We've documented 20 accessibility features for Advance Wars, including Adjust Speed, Low Pressure, No Quick Reactions, Select Difficulty and No Repeated Pressing. Its accessibility is strongest in Reading and Getting Started but it also has features in Controls, Difficulty, Navigation, Visual, Audio and Communication 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.
Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Advance Wars (Series) accessibility 8 months ago.
To start the game, you need to press the two shoulder buttons simultaneously. During regular gameplay, this is not required. Because it's a turn-based game you don't need quick or precise actions, although online matches against other people do have time limits to your moves.
There are two difficulties that you can choose from at the beginning of the campaign: Casual and Classic, which affects both the number of units you get per stage and also what type of units the enemy uses. You can change this at any time between stages, and once you've beaten the story on either one you unlock a third, harder difficulty.
You can undo a given day of combat, with all the moves that occurred in it but can't undo individual moves or go back any further than the single day.
Text, including subtitles, is all high in contrast and generally quite large but isn't quite 1/20th the height of the screen on occasion.
The only way to distinguish between your troops and the enemy army is by colour, which is especially important to note for colourblind players. In addition, some objects don't contrast each other well despite the cartoon visual style.
Release Date: 10/09/2001, updated in 2023
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Switch, Wii and Wii U
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Players: 1-4 (4 online)
Accessibility: 20 features
Components: 2D Overhead and Grid
Costs: Purchase cost
We've documented 3 accessibility features for Controls in Advance Wars which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.
Can play with the following:
Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.
Specific button operation required to play
Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons for prolonged periods (a second or more) is not required or can be switched to toggling the action on and off. This is in addition to the movement stick/button which is not considered a hold for this purpose.
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.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls
If you want to play Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:
We've documented 2 accessibility features for Difficulty in Advance Wars which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play.
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.
Adjust After Setting
Adjustable Between Levels: You can adjust the difficulty between levels/rounds. Although you have to restart your checkpoint or level, this enables you to adjust the difficulty after selecting it at the beginning of the game.
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Getting Started in Advance Wars 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.
Reaction-Time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions, or there are settings to lower the requirement for quick reactions. This means you don't need to quickly press a button in response to an on-screen prompt, target a fast-moving target or skillfully complete a scenario against the clock.
Low Pressure: Game tasks aren't time-limited or there's a low-pressure mode. This avoids the pressure of being put on the clock for overarching missions, or failing tasks because you didn't reach a destination in time.
Adjust Speed: Adjust the speed of the game at critical moments or throughout, or rewind play for a second attempt, to ease reaction times. By slowing the game, you have more time to interpret what is happening and then execute your actions. It also reduces the pressure on getting things right quickly or the first time you attempt them.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started
If you want to play Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:
We've documented 5 accessibility features for Reading in Advance Wars 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.
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.
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.
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.
Speaker Indicator: Textual captions indicate who is speaking (or there is only ever one person speaking). This can also be indicated visually in the game with character icons or placing text in speech bubbles next to the person speaking.
Some Dialogue is Voice Acted: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted. This reduces the pressure on reading all the dialogue text, although not everything is provided audibly.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading
If you want to play Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:
We've documented 2 accessibility features for Navigation in Advance Wars 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.
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.
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.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation
If you want to play Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:
We've documented 2 accessibility features for Visual in Advance Wars which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.
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.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual
If you want to play Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:
We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in Advance Wars which deals 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.
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 Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:
We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Communication in Advance Wars which deals with how you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.
Player-to-Player Online Communication
This is how players communicate with each other in online games. This can be to plan strategy, chat as they play or co-ordinate resources.
No Online Chat (Or Preset Phrases Only): Game is played online but no verbal or textual player communication. This includes games that offer no communication or communication with word-less icons, sounds or preset phrases.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Communication
If you want to play Advance Wars, but it doesn't offer the Communication accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Communication accessibility:
- Hearts of Iron IV (3 Communication Features)
System Accessibility Settings
In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
The Wii has a few helpful settings, like disable rumble, but you have to use gesture controls for most games and the system menu.
Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio.
Read more about system accessibility settings.