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Designed With Deaf and
Hard of Hearing
Features
 

Video games are a medium that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience, but sometimes, Deaf or hard of hearing players can struggle to enjoy a game due to information not being conveyed to them properly. Audio cues without visual indicators or captions, spoken narrative or direction without subtitles, for example.

However, games that include well-illustrated subtitles or captions can enable these players to understand what's being spoken through dialogue, and what's going on in the surrounding area.

Providing subtitles and captions is a good first step. But also important is that subtitles are readable and stand out from the game. Some games do this by adding a background, or a heavy drop shadow behind the text while others use colours to separate different meanings. Metro Exodus, for example, will inform the player where an enemy is located in the world through captions.

Where audio is used to locate events in the game world, a visual representation of this information is helpful. Games such as Fortnite have an audio visualiser ring that identifies where key audio (and the related event) is coming from. Assassin's Creed Odyssey uses a similar feature to indicate nearby dangers.

Games that enable Deaf and hard of hearing players with subtitles, captions and visual indicators are hugely welcomed by the community, with wider accessibility benefits for other players who can opt to benefit from these interface enhancements as well.
 
This list includes 29 games from the last 19 years, with 907 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play games with Deaf/HoH features.

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Minecraft Dungeons

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Blocks

Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure game that takes place in the Minecraft universe. You explore various dungeons to complete missions and collect new gear by exploring and finding treasure chests, or by defeating enemies...

The Last Of Us Part II

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Day and Night

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Release Date: 19/01/2016

Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Life Is Strange is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at a high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover...

Overcooked! All You Can Eat

Release Date: 07/08/2018, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Overcooked! All You Can Eat is part of a series of collaborative cooking games for up to 4 players. You must keep talking to other players to coordinate the various elements of the dishes. It starts simply enough but soon gets more complicated as you...

Disc Room

Release Date: 22/10/2020

Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Disc Room is an action survival game set in a sprawling intergalactic slaughterhouse. You are a scientist from the future exploring the facility and must get through each room that is filled with sharp discs by running and dodging. You have special...

Void Bastards

Release Date: 29/05/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Void *!@?* is a tongue-in-cheek shooting game, where you control misfit prisoners out of the Sargasso Nebula. You decide which shops to investigate, what to do and who to fight. When you die, you start again with some of the loot you've collected...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

Fortnite is an online multiplayer shooting game where 100 people compete to be the last player standing. You stealthily traverse the world to collect weapons, out-maneuvering and out-gunning your opponents, while a storm gradually shrinks the playable...

Lego (Series)

Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has been developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a world made of...

Scribble It

Release Date: 20/10/2020

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Scribble It is a digital take on the classic board game Pictionary. You take turns drawing a word as the other players try to be the first one to guess it. The benefit is that you don't have to be in the same place to play. Also, there's the added...

Moving Out

Release Date: 29/04/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Moving Out is an action-puzzle game where you play a removal company. With up to four players you work together to get items out of the house and into the van. Although this starts simply you soon find furniture that is an awkward shape or needs two...

Knack

Release Date: 15/09/2013

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Knack is a platform action series where you control a shape-shifting robot called Knack. Through beautiful arcade-style battles and worlds, you collect Relics that enable you to grow bigger and gain more powers.

Forza Horizon 4

Release Date: 25/09/2018

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Forza Horizon 4 is a thrilling racing game where you race all manner of vehicles across a wide range of landscapes. This fourth iteration is set in the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh’s narrow streets, the Lake District’s hills and rainfall and the...

Cadence of Hyrule

Release Date: 13/06/2019

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Cadence of Hyrule is a Zelda-infused version of a popular rhythm-action indie game called Crypt of the NecroDancer. Like the original, you go on an adventure viewed from above and progress by moving, attacking and dodging in time with the music.

Need For Speed (Series)

Release Date: 08/11/2019

Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Need for Speed: Heat is an open-world racing game. Races during the day are legally sanctioned street competitions where you try to win cash prizes. Races at night are illegal races where you aim to build a reputation. When racing at night, you need to...

Frequency Missing

Release Date: 07/11/2018

Out Now: Android and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On

Frequency Missing is a point-and-click adventure. You play young radio reporter Patricia who has just started her first job at a radio station. However, strange things are happening. Richard, her friend who got her the job has vanished and someone is...

Lost and Hound

Release Date: 17/08/2022

Out Now: PC and Switch

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Hand-Made

Lost and Hound is an adventure puzzle game where you play as a scent-tracking rescue dogs, Corgi and Biscuit. You use your sense of smell to find things and solve mysteries. Your heightened hearing and senses enable you to find your goals, eventually...

Home Quest

Release Date: 05/09/2021

Out Now: Android and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Home Quest is a strategy game where you incrementally build a town, recruit an army and manage your economy. Like other idle games, it's a familiar set-up where you tap buttons to assign resources and then wait for the results. However, the unusual...

Gears 5 (Series)

Release Date: 07/11/2006, updated in 2019

Out Now: PC and Xbox One

Components: 3D Third-Person

Gears of War is a series of shooting game about a conflict between humanity, the subterranean reptilian hominids known as the Locust Horde, and their mutated counterparts, the Lambent. It's a big brash game franchise with six games, a comic book series...

Wildfire

Release Date: 26/05/2020, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Wildfire is a running, jumping and hiding game where you hide from (and distract) enemies to get through levels and complete missions. You have specific powers to start fires, freeze water, and move earth that offer different ways to solve the puzzle of...

Letter Rooms

Release Date: 26/05/2021

Out Now: iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Letter Rooms is a simple anagram puzzle game. You get a hint and a set of letters and rearrange them to create the answer. This starts simply but adds more complexity like turning letters on and off or flipping letters.

Radical Relocation

Release Date: 31/08/2020, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Radical Relocation is an action-puzzle game about moving house. You load objects onto a vehicle and drive from point A to point B without losing or breaking any. Carefully stack and balance your belongings on top of different vehicles before driving...

The Vale: Shadow of the Crown

Release Date: 19/08/2021

Out Now: PC and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World

The Vale: Shadow of the Crown is an audio-based role-play adventure where you play Alex, a blind princess. After your brother takes his place as king, you are made warden of a small castle on the outskirts of the kingdom. Without sight from birth and...

Infernium

Release Date: 05/04/2018

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Infernium is an adventure horror game where you need to carefully consider your strategy to progress through the non-linear interlocking chapters. Exploring the world, avoiding getting caught by the ethereal enemies and solving puzzles uncovers a story...

Knack 2

Release Date: 05/09/2017

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Knack 2 is an action-adventure where you control a shape-shifting robot called Knack. Following the original game, you battle your way through Pixar-style enemies and solve simple puzzles using your size-shifting abilities. It's familiar territory but...

Swordy Quest

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Out Now: iOS

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Swordy Quest is a role-play game where you craft, gather and hunt your way through a fantasy world that gradually unlocks over time. What's unusual is the simple interface that creates an accessible way for anyone to experience the surprisingly deep...

Choice of Robots

Release Date: 19/12/2014

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Choice of Robots is a text adventure game where you make choices to affect the story. Unlike other choose-your-own-adventure games here you are designing robots. How you put them together and treat them will change the world. Will you show them the true...

Harmonium: The Musical

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Harmonium: The Musical is an adventure where you play a young girl who became Deaf when she was very young as she goes on a grand expedition. You explore a fantastical world where music is seen as much as heard and use sign language and gestures to...

Ordet

Release Date: 10/08/2012, updated in 2016

Out Now: iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Ordet is a word puzzle game where you make as many words as possible with seven letters. If you can find a seven-letter word you advance to the next level. The novelty here is over 1000 hand crafted levels.

Space Wave Race

Release Date: 07/07/2020

Out Now: Mac and PC

Components: 3D Third-Person

Space Wave Race is a racing game. You compete in an intergalactic racing championship where you will challenge the best pilots in the galaxy. It's designed to be able to be played with just the audio feedback, and offers a challenge for both sighted and...

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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