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Guitar
Hero
10 Accessibility Features

We've documented 10 accessibility features for Guitar Hero, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Select Difficulty, One Motion Targeted, Colour Blind Friendly and High Contrast. Its accessibility is strongest in Getting Started and Difficulty but it also has features in Reading, Visual and Controls 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.

Guitar Hero is a series of rhythm games where you tap buttons in time to all sorts of songs using plastic instrument-shaped controllers. In the latest game, Guitar Hero Live, you play along to real-life recorded performances filmed from the lead guitarist's perspective, impersonating the feeling of being a real performing musician. No musical knowledge is required to play, making it a uniquely immersive and entertaining experience as you try to beat your own and other people's high scores on each track.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Guitar Hero (Series) accessibility 12 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

This report is based on the latest game, Guitar Hero live. previous games may differ in the accessibility features provided.

On iOS, you can use a finger to press the right part of the screen at the right time and need to hold down and rapidly press different areas. Otherwise, you need to use a proprietary guitar controller that has six buttons on it. Remapping is not available, and you need to, again, rapidly press and hold down the different buttons at the right times. The buttons you need to press are always displayed on the screen, with the focus being on pressing them at the right time, so quick reactions are needed in this high-pressure environment, where every mistake costs you points.

In quickplay mode, which is separate from the main campaign, you can select the difficulty level for each song you play.

There is minimal text in the game, and what there is can be small and low in contrast. There are no subtitles for the tutorial or lyrics for the songs. Sound is required to play the game well.

There is high contrast between the indication of the buttons you need to press and the background. Because the game is set to real-life recordings, there is significant screen shake, flashing effects, and motion blur present throughout.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 08/11/2005, updated in 2015

Out Now: Apple TV, DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 1-4 (4 online)

Genres: Action, Rhythm, Sequencing and Simulation

Accessibility: 10 features

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Developer: Activision (@Activision)

Costs: Purchase cost, In-Game Purchases and In-Game Pass

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Controls in Guitar Hero which deals with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

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

DifficultyDifficulty

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Difficulty in Guitar Hero 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.

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.

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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty

If you want to play Guitar Hero, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Difficulty accessibility:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Getting Started in Guitar Hero 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.

No Jump Scares: No sudden loud noises or popping-up scary visuals that unexpectedly appear without warning, or the option to disable them.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

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

ReadingReading

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Reading in Guitar Hero 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.

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

NavigationNavigation

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

VisualVisual

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Visual in Guitar Hero 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

High Contrast: There is high contrast between elements that need to be distinguished from each other, such as characters, interactive objects and game environment, either by default or a high contrast mode. This is different to a slider that increases contrast or brightness between light and dark.

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

AudioAudio

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

CommunicationCommunication

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Communication in Guitar Hero which deal with how you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction. The following games are similar to Guitar Hero, and offer accessibility features for Communication:

System Accessibility Settings

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

Nintendo Wii
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.
 
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.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
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.
 
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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