyon Bomber from 1977 stands up as a great game 34 years on. One-button, accessible and extremely challenging all at once. I've not once cleared a canyon on the MAME nor Atari/DS version on hard, but I will.

Looking at the picture, perhaps you're shaking your head already and muttering "I pity the fool". Don't let that stop you having a try out of the 1978 Atari VCS version on-line, and a pretty good remake at YoYo Games. Newer one-switch games next...

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Links Lucky Dip

The "should probably blog about" pile has grown into a mountain, so it's time for another links lucky dip...
Controllers: Hybrid Kinect and Joypad experiment and Ben Heck split DIY joypad; Games: Chilean Audiogame and Voces en la Oscuridad;  Accessible Playgrounds: Queensland All Abilities Playground Project; Music: Bjork and 8-bit audio visuals to sleep to; Odd-ball campaigning: Remappable controls.

Cookie Monster video clip found thanks to Rob Fearon.

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This stunning image is just one of a collection from the Astronomy Photographer of the year 2011, showcased at the BBC. Would love to see the Northern Lights for real. One day...

Switch It Up 2011

Great to see that Switch It Up 2011 was clearly hugely enjoyed by all who took part in this yearly accessible gaming and leisure event. Not so easy this year to tell what games were available, but I spied the ever popular Mini Golf 1 Button Style from Danny Boyd (exciting news on an updated version coming soon), Guitar Hero World Tour and Mario Dash. Long may it continue!


London 2012 Paralympic Games

London 2012 Paralympic Games. Tickets on sale 9-26 September. Apply at

Fly Drive

Fly Drive - How much can you eat before the fly swot gets you. Image of a machine shaped to look like a giant fly, with a mock-up of Boris Johnson sitting on its seat (itself made to look like the fly's tongue).

My family and I recently visited Tim Hunkin's ingenious arcade, "The Under the Pier Show" at Southwold. Between us we Whacked Bankers, decided the fate of a sheep (Pet!), re-animated Frankenstein's monster, sunk to the bottom of the sea, had a compressed holiday and saw what we'd look like when reincarnated. I particularly loved the one-button to play Fly Drive machine where you became a fly annoying a human. Truly wonderful.

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One Handed Controls and Remapping

The superb video above shows off some of the remapping potential of the XCM remapping devices for Xbox 360 and PS3. They work great to convert PS3 and Xbox 360 standard controllers to left-handed use, or for people needing the shoulder buttons moved around.

Alternatively for left-handed players, I've just got a couple of left handed controllers back in stock. They will need an adapter to get working on Xbox or PS3.


Hand Dance Pro

Looking at the old fashioned TV, I'm wondering if I've discovered the Hand Dance Pro a little late. Anyway, these are super expensive but use arcade standard parts, so should stand up to a good beating. Alternatives are the Mini DDR mat or building one yourself by hacking large on/off buttons to the contacts of a cheapo fold-up dance mat.

Read more at: Exergame Fitness, Cobalt Flux, Fitness Gaming, Motion Kids, Palos Sports and S&S Discount PE Superstore.

Update: Still available at this time for $499.99 USD (Product code CFHP1) according to Zak Wellard of Cobalt Flux.

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Switch Drinks Pourer - ジュースをつぐマシーン

This "moroQ" switch adapted drinks machine is a great idea, that I've not seen before (this drink pouring machine is the closest thing). I can imagine loads of potential uses for that, drinks for family, pets, friends, customers, cooking and maybe even art. Nearest I could find in the UK is the novelty "Kooler Klub Golfer's Drink Dispenser". If anyone can find something more like the pictured Bandai machine, please post a comment.

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Adroit Switchblade

Launched last month, the Adroit Switchblade for Xbox 360 from EvilControllers resulted after a tie-up with AbleGamers. It's got a lovely mix of accessibility features such as remote rumble packs you can position anywhere (a bit like the Rez Special Edition "Trance Vibrator" for PS2 Rez but should work on all games). It has split modules for the left and right thumb sticks (a bit like the HORI Separate controller but more versatile). It has latching functionality built-in (cheaper than buying external latching switches which my C-SID relies upon). It has three different set-up profiles that can be triggered by a single switch (like JoyToKey on PC).

It comes in at about £266 + import tax in the UK. In comparing the Adroit Switchblade to it's nearest price rival, my C-SID I see things as follows: In the UK, The C-SID is going to work out about £50 cheaper. The C-SID is not available outside of Europe. The C-SID can connect to all the modern platforms and PC/Mac as the Switchblade can plus Wii (classic controller games only such as Mario Kart), fat PS2, Xbox, Dreamcast and Gamecube. The Switchblade has a single switch switchable profile system for the Xbox 360, the C-SID can only do that on PC). The Switchblade has latching features built in, you need to purchase external latching switches for the C-SID. Both allow for team-play on an Xbox 360 with a secondary standard controller (so I'm told), but on the C-SID you can also use a keyboard if helpful.

If you're thinking of buying a switch interface, more food for thought can be found at the Accessible Gaming  Shop. The Adroit Switchblade is definitely good news for choice in game accessibility.

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