Editor’s Choice: Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between

Mike Matlock2 minute read

Our first editor’s choice leading up to GAAD and the Diamond Award is Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between, chosen by Mike.

Expanding on an older indie game, Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between is a game about driving, contemplating the universe, and having philosophical conversations with new people. It was released last year on Nintendo Switch, but I had the privilege of consulting on the accessibility for the PC version of the game. Glitchhikers is a great game that encourages introspection and guarantees an accessible experience for disabled gamers!

The thing I like best about Glitchhikers is how much the game lets the player customize their individual journey. Whether it be talking to passengers on a train or flying through a dreamlike airport, Glitchhikers offers open-ended conversations and completely customizable controls. All four levels in the game (The Endless Highway, Park, Terminal, and Railway) each have different control schemes and can be customized individually from the options menu. Most of the gameplay consists of talking to quirky individuals, but there are some areas that require running and jumping. Every button on the keyboard and mouse can be customized, including the scroll wheel. 

Subtitle sizes and colors can be altered for the dialogue, game text, and menu font. Every text is accompanied by a nice background with a dark opacity. Captions are automatically turned on, with subtitles for sound effects and song lyrics. 

The HUD can be completely hidden, and even the “Glitches” (screen distortions for which the game gets its namesake) can be turned off for those sensitive to these visual effects. Customization continues into the narrative, as the type of subject matter in conversations can be altered depending on the comfort level of the player. Heavy topics like grief, death, addiction, etc. can be completely omitted by turning them off in the options menu. 

Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between doesn’t just have great accessibility, but it also has a diverse cast of disabled characters. Many wheelchair users were consulted in order to showcase authentic experiences. It’s clear that the developer was dedicated to giving a disabled perspective and making the game as accessible as possible. It’s for these reasons that I’ve chosen Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between to be my Editor’s Choice.

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