Nintendo Land was the flagship title for Nintendo’s new Wii U. And from an accessibility standpoint, it’s hard to say anything concretely. This game is actually 12 smaller games stuck on a single disk, all meant to show off the Wii U’s capabilities, and as such it has some strengths and weaknesses.
To begin with, most of the games featured in Nintendo Land have very little use for sound. As a result, players with auditory disabilities should be able to enjoy everything from “Zelda’s Battle Quest,” which functions like a rail shooter in which players either use the GamePad or the Wii remote to defeat various monsters, to “Takamaru’s Ninja Castle,” in which players aim the GamePad at the TV and use it to throw throwing stars. None of the Nintendo Land games seem to rely on sound and therefore should pose very little problem to players with hearing disabilities. But since there are so many games, and they all have different characteristics, we at DAGERS still think it should be given a thoroughly accessible rating because there are so many games, and each may affect players with hearing disabilities differently.
A similar thing can be said for the games’ visual accessibility. The art style is cartoony enough that all important elements are different, and the speech bubbles feature easy contrast. But there are a couple games where seeing color helps the game progress, such as the background in the Pikmin mini-game. However, as a whole, the game does not rely solely on color to communicate, and therefore should provide little hindrance to gamers with sight disabilities.
The only place where there are significant barriers would be in the fine motor arena, and that is because Nintendo Land is set up to show off all the different styles of gameplay that the Wii U is capable of. As a result, some of the games can be very hard, such as the Metroid mini-game, in which players have to use the GamePad to scan around the arena in search for targets, while at the same time needing to use both thumbs to move and fire. Situations like these are common in Nintendo Land, whether it’s in the rapid reflexes required for “Octopus Dance,” or the ability to tilt the GamePad back and forth in “Donkey Kong’s Crash Course.” As a result, Nintendo Land is not as accessible for people with fine motor disabilities as would be convenient, and should be examined carefully before purchasing.
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Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Visual Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Fine-Motor Rating: Partially Accessible
Auditory Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Released For: Wii U
ESRB Rating: E10+
GameInformer Score: 7.00