Boomerang Fu Visual Accessibility
- Visual Characteristics - 3
- Accessibility Features - 6.5
- Difficulty and Assist Modes - 7.5
- Non Visual Cues - 6
- Text and Interface - 8
- Controls and Depth Perception - 7
Boomerang Fu is a new hack and slash, Battle Royale style game that takes an unconventional approach by supporting local multiplayer only. Unlike most Battle Royale games, you play as various food items, and your main weapon is a boomerang. So will Boomerang Fu be a game that comes back time and again?
I am reviewing the Nintendo Switch version. The game is also available on Xbox One and PC.
About me and my play style: I have albinism. My visual acuity fluctuates between 20/100 and 20/500 depending on if I’m wearing contacts and how tired I am. I have color vision, but no depth perception. I also deal with eye strain if I have to focus too precisely for too long.
Visual Characteristics 3/10
(Contrast, Lighting, Tracking, Clutter)
Right off the bat, Boomerang Fu does visually impaired players no favors in the visual department. The gameplay screen scales to keep all players on screen, and for crowded matches, this means the screen is nearly always zoomed out. The cel-shading style may help players who struggle with eye fatigue, but it does not provide much contrast to aid with visual tracking.
In a Battle Royale game, tracking enemies is one of the primary tasks, and it is quite difficult. There are a lot of environmental elements that use similar colors to players, giving players excellent camouflage options, but making it very difficult for visually impaired players. The lighting makes colors almost look washed-out, even more than your typical cel-shaded game.
You can select which character you want, which allows you to pick a more distinctive color, but stages change from light to dark with each new round, and there is no character that is highly visible in every stage. Additionally, you cannot assign bots to specific characters, meaning that you can’t make sure that your opponents are highly visible when playing against bots.
To improve this, I would like to see customizable contrast and high-visibility character options. I understand that stealth can be a strategy, but stealth isn’t strategic if you can’t find your own character. Additionally, it would be nice to be able to select only light stages or only dark stages.
Accessibility Features 6.5/10
There are fairly decent options available, at least for a Switch game. You can adjust music and special effects volume, turn off controller vibration, and turn off screen shake. Hints are on by default but can be turned off. There are multiple options to customize the rules of your game and the difficulty of any bots you play with.
I really wanted to see controller remapping, particularly since the game is designed for local pick up and play. I also wish the hints were more helpful. I left the hints turned on, but they never gave me much help, instead coming across rather vague.
Difficulty and Assist Modes 7.5/10
There are a variety of great options to suit Boomerang Fu to your needs and play style. You can change the number of matches needed to win, turn on auto balance – which gives losing players an extra hit point and enable homing.
There are different victory conditions to suit your tastes, and you can select what types of powerups you would like to use if any. These options, combined with the options to choose the difficulty of any bots you play with, gives you a range of customization for your needs.
Non Visual Cues 6/10
There are audio cues to indicate the various types of attacks, but the sounds don’t have any sort of directionality. I would have liked to see sound effects balanced directionally so I could audibly recognize where the attack was coming from. There is no sound for a character moving close to you, and I think this would be incredibly helpful. You can’t hear characters moving unless they dash. Ideally, there would be a walking sound that gets louder as they get closer.
There’s also no indicator of where the boomerang is. If you don’t turn on Pull Back, you can lose your boomerang. There’s also a game mode where you have to capture the golden boomerang for a set amount of time. Neither of these situations gives you audio cues to help you find the boomerang. Given how difficult it is to see what’s happening on the screen, the lack of audio cues is highly noticeable.
Text and Interface 8/10
The text and menus are all done in a very clear sans-serif font. It’s not as large as it could be, but it’s definitely larger than average, which I appreciate. The menus can be a little confusing because it’s not always intuitive about which options are in which menu, but that’s a fairly minor concern as there are only a few different menus. Aside from the menus, you won’t need to read much text to play the game, making it much easier to pick up.
Controls and Depth Perception 7/10
There is no controller remapping for Boomerang Fu, which was particularly annoying for me because I just had trouble wrapping my head around the controls. This is likely to be a more casual title, so it’s important to help folks jump in and play in a way that’s comfortable. The depth perception was pretty simple in the top-down style. The boomerang has a good throwing distance, making it quite responsive.
Recommendation for visual skills needed for enjoyment
I’m going to recommend 20/400 vision or so for enjoyment. I think I would want to be closer to the 20/200 range if I wanted to play competitively.
Overall, I recommend Boomerang Fu. It’s a decent Battle Royale style game that boasts robust assist options to customize your experience. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re running low on couch co-ops during quarantine.
A review copy of Boomerang Fu was provided by the developer / publisher.