We've documented 38 accessibility features for Shadows Over Loathing, including Adjust Speed, Low Pressure, No Quick Reactions, Select Difficulty and No Button Combos. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Getting Started but it also has features in Visual, Navigation, Reading, Difficulty 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.
Our accessibility examiner, Angela Hickman Newnham, first checked Shadows Over Loathing accessibility 14 months ago.
There are 5 difficulty options (Easy, Relaxed, Normal, Hard, and Eleven).
There is a lot of text in the game, a large portion of gameplay is reading story vignettes and sometimes choosing responses, and most of the text in the game is very clear and high contrast, but lands on the small side of the acceptable range accessible text. However, the menu text that has a lot of relevant information for gameplay (such as your inventory, character sheet, journal, effects and perks on your character, and your abilities in combat) uses a text size that is smaller than is comfortable.
Only the Keyboard controls can be remapped, not the gamepad or mouse inputs. The game is 2D and doesn't use the type of movement usually associated with the "Invert X-Y Axis" option, but it does have the option to invert the Y-axis, which swaps up and down inputs.
You are able to access the chalkboard in the Detective Agency at any time to look at your to-do list for your Main Quest and any side quests you have officially accepted. Some side quests will not be tracked automatically but you can take notes on the chalkboard as well. The game will provide recall assistance by recapping details frequently. You can change the difficulty at any time, and failing a battle multiple times gives you a temporary completion to the challenge.
In the options menu, the game offers an Arachnophobia option, which makes it so you won't encounter any spiders. It also has an Arachnophilia mode, which states "You will encounter so many spiders" and unlocks spider-specific content in the game.
Release Date: 11/11/2022
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Content Rating: PEGI 16
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Accessibility: 38 features
Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made
Costs: Purchase cost
We've documented 12 accessibility features for Controls in Shadows Over Loathing 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.
Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse-button/mouse wheel.
Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.
Mouse and Controller: Can play with mouse and controller simultaneously.
Can play with the following. Additional gestures may be required for games played with a screenreader like VoiceOver.
One Tap Targeted: Can play with touchscreen, tap in specific locations.
Can customise the controls for the game as follows:
Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.
Invert X/Y Axis: Can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming. This enables you to match your instinctive orientation when looking.
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).
Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.
We've documented 2 accessibility features for Difficulty in Shadows Over Loathing 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 Anytime: You can adjust the difficulty while playing, without having to restart the level you are on. This enables you to quickly adjust the game to suit your needs and see the difference immediately.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty
If you want to play Shadows Over Loathing, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Difficulty accessibility:
- Norco (3 Difficulty Features)
We've documented 8 accessibility features for Getting Started in Shadows Over Loathing 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.
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.
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.
No Jump Scares: No sudden loud noises or popping-up scary visuals that unexpectedly appear without warning, or the option to disable them.
Assistance For Progressing
These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.
Assisted Progress With Boosts: If you fail frequently the game automatically gets easier to ease the likelihood of failure. Or there’s an option to start this happening, like giving more health, lives or power each time you fail. Sometimes called Rubber Banding.
Assisted Recall for Narrative and Dialogue: The game enables you to review the history of conversations or provides highlights of the information you gather in a form you can review.
Save Progress Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time. This doesn’t mean you never lose progress, but it does mean you can stop whenever you want (without having to get to a save point) without losing progress.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started
If you want to play Shadows Over Loathing, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Reading in Shadows Over Loathing 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.
Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a high school student (14-year-old) would appreciate.
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.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading
If you want to play Shadows Over Loathing, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:
We've documented 5 accessibility features for Navigation in Shadows Over Loathing 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.
Head-Up Display Navigation: Indication of where to go next with overlaid arrows, minimaps and waypoint markers. This supplements in-game visual and audible cues with additional guidance about where you are and where you need to go.
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.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation
If you want to play Shadows Over Loathing, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:
We've documented 7 accessibility features for Visual in Shadows Over Loathing which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.
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.
No Flashes: No flashing strobe effects or you can disable them. This includes the absence of flashing from dramatic visual effects, explosions or weather effects like lightning.
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.
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.
Menu Audio Cues: Navigating menus provide an audio cue for each selection.
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.
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 Shadows Over Loathing, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Visual accessibility:
- Röki (8 Visual Features)
We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in Shadows Over Loathing 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.
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.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio
If you want to play Shadows Over Loathing, 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:
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.
Read more about system accessibility settings.