Every year when DAGERSystem gives out its annual Diamond Award there is a tension: do we award it to games that are accessible by nature or to games that have impressive suites of accessibility features built into them? Normally, we side with the latter, because games that are accessible by nature typically do not offer the same “bang-for-your-buck” experience as more complex games. In other words, games that are accessible by nature are usually simpler and don’t offer the same value to the player. New Pokémon Snap is a very notable exception to this observation. Not only is it playable with only one finger if necessary, but it is also built from a system that encourages players to go back through each biome to try and get the best possible pictures of various Pokémon. Combine that with an on-the-rails movement system and no real punishment for failing to get certain shots, and you end up with a relaxing, family-friendly experience that I would not hesitate to recommend to anybody who is trying to get a younger, disabled family member into gaming. It is this mix of simple control, inherent accessibility, and a laid-back nature that resulted in New Pokémon Snap earning a Barrier-Free rating and a nomination for the 2021 DAGERSystem Diamond Award for best accessible game.

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