The year of 2014 was full of many big new releases, numerous sequels, and some exceptional independent titles; our staff of accessibility experts faced an exceedingly difficult choice. We found many games failed to meet the standards of accessibility for the inclusion of everyone, but a few games shined out from the darkness. The annual AbleGamers’ Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year award aims to highlight excellence in accessible game design. It is awarded to developers that make intentional choices to include accessibility in their games.
After countless emails and many hours of debate, the AbleGamers team came away with a short list of eight games. These are the games we recognized as accessible titles that narrowly missed achieving the top spot.
- Hearthstone – A fun, accessible experience, but doesn’t try to be as accessible as it could have been. Some color deficiency issues remain.
- Pokemon Alpha Sapphire / Omega Ruby – The inclusion of a one-handed mode and button remapping is well made, but accessibility is limited by the 3DS platform itself.
- Tropico 5 – Overall a very accessible title, not fully mouse compatible.
- Sims 4 – Well featured and accessible, but no real leaps forward in accessibility.
- Civilization: Beyond Earth – Extremely accessible genre, but contains some possible color deficient issues.
For the first time ever, two independent developers demonstrated equally impressive accessibility in terms of finished product and research into what helps gamers with disabilities be included without sacrificing any features.
The 2014 AbleGamers Accessible Mainstream Indie Game of the Year goes to…