We've documented 23 accessibility features for Astro Aqua Kitty, including Low Pressure, Custom Difficulty, Select Difficulty, Play Without Hearing and Speaker Tone. Its accessibility is strongest in Navigation and Controls but it also has features in Getting Started, Reading, Difficulty, Visual and Audio 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.
External examiner, Dugan Jackson, first checked Astro Aqua Kitty accessibility 10 months ago. It was re-examined by Andy Robertson and updated 10 months ago.
You can select from 5 difficulty settings. This makes enemies easier to kill and slows the speed of enemy bullets. Relaxed mode is designed to be really approachable - is included as a mode for young children or those that need an easier experience. You can also adjust difficulty by setting permadeath, or selecting characters with more armour or faster moving characters.
Although the game requires quick reactions it doesn't put you on the clock at any point so is low pressure in this way. The bosses are slightly more time pressured but again there is no time limit.
In terms of navigation, early level aim to guide and stay linear in what you need to do. Later levels are more open structured so you need to think a bit more. Objectives are marked on your map (such as cats to find, or certain enemies to destroy). You can only save progress at in-game beacons and you need to manually do so. The game autosaves after level completion.
You can turn off/on elements of the hud (such as showing which buttons to press) to over information overload and enhance visual clarity. The mini-map moves dynamically as you do, and can be resized or turned off.
Vibration on all formats can be turned off if wanted. On PS5 we have 3 settings, off, normal and enhanced, which add lots of subtle extra vibrations to match events happening in game.
There is one potential jump scares of the Level 3 mechanical worm boss that pops out of a hole. But it's not super fast.
Characters have small speech bubbles which appear when you move close. This acts as a reminder and visual indicator of being able to speak to them. If asked they will remind you of your task. Text in general is high contrast although there are some instances that are lower contrast when the item is not available and greyed-out.
Release Date: 04/06/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Accessibility: 23 features
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Costs: Purchase cost
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Controls in Astro Aqua Kitty 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.
Mouse And Keyboard
Can play with the following:
Keyboard Alone: Can play with just the keyboard.
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.
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We've documented 2 accessibility features for Difficulty in Astro Aqua Kitty 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.
Customise Difficulty: Customise different aspects of the game to create a challenge of an appropriate level. Adjusting elements individually enables you to tailor gameplay to suit your needs and style of play.
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Getting Started in Astro Aqua Kitty 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.
View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play. This clearly displays the mappings of actions to buttons/keys/mouse/keyboard without having to leave the game. This includes games that always display buttons to press during play.
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.
Assistance For Progressing
These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.
Bank Progress With Frequent Checkpoints: If you fail you can retry that level or aspect of the game without losing a lot of progress (less than 5 minutes). This is often provided via Frequent Checkpoints combined with restarting without losing time, equipment or score.
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If you want to play Astro Aqua Kitty, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Getting Started accessibility:
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Reading in Astro Aqua Kitty 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 and their Tone: Textual captions indicate who is speaking and their tone (or there is only ever one person speaking). This can also be indicated visually in the game with character icons or character expressions with text in speech bubbles next to the person speaking.
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We've documented 6 accessibility features for Navigation in Astro Aqua Kitty 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.
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.
Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with the landscape, points of interest and missions highlighted throughout the entire game. This enables the orientation of the player and the world, confirming a direction of movement and the location of destinations or points of exploration.
Menu Audio Cues: Navigating menus provide an audio cue for each selection.
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.
We've documented 2 accessibility features for Visual in Astro Aqua Kitty 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.
Audio Cues for Visual Events
Menu Audio Cues: Navigating menus provide an audio cue for each selection.
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We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Astro Aqua Kitty 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.
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.
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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.
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.
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings.
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
Read more about system accessibility settings.