2014 04 21 Yoshis New Island500

Yoshi’s New Island is the next in a long line of highly polished Nintendo first party platformers. This group has very few accessible titles, and unfortunately Yoshi’s New Island is no different for players with fine-motor disabilities; while players with other disabilities should have no trouble enjoying this title.

 

For starters, players with visual disabilities will probably have very little problem with this game. The text is the most readable I have ever seen on a 3DS platformer. While the art style does use only pastel colors, which means that there are no differences in color intensity for those who are color-blind, there doesn’t seem to be anything within the title that relies on color other than the different types of Yoshi’s that the player can ride, and the different eggs that Yoshi produces which are not important, and are simply there for aesthetic appeal.

The only group that will have real issues with this game are those with fine motor disabilities. This is because Yoshi’s New Island is a classic platformer in which timing plays a big part. The basic premise of the story is that Baby Mario has dropped out of the sky onto the peaceful Yoshi’s Island, and the Yoshis have to return him whilst fighting the evil Baby Bowser. As a result, the game uses a unique death system that relies heavily on timing. While falling into a pit or missing a jump will end the player’s game immediately, if players run into an enemy, Mario will be knocked off of Yoshi’s back. If player’s fail to retrieve Baby Mario before a timer expires, the play through will be ended. As a result, players with fine-motor disabilities will frequently go from leisurely strolls through levels to frantic dashes to recover the floating infant before the time expires. Thankfully the game features a generous super-guide system very similar to the New Super Mario Brothers: 2, if a player dies more than a few times in a level, they will be given a set of silver wings that allow Yoshi to glide indefinitely over traps. If they continue to struggle, players will be given a set of golden wings which increase Yoshi’s hang time and make him impervious to enemies. The real problem arises in the egg throwing mechanic, when players pick up an egg that trails behind

Yoshi, there is no static targeting reticle, instead the reticle moves continuously in a 180 degree arc, so players have to time their shot to get it at a proper angle. Another bigger problem is that there are levels that require players to use the 3DS’ gyro function, picking up the system and moving it around, in levels similar to Donkey Kong Country’s mine cart stages. Combine these barriers with a lack of controller customization, and the standard barriers of a classic platformer and even the extremely forgiving nature of this game barely saves Yoshi’s New Island from being completely inaccessible.

But there’s better news for gamers with auditory disabilities, since true to Nintendo’s formula, Yoshi’s New Island doesn’t use sound as anything more than an aesthetic. And frankly, Yoshi’s New Island’s soundtrack is kind of annoying, so even hearing players may want to mute their systems.

On the whole, Yoshi’s New Island is a great choice for gamers with both visual and hearing disabilities. Unfortunately, gamers with fine-motor disabilities should probably try a demo before committing to buy.

 

Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Visual Rating: Barrier Free
Fine-Motor Rating: Partially Accessible
Auditory Rating: Barrier Free
Released For: 3DS
ESRB Rating: E
GameInformer Score: 7.00

 

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The Bottom Line

 

Disability Pros Cons
Visual

– Nothing relies on color.
– The in-game text is big, bold and highly readable.
– Nothing relies on fine-detail.

-None.

 

 

Fine Motor

-Game is very forgiving.

– Limited controller customization.
– Game requires lots of precision and timing.
– Game cannot be played with one hand.
– Players must be able to pick up the system and move it around.

Auditory

Nothing relies on sound.

None.

 

 

Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Visual Rating: Barrier Free
Fine-Motor Rating: Partially Accessible
Auditory Rating: Barrier Free
Released For: 3DS
ESRB Rating: E
GameInformer Score: 7.00

 

 

Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @dagersystem. 

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