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Super
Mario Galaxy
21 Accessibility Features

We've documented 21 accessibility features for Super Mario Galaxy, including Large Subtitles, Large Text, Low Pressure, No Button Combos and No Repeated Pressing. Its accessibility is strongest in Reading and Controls but it also has features in Visual, Getting Started, 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.

Super Mario Galaxy is a running, jumping and exploration game that takes Mario to hundreds of different planet-shaped levels as you race to save Princess Peach from Bowser's claws. It stands out for the way the mind-bending physics and ever-changing gravity add a new twist to the classic platforming play.

External examiner, Jonah Monaghan, first checked Super Mario Galaxy accessibility 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall and updated 10 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

On the Nintendo Switch Release in the 3D All-Stars collection, you can use the touchscreen to move the cursor around rather than motion controls if you want to, but this means you have to take your hand away from the buttons. The Switch release also maps the motion controls required to spin to buttons, although you can still shake the controller if you'd rather. There are no difficulty options. For some suits, such as the bee suit, you need to hold down a button.

You can only save at the end of a stage.

All important text (all text excluding the date and time a save file was last saved) is large and high in contrast, and the subtitles/speech bubbles are as well. At the start of the game, you receive a letter from Peach, which is fully voiced.

Occasionally, navigating through a stage can be challenging, especially due to the bizarre, ever-changing gravity making some routes not particularly obvious or intuitive.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 12/11/2007, updated in 2020

Out Now: Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1-2

Genres: Action, Platform (Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Traversal)

Accessibility: 21 features

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 6 accessibility features for Controls in Super Mario Galaxy 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 & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Motion

Games that can be played with different sorts of motion controllers.

Motion Pointing: Can use the orientation of the gamepad to move a cursor-target around the screen like a mouse.

Motion Gesture: Can motion with the controller to direct an in-game action. This can be a one-to-one motion for analogue sword or camera movement. It can also be a simple shake to trigger a one-off action. This is sometimes known as Waggle or Shake controls, as popularised by the Wii.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

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).

Controller Vibration

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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Super Mario Galaxy, 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 Super Mario Galaxy 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 Super Mario Galaxy, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Getting Started in Super Mario Galaxy 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.

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 Super Mario Galaxy, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 7 accessibility features for Reading in Super Mario Galaxy 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

Large Clear Text: All essential text is large and clear or can be adjusted to be. The general text used throughout the game in menus, instructions and other key information (excluding subtitles that are assessed separately) is at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height on landscape screens and at least 1/40 height on portrait screens. We base this on the full line-height, including the space above and below the letters.

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.

Voice Acted

Some Dialogue is Voice Acted: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted. This reduces the pressure on reading all the dialogue text, although not everything is provided audibly.

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Navigation in Super Mario Galaxy which deals 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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Super Mario Galaxy, 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 Super Mario Galaxy 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

Medium Contrast: Game uses generally well contrasting and bright visuals, or has a slider to make this the case.

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.

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 Super Mario Galaxy, 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 Super Mario Galaxy 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 Super Mario Galaxy, 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
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
 
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.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors @JonahMonaghan, 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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