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Ethereal
19 Accessibility Features

We've documented 19 accessibility features for Ethereal, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Low Pressure, No Quick Reactions, No Button Combos and No Repeated Pressing. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Reading but it also has features in Visual, Navigation, Getting Started 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.

Ethereal is a traversal puzzle game where you play an orb that must navigate increasingly complex labyrinths. Horizontally, you move freely, but vertically, you can only move through walls, with special items that help by altering the rules of play. It stands out both for its vibrant visual style and these inventive traversal mechanics, which make you think about movement and motion in a whole new way.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Ethereal accessibility 3 weeks ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall and updated 3 weeks ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

There are no time pressures, so you can take as long as you need with each action.

There is no text in the levels, but the text in menus is high in contrast, although less than 1/20th of screen height.

While the levels are brightly coloured, the game is colourblind friendly, as important items such as gems and orbs that affect play are all also different shapes, and the colours of the blocks making up the maze are irrelevant. That said, there are some flashing effects when some actions are performed, where the screen inverts colours momentarily. The contrast between your orb and the stage can be low.

Some of the rotations and zooms that regularly occur could induce motion sickness in some players.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 07/03/2019

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Puzzle, Traversal and Collecting

Accessibility: 19 features

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Developer: Nonsense Arts (@NonsenseArts)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 5 accessibility features for Controls in Ethereal 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:

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Button Combinations

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.

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

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Ethereal, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

DifficultyDifficulty

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in Ethereal 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. The following games are similar to Ethereal, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Getting Started in Ethereal 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.

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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Ethereal, 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 Ethereal 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.

No Reading: No reading is required, other than simple menus. The game either has no text or can communicate textual content with visuals and interactions. If reading isn't required because the text is voiced the All Dialogue is Voiced feature indicates this.

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 Ethereal, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Navigation in Ethereal 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

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 Ethereal, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Visual in Ethereal which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

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.

Audio Cues for Visual Events

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events. Game events or progress highlighted by visual icons, effects or animations are also accompanied by audio to signify that progress. This is useful for blind players.

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 Ethereal, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in Ethereal 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 Ethereal, 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:

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.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

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


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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