From puzzles to multiplayer role-playing games, the world of gaming is expansive. We discussed tactile games, smartphone games, and video game consoles, such as Xbox and PlayStation. Participants shared their favorite games and learned some new ones!
March 26, 2019
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Tech It Out – Accessible Gaming
Presented by Ricky Enger
March 26, 2019
Ricky Enger: Good evening and welcome everyone to Tech It Out. It is the first Tech It Out of Spring, how exciting is that? At least it is rumored to be Spring somewhere in the world, it doesn't feel like it here in my neck of the woods, but what are you gonna do? My name is [Ricky Enger 00:00:21] and I'm a learning expert in assistive technology at Hadley, and every month we come together for this little thing we like to call Tech It Out.
If you're not familiar with Tech It Out, this is where we choose a topic each month and we come together, I give a little information about the topic and then we get to the fun part where we open it up to the community to talk about this and kind of learn from each other, which is always the very best part for me.
This month's topic is gaming. What better thing for Spring? Spring kind of makes you feel like playing, whether it be outside or maybe somewhere inside on your iPhone. Before we actually get started, and there is a huge amount to cover here which is awesome, I remember a time when sadly there would not have been a lot to say about gaming. That is thankfully no longer the case. So before we get started, I just want to go over a quick couple of things about how we do things.
We're using a platform called Zoom, and if you're not familiar with Zoom, no big deal 'cause there's not a whole lot to learn. Everyone is muted at the moment, so that will remain the case during this first part of the discussion. Then once we open it up for questions, you can chime in, and the way you do that is if you'd like to unmute yourself, if you're on the phone, *6, if you're on the PC, ALT + A, if you're on a Mac, Command + Shift + A, and if you are an app, you can look I believe in the "More" tab, and you'll find that ability. Someone may correct me on that later 'cause I don't have the app in front of me.
Raising hands really helps a lot to just keep the chaos to a minimum, and that kind of indicates "Hey! I have a question" or "I'd like to make a comment." Now if you do have a comment on somebody else's question and you kind of want to jump in, it's okay to unmute yourself. But if you want to kind of get in line and indicate that you have a question to ask, that's *9 on your phone, and that'll raise your hand, Alt + Y on the PC, and Command + Shift + Y on the Mac. And on your app, you'll find that in the "More" tab on that.
So with all the blah blah blah about how we operate this thing out of the way, let's jump in and get started talking about games. Games are one of these things that you can kind of ... There're different levels of play, right? So sometimes you want something that will keep you captivated for hours and hours, and sometimes you're just looking for something that you're sitting at the doctor's office and Jerry Springer has lost its appeal and you have to figure out some way to kind of keep yourself occupied.
There are those games that you play at Thanksgiving when the family and friends get together and everybody's kind of gathered around in that food coma phase and you're just looking for something fun to do now that you're all full. There might be games you want to play with your kids or your grandkids. So games can span so many different categories and I want to go through a few of these categories and just give some ideas on things that you might check out, and then again of course we will open it up so that you guys can talk about games that you enjoy playing, or games that you hope someone will come up with, or that maybe someone knows about that you don't.
Let's start out with tactile games. When I talk about tactile games, basically talking about say, the simplest example I guess would be having a card deck. So you might want to play blackjack, or maybe you want to get a little more complicated and play skip-o, solitaire, any number of card games that you want to play by yourself or with someone else. There are card decks with both braille and print, and that means that you can play of course with people who are blind or sighted, so it's a completely inclusive experience.
What about Scrabble? Scrabble is a wonderful word game, it's one of my favorites, and this too is a tactile game so you have the big board, and you have tiles that have letters on them, and the goal of course is to spell a word and get the maximum number of points. There are actually braille Scrabble boards as well as Monopoly, some of these very traditional games that you kind of hope for in terms of being able to play a tactile game. And then there are the games like Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples or Exploding Kittens and some of these are really interesting card games that do have the ability to get a tiny bit not safe for work, necessarily.
Until fairly recently, we did not have something available to do this accessibly. And thanks to a company called 64 Ounce Games, they have produced a number of these games such that you could actually buy the printed cards and then you have a braille sleeve that you can slide each of these cards in. So now these games too are completely accessible, both to the blind and sighted player. So check out 64OunceGames.dom, and that actually brings up a thing that it's worthwhile to mention here, and that is we're going to be talking about a ton of games this evening, and you might be sitting there kind of typing your fingers off or brailing frantically so that you can get all this information down.
Well guess what? You don't necessarily have to do that, because we do have show notes for each of our episodes. So when an episode is complete, we do archive it usually about a week later and at that point we place these episodes so they're downloadable, and you also have the show notes which talk about all of the resources that we covered during that episode. So check out, and this one you will want to write down, although I will mention it again at the end, Hadley.edu/techitout, and that's where you'll find archives of past episodes and this one once it goes up.
Again, check out 64 Ounce Games, fantastic place to get things like Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples, I think they have about 16 games at this point or perhaps even more than that. Other tactile games that are kind of classic like a card deck or Scrabble or Monopoly, or even a chess board, those things are available from places that you perhaps have heard of before such as the Braille Bookstore, there is Maxi Aids, Independent Living Aids, LS & S, all of these companies do generally carry the kinds of games that you might expect everyone to have in their closet or pantry or whatever. Like "Hey, I want to play Monopoly!" Alright, we can go order that from Braille Superstore or Independent Living Aids.
So these are lots of cool ideas for things that you can do for tactile games that you can play with your friends, your kids, the list is kind of endless. So other than tactile games, this is a technology discussion of course, and no technology discussion would be complete without actually talking about using technology to play games. And there're multiple ways that we can do this. The PC games were obviously kind of the first ways that we did this with technology because smartphones didn't quite exist yet.
I'm kind of dating myself here, but I can remember playing on the Apple 2E and there were amazing text adventure games on that as well as a fun little golf game and Blackjack and so on. But now we have any number of other different options. I'm only going to touch on a couple of them because I would like you guys to throw in your game suggestions as well once we open up this for discussion.
The first one I want to talk about is a website called L-Works Games. This is a blind guy by the name of Liam Irvin, and he has programmed several games at L-works.net. Why favorite one at the moment is called Super Egg Hunt and as we get really close to Easter, I kind of love this one because you're running around using your arrow keys and trying to catch as many eggs as you can. So a fairly simple game, but super fun and super addictive. So check out L-Works.net, check the show notes for that and you will find all sorts of fun games from Liam.
The next one I want to talk about is called A Hero's Call. This was produced by a group called Out Of Sight Games, again, a group of blind programmers. And the idea with this one is that you are on an adventure and you are a character who can kind of pick up additional characters on the way to join your party, and you are essentially trying to save the town from something evil. That's a very simple sounding premise, but the hours and hours of gameplay that I had with this particular game called the Hero's Call, wonderful, wonderful stuff. The voice work is amazing, and the controls are certainly not complex.
So if you have always kind of wanted to play a PC game, you've always wanted to go on an adventure of sorts but you're not really into spending a lot of time learning how to do something, this is a nice and involved game that doesn't really require a lot of learning to get up to speed with.
Another category of games is MUDs, multi-user dungeons, and there're a ton of these out there. These are games, again, where blind and sighted people can connect online. And there are space based games, there are kind of fighting based games, there are medieval games, games based in the Old West. So kind of the sky is the limit with playing MUDs, but it can be difficult number one, to know where to start, and number two, how do you connect to these MUDs. I mean, it just sounds weird if you've never heard of it, MUD, what is that? What do you do?
There is a program called VIP MUD, which is available to blind and sighted alike, but it was designed specifically with blind people in mind. Now there are other MUD clients, you'll hear this referred to as a client, VIP MUD just happens to be the one which is designed exclusively kind of from a blind person's perspective, and it was done by a blind person. So there is MUD Connector, which is kind of where you're going to find "What world do I want to enter today with this lovely accessible client that I have?" That's a very short and simplistic introduction to MUDs, and I think we'll probably have a couple of people expanding on that when we open things up for questions.
PC games, again, a lot to chose from but I've chosen to just focus on a few, so let's talk about iOS games and Android games as well, because nobody really goes anywhere without their smartphones, right? So you always kind of want to have something that will either entertain you while you're out and about, or you're just sitting and hanging out, listening to music, and you want something that is super immersive that will keep you engaged, but it's portable, it's right there in your hand so what more could you possibly want, right?
There are many, many, many smartphone games which is awesome, because again, I can remember a time when there weren't so many. One of the most popular ones, and this is available for both iOS and Android is called Dice World, so if you like to play dice games, there are I think seven them perhaps? There's Farkle and there a number of other games that are full accessible, can be played between both blind and sighted people, and they can be played across platforms. You can use this on your Android tablet and your iPhone, or what have you. And that's really kind of nice because it's rare to find games that are platform agnostic, like they work on iOS and Android equally well.
Another one that kind of falls into that category is called Audio Game Hub, and this one has some really great word games and various other fun stuff. So if you're just kind of looking for a pack of fun games that you can spend some time with, definitely check out Audio Game Hub. Now there's a different category beyond just the sort of dice games and word games and that kind of thing, and this is the choose your own adventure type game and weirdly I haven't seen very many of these. The one that I like is called Multi-Path and it's actually billed as an audio book, not so much an audio game.
This one is unique in that you don't even have to touch your screen, you simply speak what you want to do with your voice. So there is a big narrative with lots of great voice acting and music, then you're prompted to "What do you want to do next? Do you turn down the hallway with smoke coming out of it to save people? Or do you run outside?" So great time with Multi-Path, and it's well worth checking out.
One for you iPhone or iOS people specifically, this too is a very unique option of gameplay, I've never seen anything quite like this. But it is you're kind of solving mysteries or clues, but the clues/mysteries are about your device. So this is called BlackBox and you're given clues of what to do, and you're using functions of your phone to accomplish a specific task. So an example might be you might have a clue and the answer so to speak, is to turn around the room in a circle. And how do you figure that out? Well, it's using your iPhone's compass and maybe you didn't even know you had a compass in your iPhone, so this is a great way to discover things about your phone that you may never have heard of before. So that's actually super cool.
A number of people, before we started this discussion, wrote me to ask about chess, and thankfully there are a number of ways to play chess, both tactilely, you can get a chessboard from the Braille Superstore, you can also play chess on Windows with Win Board, and on iOS, there is a chess based game there as well as on Android, there's one called ChessBack, and the name of the iPhone option is escaping me right this second. But again, you can check out the ... Oh it's Chess Wise, that's right. Chess Wise 3 for iPhone. I was gonna say you can heck out the show notes since I seemed to have blanked on that one, but thankfully I remembered just in time.
So again, these are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of things that you can play. There is, going back to the iPhone, one called iAssociate, iAssociate 2, this is one of my favorites. Using clues and connecting words, there's also one called Woven Words and that's really awesome. So again, the sky is the limit. Any kind of game that you want, including flight simulators, they probably exist somewhere.
I want to talk about a couple more things before we jump into opening this up for questions and lots of lively discussion. First thing I want to talk about is console gaming. For those who don't know what consoles are, these are just the Xbox and the PlayStation and the Nintendo, so you've probably heard people talk about that, and these are consoles. So what's the status of accessibility on consoles and why should you care? Well, a couple of reasons why you might care. Number one, you might want to play a console game yourself, and number two, you may be in a position where a family member has a console or your child has a console that you bought and you want to be able to activate parental controls or you want to be able to purchase something from the store on that console.
So in those cases, accessibility matters for sure, and we're coming a long, long way in a very short time. We have a long way to go, but given that there was a time, you know, way back in Atari days when they're might be very few games that blind people could actually play, and now we're in a situation where there are blind YouTubers who are showcasing themselves playing games that may seem/ inherently visual, but still can be played by blind people. So let's just do a quick rundown of kind of the state of consoles, and a couple of games that you might care about.
Xbox from Microsoft is by far the best gaming platform in terms of accessibility right now. The PlayStation from Sony has some built in accessibility, but to be honest in its current state, it's a little more frustrating than useful because what you'll have is that the initial menus on the console will read. So for example, you might say "Home, Store, Settings" and so on. And then you might enter one of these menus, and you get the dreaded "Text to speech unavailable here." So the main menus are read, but not always the sub menus and that's pretty frustrating. Sony is, to my understanding working on this, but Microsoft is far ahead in this game.
If any of you are familiar with Narrator on Windows, Narrator also exists on Xbox. So what this means is that you are able to not only browse through the store and purchase a game, you can browse through the settings and enable parental controls for a particular account. You can change what your theme looks like, you can do things like update the console and so on, and it's all completely accessible because those menus are spoken using Narrator which is awesome.
Can't say great things sadly about the Nintendo Switch or the 3DS, or any of these other offerings from Nintendo. So sadly, no accessibility there at the moment. But since Xbox is doing so wonderfully well and has a lot of titles on it, let's just talk about a couple of those quickly that people are playing. One of the most exciting ones is Mortal Kombat. And the reason I say it's exciting is because Mortal Kombat is about to introduce something that we aren't really seeing on any other game titles, and that is the menus inside the game itself are going to be narrated.
So while Xbox will let you navigate around its own menus, what happens when you launch a game of Mortal Kombat and it's time to choose the character that you want to fight with? Before now, this involved some memorization or perhaps using seeing AI or IRA to read the screen and get used to the order in which the characters were displayed. Now, with this upcoming Mortal Kombat, the menus are going to be narrated and that's wonderful. So there is that, it's a fighting game, and because the fights happen in stereo and each character has sound effects that they make whenever they perform moves and slam in each other and so on, these are ways that you can use audio cues to determine what your gameplay is like and what you're doing and what your opponent is doing.
Similarly, in Justice Streetfighter, which is my personal favorite, and a game called Killer Instinct are playable by someone who is just using audio cues, or if you're low vision, you might be using audio cues as well as seeing some things on the screen. Super cool stuff, but what if you're not into fighting games? Well, you do have a couple of other accessible options including Madden. Madden 2018 came out with some accessibility features, and Madden 2019 has expanded on those considerably. So if you're a big sports fan, good times to be had with Madden.
And my personal favorite in this whole console games list is the Jackbox Party Pack, specifically Jackbox Party Pack 5. Not sure if you guys have heard of You Don't Know Jack, but this is a really kind of wacky trivia game, to give a very brief synopsis, and there are a number of games that you can play. It is a multiplayer game, and the cool thing about the Jackbox stuff is that it can be started on a console, but since it's a multiplayer game, you can have people who join from their iPhone or their Android device or their computer, and when joining, that experience is accessible as well.
So one person can have the console controller, three or four other people in the same room or they can be remote as long as you're streaming your audio so people can kind of hear each other, you're able to play this super fun set of games and not have to worry about "Well I'm blind, who's going to read me the screen or select my answer" and so on. So a lot of fun can be had with games like this. So tremendous amount of information on games that you've kind of just spouted, and I know that many of you here are actually major game enthusiasts, so I hope that you will expand on the games that I've mentioned here because I know that we have people who really, really want to play games, but just don't know what's out there.
Before I open it up for questions, just gonna mention some quick places that you can find out about games that don't get mentioned here, either by me or by someone else. If you're looking for iPhone games, check out Apple Vis, they have an entire section dedicated to games, and the way this works is that those who have played the games before will rate them in terms of accessibility and kind of describe the experience that they've had with the games. Inclusive Android is the equivalent over on the Android side, so users have gone through and played games and in some cases bought games that turned out to be completely inaccessible. So let their experiences dictate what you do and don't need to waste your time with.
Google also has a method to find games that were designed with accessibility in mind, and this is directly built into the Play Store, so you can open Play Games and you will go to the arcade section, you can probably choose any other filter that you needed to, but it ultimately doesn't matter which one you choose 'cause what you'll do is scroll down to the bottom and there is a filter that says "Filter by accessible games." So then it will only show those things tagged by the developers who have submitted their apps to Google Play as far as "Yes, we did think about accessibility when we developed this, so come on in, the water's fine basically."
Lastly, audiogames.net is kind of both a website and a community where people can come together and look at games that are available and discuss various games and other things on forums. So it's kind of cool that once you leave this discussion, you'll be able to branch out and go either ask questions about games that you're looking for, or find people to discuss games that you're super interested in, and perhaps they are as well. So there you have it! Ready to go ahead and open it up for questions and as I do that, just a brief kind of refresher, if you do have a question please raise your hand, *9 on the phone, Alt + Y on the computer, and Command + Shift + Y on the Mac. You'll also find this on your app if you go looking around for that.
So, let's see, do we have people who have raised their hands? Yes we do. Let's go first to someone on the phone, 415, you have a question. 415 on the phone, *6 to unmute yourself.
Speaker 2: [inaudible 00:32:22]
Ricky Enger: There you go.
Speaker 2: Great. What I was wondering, you were talking about the Xbox, and I know it's a console but what actually is it and where do you get it? And how would you even go about setting the damn thing up?
Ricky Enger: That's a great question. So an Xbox, when I say console, what I'm essentially talking about is something that hooks up to your TV and the TV acts as sort of the video source for this, and along with this console, which is basically kind of a large box with electronics in it, you have a controller that is held in your hand. The controller will have, at the very least, a pad or a stick by which you can move in various directions, and then you'll have buttons that you can press. And depending on what game you're playing, this will determine what each of these buttons do.
So it's difficult to sum up super quickly, but if you go and look somewhere at perhaps Best Buy, Walmart, Target, these places tend to have consoles on display so that you could at least get an idea of what is this, what's it like to hold a controller in my hand, that kind of thing. And that's a good place to start, and then you can think about what kinds of games do you want to play on it. Do you want to play a fighting game, do you want to play a sports game, and so on. And then, that will kind of assist in determining what kinds of questions you ask next.
Speaker 2: Does the speech ... how would you set that up getting your speech in gear so that you can actually use it?
Ricky Enger: The cool thing is that all of that is in the lovely manual and can be done right from the controller, so you actually don't need to have sighted assistance to set it up. You'll want to make sure that your Xbox is of course connected to the TV and be on that. Check out the manual for what you press on the controller, then it comes up talking and you can kind of be guided through from that point.
Speaker 2: [inaudible 00:35:03]
Ricky Enger: Next, to Jason's phone. I'm not sure which Jason's phone this is, but you do have your hand raised so you're up.
Jason: [inaudible 00:35:14]
Ricky Enger: Oh, I hear a staticky mic, Jason are you there? Yeah, you're a little staticky as well, you might need to hold it still, I'm not sure. We'll give you a second to get that kind of still and hopefully not staticky and we'll definitely come back to you, so no worries there.
Ricky Enger: Let's go to Shaun's iPhone.
Shaun: Hello there.
Ricky Enger: Hey there.
Shaun: Thank you very much. So I wanted to actually comment really quick on the Nintendo Switch. My brother who is sighted, he actually has a Nintendo Switch and I have played it, and actually there are a couple of games that are accessible within the main switch game that you get, including one where you basically have to guess how many balls are on the screen, and you do that by feeling the vibrations. And the vibrations actually feel like little balls rolling around inside of your controller.
Ricky Enger: Oh wow, fun! So you might need some assistance to start the game or you memorize where it is given that the menus don't speak, but once you do-
Ricky Enger: ... that, the game itself is accessible.
Ricky Enger: That's awesome.
Shaun: Yeah. And then I'm just curious, when it comes to audio games, especially for iOS or PC, I'm really into the voice acting and not so much voice over, speaking in a high pitched voice-
Ricky Enger : Yeah, I hear that.
Shaun: ... I was wondering if you had any recommendations? I can recommend Echoes from Levia, that ones definitely really good.
Ricky Enger: Is that an iPhone game? Or is that on the-
Ricky Enger: Okay.
Shaun: That is iPhone, Pc, and Mac I believe.
Ricky Enger: Excellent. Multipath is one that comes to mind, and I mentioned that one earlier. I don't know of ... I know that there are several, but there aren't any that I have played. So can any recommend a game with some great voice over acting that isn't so much about reading text on the iPhone?
Shaun: I could add to that.
Ricky Enger: Yeah, absolutely go ahead.
Shaun: Okay, there's a couple things. A Blind Legend is one, that one is an adventure game that actually involves people from Radio France, but it's all in English and you're a blind knight trying to rescue his captured wife from this evil wizard, and your daughter is sighting you across the land and it's all done in 3D audio so you're hearing things happen, you're navigating, you're fighting. It has a lot of pretty good levels in that game, and it's all voice acted.
Ricky Enger: Excellent, so yes, definitely check that out, A Blind Legend. And I've heard nothing but good things about that.
Speaker 2: Hey Rick?
Ricky Enger: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Do I need to raise my hand again?
Ricky Enger: No you're cool.
Speaker 2: Okay. No I was, going back to the Xbox, I just wanted to say two things. First is a comment and the second is a question. The first thing is that for those of you who are doing computer games, I was doing a Google search the other night and it seems that you can hook your controllers, whether they be Switch or Xbox or what have you, into your PC and they will tend to be reconfigured, the keys will be remapped over to an Xbox configuration.
And if your game runs on a steam engine, I still don't know what that means, but if it runs on the steam game engine, which you can confirm if your favorite game does, it would be in the technical aspects of your game, then you could control it with your controller. And it would be like just playing on a console game, and then you wouldn't have to memorize a whole bunch of key strokes and what not.
Ricky Enger: Great. And I will definitely speak to that, go ahead with your question and then we'll talk a little about steam, absolutely.
Speaker 2: My question is does anyone know about any role playing games that are accessible? I'm into Skyrim myself, but I have to play it with my wife because it's not stereo and of course the speech, the voice acting is mainly text. So does anybody have any ideas of similar games that might be interesting?
Ricky Enger: That's a great question. So first, just quickly about steam, steam is a game engine that can be installed on Windows and other PC platforms, and it definitely has some accessibility issues, but if you are really determined, a number of people have gotten steam up and running, and they have played their games. Perhaps they don't have a console or there's a reason to play on a Windows machine rather than elsewhere, what he has said is correct. You can indeed use your controller with this and play just as if you had a console.
So it's pretty cool, but getting the steam engine up and running is not necessarily super straightforward, but it can be done. I like your question about role playing games and you were talking about playing with your wife, playing Skyrim. I have played Persona 5 which is a JRPG with my son, it's kind of a similar issue where much of what's happening is text dialogue that has to be read, and then of course there are cut scenes and various things voiced by characters. So it is fun to kind of play that interactively with the family.
I don't know of any console games that kind of fit into that. A lot of the role playing games that I'm familiar are with MUDs, so they're straight text and not so much voice acting and music. But perhaps someone has some ideas here.
Michael: I could speak to role playing games a little bit.
Ricky Enger: There you go. See, I knew you were here for a reason.
Michael: Well, on iOS you might like a game called Six Ages. It's a single player game and it puts you in charge of a clan and you're trying to have that clan survive. It's all text so it's all voice over reading, and it's about the most in depth, complex game I think I've ever come across. It's got a simulation running in the background, but controlling it is very easy, and it's kind of a combination of a game book adventure and a strategy simulation in one. It's very complex.
Ricky Enger: Is this made by-
Michael: The other-
Ricky Enger: Oh I'm sorry, I was just curious if this was made by the same guys who did King Of Dragon Pass?
Michael: Yes, yup it's a sequel to that.
Ricky Enger: Awesome.
Michael: And they're planning to do even more, so it could expand to be quite large ultimately. And the first game is completed, Six Ages: Ride Like The Wind, and it's amazing, just amazing, and he's gone so far out of his way even describing scenes for voice over users. There's extra text for us to describe scenes, like the art in the game, there's a bunch of hand painted art that's all described. The other thing with role playing games of course, you can go old school.
There are places you can get role playing books, ePUBS and PDFs, Chaosium, I have Call Of Cthulhu , I have the seventh edition book, it's fully accessible. The Rune Quest books, the latest of those, all accessible that you can jump between headings and stuff using voice stream leader, works very, very well. And there are other places, bundleofholding.com where you can get role playing books in bundles, which is a nice way to save some money doing that.
Then of course you can get, there's a new dice roller on iOS that's just come out, and it's made by Blind Sparrow Interactive and Ready To Roll is its name. It's also graphical so sighted people can use it too, and it's fully accessible for us. So that would help with any games where you needed dice to be rolled. You can also get physical dice from 64 Ounce Games sells them.
Ricky Enger: Yup.
Michael: And there's another, dotsRPG.org is an initiative that's a group of people trying to make role playing games more accessible and spread awareness in the industry. So there's a lot going on. Also game books, if you go onto Amazon, I just discovered this like two weeks ago literally. There's a series of games books called Destiny Quest and they're kind of like the fighting fantasy ones that used to very popular when I was growing up. You can turn to different pages at different paragraphs in the book and those paragraphs will tell you what happens and then give you choices to go to other sections of the book and there's a combat system, you're rolling dice, you have stats, supplies. And I just discovered that with the kindle app now, those books are completely accessible because they're linked, right, you can link to different paragraphs.
You can use the rotor and go to the links to double tap and get to the next choice that you make.
Ricky Enger: Nice.
Michael: Yeah, I was so happy to find that.
Ricky Enger: That is amazing, so Michael you just volunteered to write my show notes, I appreciate that.
Speaker 6: I have a question. Can-
Ricky Enger: Gonna hold on for just a second if you don't mind, we need to move to Cathy, who's actually next on the list, and we'll see if we can come back to you.
Cathy: Hi, can you hear me?
Ricky Enger: Yes.
Cathy: Okay. Well thank you for sharing all this tonight. I was just curious, when you were talking about the chess on iPhones, the audio was kind of staticky and cutting out and what did you say was your favorite chess app on the iPhone?
Ricky Enger: It is ... Give me one second because I keep forgetting what it's called. There it is, ChessWise 3. Apparently there were a couple of iterations before that, but number 3 is definitely the way to go if you're looking to play chess on the iPhone.
Cathy: Okay. Is it also with a tutorial?
Ricky Enger: Yes.
Cathy: It is, okay. I found it, thank you so much.
Ricky Enger: Awesome, you're welcome. Alright, Marty, you're up next. Marty, question?
Ricky Enger: Yes, there you go.
Marty: Okay, yeah. There's a lot of free games out there too, I don't know if you know this for the pc, there was a guy, Spoonbill Software, Spoonbill games. He's got a whole series of games and also for iOS I found this through the Apple Vis you mentioned earlier, there's a lot of games, Blindfold. There's a lot of games under the Blindfold label.
Ricky Enger: Yes, Blindfold is fantastic.
Marty: Blindfold EUCHRE.
Ricky Enger: Yeah.
Marty: I like playing that one. And they just added a new one, I think it's Blindfold Bobsled, and there's a whole bunch of them if you just type in Blindfold in the Apple store, it'll come up with a whole series of them and they're all free.
Ricky Enger: Yeah, I love the Wheel of Fortune game.
Ricky Enger: For some reason I'm just totally into that.
Marty: Yeah, there's a lot of dice games, word games, trivia games. There's a music, name that tune kind of game, it's endless.
Ricky Enger: Yes, and when I mentioned at the beginning that I would touch on a few games and there [inaudible 00:49:16] an endless number of resources, you're watching it happen right now, and it's a great time to be alive and in need of games because there are so many out there to choose from, whatever your interest happens to be.
704, you are next up. Question from 704? You can *6 and unmute if you like 704.
Shelby Craig: Is that me?
Ricky Enger: It might be.
Shelby Craig: Oh okay. So I just wanted to bring up a couple of comments as well as to pose a question. Another category that I don't believe was covered was the games for Alexa, for the Amazon echo devices. There are tons of games such as the Vortex. The Vortex is a science fiction game that's really cool, it's kind of like a role playing game where you're playing this crew member, but the interesting thing is that you're stuck in cryo stasis and the only way that you can actually get things done is through the robots that are on the ship.
And it goes into the whole robots versus humans or the advantages and disadvantages of robots and that sort of thing. So it's very interesting and again, there're tons of games out. They recently came out with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire which is a lot of fun.
Ricky Enger: Oh I love that.
Shelby Craig: It's so exciting. Also if anyone wants to see some of the adventure games that we've been talking about earlier, I have my own youtube channel where I stream a lot of these audio games. So if you're interested to see some play throughs and walk throughs in some of the sames, feel free to go check it out. It's just my name, Shelby Craig, so feel free to check it out and give me some suggestions for future games to play.
As to the question that I wanted to ask, I am curious to know if there are any type of horror games for the iPhone or the PC, because I feel like horror is one of the only genres that isn't really emphasized a lot in the development of audio games, and I would love to see some of the classics, some audio remakes of the classics like Five Nights At Freddy's maybe and that sort of thing.
Ricky Enger: Yeah.
Shelby Craig: I've always wanted to see something developed along those lines, and I was curious to see if anybody else knew of any audio games for PC or i devices?
Ricky Enger: Anyone? Anything from the horror genre.
Shelby Craig: Oh, I just got a new subscriber! Thank you.
Ricky Enger: Yay.
Speaker 10: Hey Shelby, there are a couple of games for the iPhone, one is called Heathcoate.
Shelby Craig: Oh yeah.
Speaker 10: That's a pretty ... That's like the most recent one.
Shelby Craig: Unfortunately I don't think it's updated anymore though. I don't think you can play it anymore, and that's the problem with a lot of horror games for the iPhone.
Speaker 10: Yeah, that happened with Sixth Sense.
Ricky Enger: Oh yeah, Sixth Sense, yeah.
Speaker 10: Yeah, and they took off audio defense Zombie Arena, that one I loved.
Shelby Craig: Yeah, oh man, that was awesome.
Speaker 10: I think Where's My Rubber Ducky is still around, but that's not ... I wouldn't waste my time.
Michael: There is Fear on the iPhone and Android. Fear.
Shelby Craig: Oh yeah.
Ricky Enger: Yeah that's actually fairly new. And it is cross platform, so Fear is certainly an option, and I've heard good reviews about that and had completely forgotten about it 'til you mentioned it.
Shelby Craig: Oh wow! I did not know that was cross platform. Oh my goodness. Yay!
Ricky Enger: Good stuff, alright so now-
Michael: The only other thought I had with horror is Interactive Fiction, Choice Of Games, they have a lot of horror titles. Host of Games is kind of a knock off brand of Choice Of Games and they also do a lot of horror titles amongst a lot of other things. FROTZ is an app that lets you play interactive fiction that's written in form and there's a lot of that, and you can again, including [inaudible 00:54:04] in theater is one of my favorites for a good horror text adventure. Really well done.
Ricky Enger: Right, and so these are great options for text adventures. We'll have all the cool spooky audio, but sometimes just the imagination and the [inaudible 00:54:20] is really enough. Thank you guys for the recommendations and great question Shelby.
Shelby Craig: I also had one more thing, I'm sorry. I know I say a lot, but I just love audio games so much. Code Name Signus is another good game that's cross platform and you can play it on either the Alexa, the Android or the iPhone, and it's kind of like a radio drama that's where you play as a secret agent and you have to try to complete all of these tasks and missions and stuff. But I'm not sure of the latest developments of it.
Ricky Enger: Yeah, I'm not sure that they updated it. There was that, and the Ensign, and I don't know that they updated either or both to be compatible with 64 bit. I honestly can't remember, but I can say they're both wonderful games.
Michael: Earplay is the name of what they've gone to. They've gotten a bunch of stories, including the Code Name Signus into the Earplay brand, so that's, as far as I know, still all available on iOS and other platforms.
Ricky Enger: Excellent. So it's already looking like there's going to be a part two just as there was for the accessible entertainment such as TVs and the like. So I apologize if we didn't get to you. We do have time for at least one more question, and we're gonna go to Paige's iPhone for that one. Paige do you have a question?
Paige: My app keeps freezing, but I have a couple comments and a question.
Ricky Enger: Sure, go ahead.
Paige: So I think somebody already said this, but somebody was asking about role play games and Choice of Games and Host of Games has a lot of different categories. They have fantasy and sci-fi and stuff like that. There's also a website called ChooseYourStory.com, and they have a lot of different kinds of role play, choose your own adventure games and they're multiple choice ones.
Paige: Then I have a question, so I know that you said PlayStation games aren't as accessible as Xbox ones, but are there any that are accessible? 'Cause we only have a PlayStation.
Ricky Enger: It's not so much that the games themselves are less accessible, it's more that the PlayStation platform, so navigating through and being able to launch your games is not as straightforward, because a lot of those menus don't speak. However, Street Fighter is on the PlayStation and that is a fighting game which can be played by blind people.
I don't know, Mortal Kombat is as well I believe, I'm not sure about Killer Instinct which is another fighting game that I mentioned, and I don't know that Madden is on the PlayStation, if anyone can correct me on either of those things that would be great. So I think that really if you're looking for something accessible on the PlayStation, think about fighting games. In Justice is another fighting game, and again with the Jackbox Party Pack, if the person who owns the PlayStation wants to purchase that and follow that by setting up a game that you can join from your iPhone or your computer, that's another way that you can kind of put the PlayStation to good use for you as well as everyone else.
Ricky Enger: Alright. Awesome. And it brings a tear to my eye to say that we have unfortunately reached the hour. So I want to thank all of you so, so much for joining me, and I knew that there would be a wealth of information that was given by all of you. Probably not able to take all of it in, so if you do want to check out the show notes, visit Hadley.edu/TechItOut, that's all one word, Tech It Out. And we'll have all of this stuff in the show notes, and those of you who do have a great number of game resources, thank you guys for sharing them this evening.
And if you think of more that I should include in the show notes that didn't get mentioned, it's okay if the show notes are as long as a novel because I think having a place where people can go and see just a tremendous number of games and different categories and different platforms all kind of listed together at once, totally cool with that. So if you want to send me an email either with questions or with additional game resources to mention, you can do that at email@example.com.
Thank you so much for joining and I hope to see you again next month!