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Hexcells
21 Accessibility Features

We've documented 21 accessibility features for Hexcells, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Guaranteed Progress, Low Pressure, No Quick Reactions and No Button Combos. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Visual but it also has features in Getting Started, Reading, Navigation 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.

Hexcells is a puzzle game that extends Minesweeper with a hexagonal grid and more ways to determine which cell contains the mines. You use the number clues on cells and rows to identify which are black and which are blue. It stands out for the laid-back aesthetic and the deduction needed to gradually decipher the grid through careful reasoning.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Hexcells accessibility 5 weeks ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

You can swap the mouse buttons for selecting a cell as blue and black. There is no need for quick reactions, holds, simultaneous presses, or rapid presses. You can make mistakes without failing or being penalised, as mistakes simply get added to a counter rather than making you start again.

The level you're currently playing is written on the screen, and this is very low in contrast, although not essential to play. Text in menus is similarly low in contrast. All numbers in the levels are high in contrast, although also less than 1/20th of screen height.

The game is high in contrast, but there is no way to change the colours used, so it's important to be able to tell apart yellow, light blue, and black, which is important to note especially for colourblind players.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 19/02/2014, updated in 2016

Out Now: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Brain Game and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Developer: Ma 77 hew Brown (@Ma77hew_Brown)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 5 accessibility features for Controls in Hexcells which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Mouse And Keyboard

Can play with the following:

Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse-button/mouse wheel.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Select Preset Controller Mappings: You can select preset button layouts from options provided by the developer.

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 Hexcells, 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 Hexcells 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 Hexcells, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Getting Started in Hexcells 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.

Assistance For Progressing

These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.

Guaranteed Progress With God Mode: There is no fail state for any game level, where you lose progress or have to start again. Or there are options to make failing impossible: infinite health or lives, unlimited time. Sometimes called God Mode or Unfailable.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

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

ReadingReading

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Reading in Hexcells 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.

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

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Navigation in Hexcells 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

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

VisualVisual

We've documented 5 accessibility features for Visual in Hexcells 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.

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.

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

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in Hexcells 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 Hexcells, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, this similar game extends 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.
 
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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