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Submerged Hidden
Depths
43 Accessibility Features

We've documented 43 accessibility features for Submerged Hidden Depths, including Large Subtitles, Low Pressure, No Quick Reactions, Control Assists and No Repeated Pressing. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Getting Started but it also has features in Navigation, Reading, 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.

Submerged Hidden Depths is an adventure game where you sail, climb and explore the ruins of a sunken world. With light puzzle-solving and no combat, you discover a drowned city, crumbling skyscrapers and deserted villages. It's the sequel to the first Submerged game and takes us back to explore the world and quench the anguished, angry presence lurking beneath the waves.

Our accessibility examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Submerged Hidden Depths accessibility 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall and updated 13 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

The game has no difficulty as there is no way to die or fail the game. You can practice features as you find them, without pressure.

There are very rare occasions where timing is important such as the optional collection of animals, but the game is designed so that timed button presses are not required. For example, jumps and climbing in the environment don't need timed presses.

When using the telescope the game provides large directional assistance in the form of a circle that indicates where items are for you to find. The circle directs you towards the items which are then permanently highlighted the next time you use the telescope in that area.

Discovered locations are marked on the map and in the world. This serves as a log of items to find in the game. You can approach this aspect of the game in any order. As you approach interactable items the game shows a sizeable icon with the button you need to press. There is a map and compass that provides an indication of the next waypoint with a green symbol. When you look through a telescope you can zoom in on distant areas and items are indicated with different icons.

You can set the colour of the in-game directional guidance (paths and objects). While in general there is moderate to high contrast between elements in the game, some areas can be difficult to distinguish. You often need to look out for red objects in the otherwise very green world, and there are no colourblind modes or options available.

Some of the collectable items in the game make a directional sound (and the controller vibrates), however, this has a small range. The seeds you need to complete levels make a sound with a larger range and when you have picked it up you are aided to its destination by a pulse sound that increases in tempo as you approach.

On a controller, you can choose pre-set mappings that offer set-ups for Beginner and One-Handed controls.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 04/12/2020, updated in 2022

Price: 90% off

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Platform, Traversal (Adventure, Collecting, Narrative and Puzzle)

Accessibility: 43 features

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Developer: Uppercut Games (@UppercutGames)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 17 accessibility features for Controls in Submerged Hidden Depths 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.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Can play with the following:

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

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

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.

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

Swap Sticks: Can swap the sticks over so that you can use the opposite sticks to control the game.

Remap Sticks: Can remap the stick controls to controller buttons for easier access of direction controls.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Remap Extra Mouse Buttons: Can remap additional buttons on mice that provide more than the two standard buttons, on systems that support these controls.

Remap Mouse Wheel: Can remap the mouse wheel to control aspects of the game when you move it up/down, 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.

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.

Controller Vibration

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.

Sensitivity

You can adjust

Adjust Mouse/Stick/Touch Sensitivity, Deadzones and Thresholds: Adjust how sensitive touch/mouse/stick controls are and the related deadzones and thresholds.

DifficultyDifficulty

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in Submerged Hidden Depths 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 Submerged Hidden Depths, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 9 accessibility features for Getting Started in Submerged Hidden Depths 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.

Onboarding Before Play

Before you are presented with the home screen, onboarding settings aim to aid you accessing the menus you need to adjust the game to your requirements. They can also provide an easier way of turning on important adjustments without digging through menus.

Low Vision Onboarding: The first time you open the game, the default text is high contrast and font size is at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height of the screen and in an easy to read font. This enables legally blind visually impaired players to get ready to play.

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.

Practice Area: You can practice freely without opponents or time pressures. This can be a specific practice option, or the ability to play levels with the easiest opponents to improve understanding and skill.

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.

Assistance With Controls: The game can automatically assist with aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc. This reduces the challenge of certain aspects of play to remove barriers and make control of characters more accessible.

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.

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.

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.

ReadingReading

We've documented 5 accessibility features for Reading in Submerged Hidden Depths 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.

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

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast. They are at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height of a landscape screen and at least 1/40 height on portrait screens, or can be adjusted to be. We base this on the full line-height, including the space above and below the letters. Considered separately from the general text of the game, the subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast.

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.

Captions

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

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 7 accessibility features for Navigation in Submerged Hidden Depths 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

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.

Visual Directional Cues: Additional in-game visual cues that signpost where to go next and how close you are to arriving. This can be with camera movement to focus on your destination or important items. It can use light, breadcrumb trails, in-world pointers to identify your mission's target location.

Head-Up Display

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.

Adjust Head-Up Display: Resize and adjust the content of the head-up display. This enables it to be made more visible. It can also enable the removal of too much information that can be distracting or confusing.

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 Navigation

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.

VisualVisual

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Visual in Submerged Hidden Depths 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.

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.

Audio Depiction of Event Location: Indication with positional/stereo audio of where directional events are on the screen for things like damage, footsteps, environmental elements. This is useful for blind players.

Menu Audio Cues: Navigating menus provide an audio cue for each selection.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Submerged Hidden Depths, 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 Submerged Hidden Depths 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 Submerged Hidden Depths, 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.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
PlayStation 5
PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings.
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Xbox Series X|S
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.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors @UppercutGames, Andy Robertson and 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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