More than ever, it’s important for video game developers to come out and support those with disabilities that cause them to have issues playing video games. Or, more accurately, have trouble playing it in the “standard ways.” Whether through their vision or hearing, the gamer’s experience can be hampered if either is impaired. With Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope, the team at Ubisoft wasn’t just determined to have accessibility features; they wanted to make sure that anyone could play the game, follow the game story and combat, and not feel overwhelmed by what they did.
During a special interview on their website, Senior UX Designer Andrea Scambia of Ubisoft talked about what it meant for them to have various accessibility features. She noted how in the previous game, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, players enjoyed the game because it was approachable and added things in the gameplay over time, so they weren’t bombarded by all they could at first. It was essential to the team to keep that feeling as they expanded things in Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope:
“We knew that we wanted to make it the most accessible Mario + Rabbids game to date, so we had to consider accessibility from the very start. This meant that we could build accessibility into our designs and plan ahead for options that we might need.”
The team was motivated to ensure that as many players as possible could get into the game, so they went to work.
One accessibility feature you might not expect is the control of the characters. Unlike in the previous game, you’ll have “direct control” over the characters and how they move on the battlefield. That makes things feel different and ensures you know where they’re going at all times instead of “clicking the wrong spot” and having them move where you don’t want to. That’ll limit frustration among players.
Another option the team is happy about is adjusting the camera to ensure players don’t get motion sickness. You’ll be able to tweak it, so there are no “sudden movements,” and you can turn off the “screen shake” option should you desire it.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like pressing a lot of buttons to get through combat, the game has you covered. You can route everything to one button, set the enemy combat to run on fast forward the moment it starts, and more. The team wants to ensure that you don’t suffer from fatigue as you play.
Finally, the team knows that some players don’t have a color perception, so they’ve adjusted puzzles so that players can see icons and symbols and not have to rely on seeing colors.
The game arrives on Nintendo Switch on October 20th.