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Bleak
Sword DX
29 Accessibility Features

We've documented 29 accessibility features for Bleak Sword DX, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Select Difficulty, No Button Combos, No Repeated Pressing and Remap Buttons. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Visual but it also has features in Reading, Navigation, Getting Started, Audio and Difficulty to reduce unintended barriers.

This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

Bleak Sword DX is a stripped-down retro fighting game where you take on vicious monsters in precise combat. Each small stage challenges you to use your sword to kill and loot monsters in a mission to end the king's 200-year reign of terror. It looks unusual with a cave-painted look but really stands out for how you must be purposeful and exact with your limited array of attacks.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Bleak Sword DX accessibility 12 months ago. It was re-examined by Andy Robertson and updated 12 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

On touch screen, the game has one-handed and two-handed control schemes. The one-handed option lets you access a mix of moving, dodging, parrying and attacking with different single-finger inputs. The two-handed option splits these inputs between the two fingers.

On gamepad, to perform a charged attack you need to hold down the attack button, although this move is not strictly required outside of the optional tutorial. You can only change the difficulty at the start of a save file.

As you progress and the levels get more challenging, you need to react quickly to incoming attacks but never need to rapidly press buttons or press multiple buttons simultaneously.

Text is all high in contrast, but some of it is less than 1/20th the height of the screen.

At all times you can see the entire level, so navigation is never a problem.

The game comes with all visual settings, such as chromatic aberration, screen shake, and depth of field, enabled, but they can all be disabled in the settings. You can also add an indicator to show how far your attacks can reach to check if an enemy is in range.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 13/09/2019, updated in 2023

Out Now: Apple TV, PC, Switch, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Action, Fighting (Adventure and Sequencing)

Accessibility: 29 features

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Developer: More 8 Bit (@More8Bit)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 10 accessibility features for Controls in Bleak Sword DX which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Can play with the following:

Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.

Mouse And Keyboard

Can play with the following:

Keyboard Alone: Can play with just the keyboard.

Touchscreen

Can play with the following. Additional gestures may be required for games played with a screenreader like VoiceOver.

One Motion Targeted: Can play with touchscreen, tap and swipe or hold gesture.

Two Motions Targeted: Can play with touchscreen, two simultaneous taps, swipes or hold gestures.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

Rapid Repeated Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing (more than 2 times a second) is not required, can be skipped or switched to holding a button to trigger a repeated action.

No Simultaneous Buttons: Only one button or key required at a time, in addition to direction stick(s).

Controller Vibration

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates events or interactions in the game, echoing visual and audio cues. This can provide additional information about progress, approaching enemies or hitting a target.

DifficultyDifficulty

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Difficulty in Bleak Sword DX which deals with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select the level of difficulty from a range of presets. This not only offers a way to adjust the challenge of a game but enables you to do so without dealing with individual criteria.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty

If you want to play Bleak Sword DX, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Difficulty accessibility:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Getting Started in Bleak Sword DX which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.

Practice Area: You can practice freely without opponents or time pressures. This can be a specific practice option, or the ability to play levels with the easiest opponents to improve understanding and skill.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Bleak Sword DX, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Reading in Bleak Sword DX which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

How much reading is required to play the game's main path or story and how complex the language is. The presence of voiced characters doesn't reduce this requirement, as it's recorded as a separate datapoint.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a primary/elementary student (9-year-old) could understand.

Text Visibility

High Contrast Text: Text colour contrasts to the background or can be adjusted to be. The text in menus, instructions and other information is presented in high contrast with a solid background.

Subtitles

All Speech Subtitled (Or No Speech In Game): All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to hear spoken dialogue or narrative to play the game.

Voice Acted

All Dialogue is Voice Acted (Or No Speech In Game): All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to read the dialogue and narrative text to play the game.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Bleak Sword DX, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Navigation in Bleak Sword DX which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Clarity

Large Clear Navigation: The in-game navigation and maps are clear to read. They offer large text and offer markers that are large and of high contrast. Where text or information is small, there are settings to zoom-in and increase visibility.

Clear Mission Objectives: The game provides clear, structured missions with directional guidance and advice on which can be attempted next. This also indicates (ideally on maps where they are provided) which missions can't be attempted because you do not have the appropriate items yet.

Menu Navigation

Digital Menu Navigation: Menu choices with Gamepad can be made without using an analogue stick to guide a cursor to a selection. For example, using D-Pad, buttons or the Stick to change menu selection in a single action.

Menus Don't Wrap: Menus don't wrap and stop the cursor at the bottom of the list if you press down. Or menus do wrap but make it clear that you are back at the top of the list with sound or narration.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Bleak Sword DX, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 6 accessibility features for Visual in Bleak Sword DX which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Contrast

Medium Contrast: Game uses generally well contrasting and bright visuals, or has a slider to make this the case.

Interactive Elements

Outline Interactive Elements: Characters, platforms and enemies can be outlined or highlighted for visibility. This can be with a large border around the character or a special visual mode that adjust the colour to make characters more visible.

Visual Distractions

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or it is included but it can be disabled. This includes the absence of screen shake for dramatic effect as well as to indicate hits on a target.

No Busy Backgrounds: No distracting backgrounds or you can make them static or blank. This includes the absence of other movement elements in the background that might distract or confuse the action. Where foreground contrast is high, this includes games with some movement in the background that doesn't make it overly difficult to distinguish what is happening.

Motion Sickness Friendly

Motion Sickness Friendly: Doesn't have 3D movement elements that may trigger motion sickness, like motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision. Or includes the ability to disable motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision effects.

Colour Options

Colour Blind Friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colour blind friendly mode with double coding or similar way to avoid colour dependance.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Bleak Sword DX, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Bleak Sword DX which deal with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately. This enables you to select your preference as well as ensure critical game sounds aren't obscured by other audio.

Play Without Hearing

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play Bleak Sword DX, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
 
PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
iOS
iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games.
 
iOS Apple Arcade
iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Ben Kendall and Andy Robertson


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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