A human child falls into the underground where magical monsters live peacefully. Are these monsters your friends or your enemies? Undertale is a retro-designed RPG with turn-based combat and was released on the PlayStation 4 and PC. The game is known for its quirky characters and unconventional gameplay mechanics that allow you the option to leave monsters alive rather than kill them if you like. Undertale also has exceptionally accommodating controls for disabled gamers.
Undertale has fully customizable controls on both the PlayStation 4 and PC, but I recommend playing the game on PlayStation 4 which is the version I’m reviewing. The PC version doesn’t have the best gamepad support and having to use the keyboard may be impossible for some disabled gamers with fine motor skill impairments. The PlayStation 4 version of Undertale only requires you to press three buttons in total: X, circle, and the triangle button. The X button is confirm and attack, the circle button cancels actions, and the triangle button opens the in-game menu. You can move your character with either the left control stick or the directional pad if you prefer. Combat in Undertale consists of fairly simple turn-based battles where you move the cursor and select your plan of action on a drop-down menu. During battle you control a small heart that represents your soul and you must avoid attacks from enemies. However like I mentioned earlier, Undertale does not require you to kill any enemy in the game. You can pacify monsters or show them mercy. Some battles do require you to fight enemies for certain amount of time, but you are never forced to finish them off. Occasionally battles will have timed button pressing moments, but memorizing the patterns simplifies this process. Disabled gamers with fine motor skill impairments should have very little trouble playing Undertale. Although there are no brightness options in the game, map borders and enemy sprites are very clearly defined. So there shouldn’t be any issues for disabled gamers with visual impairments. There’s no spoken dialogue in Undertale and there are large bold subtitles, so deaf players will have no problems understanding the story. There was only one instance in the game where audio cues were important to solve a puzzle, which involved picking the right piano keys. However, this puzzle is entirely optional. Even better is the fact that the developer later added visual cues that would appear above the puzzle after a few moments. This was added specifically to accommodate disabled gamers with hearing impairments and that is fantastic.
Undertale is a very fun lighthearted game that really makes you question the necessity of violence. Every single enemy in the game has a big memorable personality and help make battles unique. For once, I sympathized with the monsters I was fighting. The fully customizable controls give disabled gamers with fine motor skill impairments a relaxing experience and deaf players will benefit from added visual cues for certain puzzles. I would recommend Undertale to any disabled gamer.
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