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The Gunk
29 Accessibility Features

We've documented 29 accessibility features for The Gunk, including Fully Voiced (Or No Speech), Large Subtitles, Control Assists, No Button Combos and No Repeated Pressing. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Getting Started but it also has features in Reading, Visual, 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.

The Gunk is a narrative adventure where you play one sister of a pair of space explorers struggling for resources, who find a new planet with new alien wildlife. You play by traversing the environment sucking up toxic waste, harvesting materials, solving puzzles and battling enemies. It stands out for its sibling story of survival and the gloopy gunk parasite you need to free the world from.

External examiner, Angela Hickman Newnham, first checked The Gunk accessibility 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Andy Robertson and updated 17 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

The game does have a clear mission structure but does not have a map or give you any directional guidance. The missions tend to have a simple statement of what you are supposed to do next, such as "Follow the Animal", and the path forward is usually finable by following the Gunk, but there are enough nooks and crannies and secret places to explore that it is easy to get disoriented and end up backtracking or loop around. Additionally, some of the things you need to activate in order to climb, jump, or crawl past are difficult to find.

You can save almost anytime, saving is not available while you are in danger from Gunk or enemies. When you fall off a cliff or into water you will reappear at the edge you fell from, but when you take enough damage to get a "Game Over" screen you will restart back at the last checkpoint, which is usually very close.

Sprinting can be set to toggle, but absorbing Gunk and other objects requires you to hold down one or two buttons (2nd button is for aim assist), and this is a prominent feature of the game that is used very often. There is no way to make the absorb and aim assist into toggle controls.

There are arrows signposting enemies and their direction when they are off-screen in combat.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 16/12/2021

Price: 65% off

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1

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

Accessibility: 29 features

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: Steam World Games (@SteamWorldGames)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 9 accessibility features for Controls in The Gunk 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.

Mouse And Keyboard

Can play with the following:

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

Mouse and Controller: Can play with mouse and controller simultaneously.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

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

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.

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).

Sensitivity

You can adjust

Adjust Mouse/Stick/Touch Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive touch/mouse/stick controls are.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play The Gunk, 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 The Gunk 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 The Gunk, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 6 accessibility features for Getting Started in The Gunk 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.

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.

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.

Bank Progress With Frequent Checkpoints: If you fail you can retry that level or aspect of the game without losing a lot of progress (less than 5 minutes). This is often provided via Frequent Checkpoints combined with restarting without losing time, equipment or score.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

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

ReadingReading

We've documented 6 accessibility features for Reading in The Gunk 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.

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.

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.

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 The Gunk, 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 The Gunk 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.

Menu Navigation

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

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 The Gunk, 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 The Gunk 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.

Interactive Elements

Large Game Elements: Game characters and other elements are large and distinguishable. Enemies and player characters are at least 1/6 of the height of the screen. Or there is a zoom feature to make them larger.

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.

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 The Gunk, 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 The Gunk 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.

Audio Events

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events. This mirrors audio indicators of progress in the game with a corresponding visual indication.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play The Gunk, 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.
 
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 @growingupgamers and Andy Robertson


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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