Mario Golf: World Tour is the latest Mario sports game. These games are typically less accessible then platforming Mario games due to their reliance on timing and their unforgiving nature. So the fact that this newest title is one of the most accessible games currently on the market for the 3DS, makes it the biggest game accessibility surprise in recent memory.
To begin with, players with visual disabilities will be happy to know that all though the environments are colorful, nothing in the game seems to rely on color. This is largely due to how flexible the gameplay is. Players can choose to start a round of golf with or without a number of features including powerups, coins, and special club selection. So players will be able to choose the visual experience that is most accessible for them. As far as the actual interface goes everything is clearly readable, there is enough difference in the colors of selected items and menus to make an inability to see color no barrier to enjoying this game. Low vision might be expected to pose more of a barrier, but since the game features a guide to show you where you are hitting your ball, and since the premise and mechanics of the game are very simple, even if you can’t see the finer details of the interface, like the shot-guide, it still should be relatively easy to see where your golf ball ends up, especially given that large highly visible warnings appear if a player is about to hit a ball out of bounds.
Previous Mario Golf games have been terrors for gamers with fine-motor disabilities, not so, Mario Golf: World Tour. It’s shocking how forgiving the game is. In previous Mario Golf games, if you didn’t tap the button within a certain time limit, your player would automatically take a bad shot and players would take a stroke penalty. Now, although players still do have to tap a button within a time limit to take a shot, there’s no risk of the computer automatically swinging if you don’t press the button in time. While it is true that there is a modicum of timing involved, the clock is so generous that I never once felt rushed during the dozen or so rounds of Golf that I played for my review. In fact Mario Golf: World Tour awards planning, and the ability to read each hole more than precise timing. It doesn’t matter how accurate players’ fingers are when pressing the timer, if players are hitting the ball in the wrong direction or using the wrong club. Thankfully for beginners, there is a mode where all of these decisions are made for you, and players simply have to worry about adjusting the angle of your shot. The other thing that makes Mario Golf so accessible is how simple the control scheme is. Players won’t need to use the shoulder buttons, and can play this game entirely with one hand. This title is also incredibly casual, and while it is true that playing in tournaments can be less forgiving, I got as much enjoyment out of using Luigi on a private 9 hole course, as I did using my MII in a versus computer tournament. All of these come together to compensate for any barrier that may arise from the small reliance on timing seen in this title. The bottom line is that if a player can tap one button twice with the span of five seconds, they should be fine.
True to Nintendo’s form, this title has absolutely no reliance on sound of any kind is completely barrier free for players with hearing disabilities.
Mario Golf: World Tour is the most surprising game in terms of accessibility that I have ever played. I went in expecting to have to fight my disability, and ended up with a title that was not only completely accessible for me, but for players with all types of physical disabilities.
-Nothing relies on Color
-The in-game text is big, bold and highly readable.
-Nothing relies on fine-detail.
-Game is Very Forgiving.
-Can be played with one hand.
-All time limits within the game are very forgiving.
-Game only uses the buttons on the face of the 3DS.
– A small amount of timing and precision are needed.
|Auditory||-Nothing Relies on sound.||-None.|