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The Pale Beyond
17 Accessibility Features

We've documented 17 accessibility features for The Pale Beyond, including Adjust Speed, Low Pressure, No Quick Reactions, No Button Combos and No Repeated Pressing. Its accessibility is strongest in Visual and Controls but it also has features in Getting Started, Reading 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 Pale Beyond is a narrative simulation game where you captain an exploration ship stranded in the frozen Antarctic waters. You carefully manage and gather resources and keep your crew in good health to hopefully survive until the summer. It stands out not only for the tactical survival but the depth of the interaction between you and your crew, where loyalty has to be earned and your chances of success rely on keeping spirits strong as much as on physical endurance.

Our accessibility examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked The Pale Beyond accessibility 14 months ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes

You need to drag character icons around the screen by holding down the mouse. There are no difficulty settings, and it is quite easy to fail due to a bad decision. When this happens, you can go back to one of the points on a branching map of the story and start from there, or start a new game.

Time does not progress at a constant rate, instead moving when you've completed required actions, so the game is low-pressure.

There is lots of text throughout the game, and while all of it is high in contrast, sometimes parts of it can be small, even on the largest text size setting.

Because the game changes depending on your choices, objectives are not always obvious, besides trying to ensure survival.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 24/02/2023

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Narrative, Simulation, Strategy (Adventure and Communication)

Accessibility: 17 features

Components: 2D Overhead, 2D Side-On and Day and Night

Developer: Bellular Studios (@BellularStudios)

Costs: Purchase cost

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Controls in The Pale Beyond 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 Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse-button/mouse wheel.

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).

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

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

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Getting Started in The Pale Beyond 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.

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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play The Pale Beyond, 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 The Pale Beyond 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

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.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play The Pale Beyond, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Navigation in The Pale Beyond 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. The following games are similar to The Pale Beyond, and offer accessibility features for Navigation:

VisualVisual

We've documented 5 accessibility features for Visual in The Pale Beyond 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.

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.

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 The Pale Beyond, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Audio in The Pale Beyond 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 The Pale Beyond, 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:

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
 
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.
 
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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