If you are looking for fun and accessible games to play, I have some suggestions. In this article I will review Solve the Outbreak, Blind Drive, and BattleFruit. For Blind Drive and BattleFruit, I used an iPhone 13 running iOS 15.3.1. I played Stop the Outbreak on an M1 Mac running macOS Monterey 12.2.1 on the CDC’s website since it is not available for iPhone. At the time of writing, mid-February 2022, these three apps are not verified for macOS. However, they are in the Mac App Store. I also included Android links for Solve the Outbreak and Blind Drive.
Solve the Outbreak
This game was developed by the CDC and can be played on iPad, Android, iOS, and on your computer.
The CDC website has the standard game and link for a Section 508 accessible version. There is also a link to download an accessible version for iOS and Android. The Section 508 version does not give you the opportunity to answer questions. Answers are given as part of the original text.
Safari on Windows must have QuickTime installed.
This game uses local storage, which must not be erased in order to save game progress.
The developer describes the game as “Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to get clues and analyze data to solve the outbreak and save lives! In this fun app, you get to be a Disease Detective.”
I played the standard game, not the Section 508 version, and found that the easiest way to navigate is to use VO-Right Arrow and VO-Left Arrow.
Once on the CDC page, use headings navigation to get to the game. Before doing anything else, either use form navigation or VO-Right Arrow to get to the Settings menu. In the menu is an option to toggle sound. You can also erase or reset scores.
Next, either use form navigation or VO-Right Arrow until you hear VoiceOver say, “Tap here to select level 1.” On the new screen, you are prompted to select a mission. You need to VO-Right Arrow until you hear, “Breathless in the Midwest.” That is the name of the first mission. Headings navigation can get you to some of the missions, but not “Breathless in the Midwest. Each mission gives you some information including where the outbreak has happened, symptoms, and how many people are sick. At the bottom of the description is the Start button.
Solving the Mission
When the new screen loads, you will be on a heading called, “Your Mission.” Below the heading is information about the outbreak and instructions for you to follow. Activate the “I accept this mission.” button. It is located beneath the options to share or tweet about the game.
On the next screen, you will have your first clue. Throughout the game while reading the information and clues, you will encounter links. They contain useful data and will help you to answer questions.
After reviewing all the material, VO-Right Arrow until you hear, “Answer this question.” There are three possible responses. If you answer the question correctly you get points and you hear a ding sound. If the question is answered incorrectly, you will hear a buzz sound. Below the question is an explanation why your answer is correct or incorrect. Beneath the explanation is a button to get your next clue.
After you have answered all questions for mission, activate the Results button. Activating it brings up a new screen with your total points and status. There are options to re-set your scores or erase them. There is also a button to solve another outbreak.
This game works well on the CDC website. In addition to being an interesting game, you can learn a great deal about disease outbreaks.
Blind Drive is developed by Lo-Fi People and can be played on iOS, Android, and on Windows and Mac. The game is $3.99 on moble platforms, and $9.99 on Windows and Mac. Note that the game contains swearing and cartoonish violence.
The game is described as “Blind Drive is an audio-based, black comedy arcade action game. You’re blindfolded and going against traffic. Cars rushing past, angry drivers yelling at you. Cops on your tail. And you can’t see a thing. Can you do it?”
This game has an accessibility mode. Once the game is on, turn accessibility on or off with a three finger triple tap. It can also be turned on or off via the Start menu. Have direct touch enabled for Blind Drive. Go to Settings>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Rotor Actions>Direct Touch Apps. Select Blind Drive from the app list.
When Blind Drive begins, you will hear a car engine starting and a car radio playing in the background. Then VoiceOver will start speaking the main menu. The first item is to continue a game that you have started. The next item is to start a new game. Next is a choice to start a new chapter. The final menu item is Choose Options.
The first option category is Game Settings. Your first choice is to pick whether the game is easy, normal or hard. The second choice is whether you get haptic feedback. The next option is Tilt Controls. This lets you tilt your device to turn, rather than pressing and holding the screen. To me, it feels more like turning a steering wheel. The next setting is Blindfold Mode. Sighted users can play with a blank screen. Your final option is Game Center.
The next option category is Audio. This is where you control music volume, headphones, and can do a quick sound check. Next are options to choose a language, use subtitles, and turn accessibility on or off. The final menu item is How to Play. Activating this will give you clear directions for playing the game. I highly recommend reviewing this section.
Playing Blind Drive
Each game consists of several chapters. For each chapter of a game you have three lives. If you make it through a chapter without losing all three lives, you can advance to the next chapter. While playing, there is no confirmation that you have advanced to the next chapter. The next time you play, the chapters you have completed will be listed. If you need to pause the game, double tap on the upper left side of the screen. If you are repeating a chapter and want to skip dialogue you have already heard, double tap on the upper right corner of the screen.
In Blind Drive, you are a test subject in a driving blind experiment. The experimenter will contact you periodically and give you instructions. As each chapter progresses, the driving gets harder. While driving, you will have additional distractions such as phone calls and bicyclists. You just need to follow the instructions given by the experimenter.
In the first chapter of the first game, you will hear cars passing on the left and right. Your job is to steer in the opposite direction to avoid the cars. Remember to turn back to center when the car has passed. As the game progresses, there are more challenges and levels get harder.
I enjoy simulated driving. Instructions are simple and given throughout the game. If you are offended by profanity or violence, this is not a game for you.
The developer is very concerned about accessibility. During development, AppleVis users were asked for suggestions and recommendations, and comments received responses.
AppleVis is a great resource for blind and visually impaired users of Apple products.
This game is developed by Guappa Desarrollo Integral SL and is available for iPhone and iPad. This game is not available in the Google Play Store.
The developer describes the game as: “TONS OF RECIPES
More than 1000 levels, fruits of all sorts and shapes, and 5 types of kitchen utensils to catch all the fruits.”
The basic idea of BattleFruit is to get all the fruits you need for a recipe. Collect all of your opponent’s fruits before your opponent gets yours. You do this with a variety of utensils. The game consists of two boards. The bottom board has your fruits and your opponent tries to get them. The fruits are labeled but your opponent cannot see them. The top board is your opponent’s. These fruits are not labeled.
The game board consists of cells, each with a letter and number. The letters indicate the row and the number indicates the column. Boards are not always square.
At the top left of the home screen is a Settings button. Here is where you can control music volume and sound effects volume. I recommend turning sound effects volume on. There are helpful sounds including music to let you know when it is your turn. Next is a list of color scheme options. This is followed by an option to turn vibration on or off. The next option is to have bigger buttons on the screen.
You then need to pick a name for your avatar. By default, it is Chef 1. Just below the name is a button to change your name. Each time you press the button, a different name will be spoken. Choose the one you like. You can change your avatar’s name as often as you wish.
After the Settings button is a Help button. Topics covered include what each utensil does, the game board, and how to win the game.
The final controls on the home screen are Multi Player and Play BattleFruit.
When the game screen loads, the first thing to do is choose a recipe. A new screen will then load and different music will play. If you turn sound effects off you will not hear this music or any other game sounds. VoiceOver will tell you how many of each utensil you have.
At the top of the screen is a “Give Up” button and a button to access the game tutorial. Between the two boards there are two buttons, “Shake Your Fruit” and “Start”. The Shake Your Fruit buttons rearranges your fruits on the lower board. It is not required that you do this. Activate the Start button when you are ready to begin.
Once it is pressed, VoiceOver says who starts the game. Move around the board by flicking left and right. Choose your utensil by flicking up or down. When you choose a fork, VoiceOver may say the word ‘activate’ instead of the word ‘fork.’ Once you choose a cell, do not double tap it. If you do, a fork will go to that cell. If you want to use a fork on that cell, you can double tap it. If you want a different utensil, just lift your finger off the cell. Next, choose your utensil. Once you have made your selection, double tap on it. The utensil will make a sound as it hits the cell or cells. VoiceOver will say whether it hit fruit, part of a fruit, an ice cube, or you missed. If you hit an ice cube, you lose a turn. This same sequence will occur when your opponent uses a utensil. You will hear three musical notes after each player takes a turn. You will hear some music when all the parts of a fruit have been caught. There is also music when you get the whole fruit at one time.
Between the two boards is a drawer where you can take out or purchase more utensils. Next is a list of your available utensils. Finally, there is a description of moves already made and which made fruits each of you have caught.
Getting More Utensils
You will automatically be given at least one utensil every 12 hours when you open the game. You can purchase utensils through the Drawer, which is located on the left side of the screen between the two boards. All your available utensils will also be in the drawer.
Double tap on the Drawer and it will open. VoiceOver will say, “Take utensils from the Drawer.” Flick right to hear the name of each utensil and how many of them you have. Take a utensil out of the Drawer by double tapping on it. It will be moved to your list of utensils in the game.
Flick left and there is a button to buy more utensils. There are several options including buying 5 of each utensil for 99 cents or 25 of each utensil for $2.99. Double tap on the Drawer button to close it.
Winning the Game
When the game is over, you will hear longer music. If you won, there will be clapping after the music. At the top of the screen is the result of the game and below it is a Next button. This will bring you back to the Recipe screen. If you won, you will get stars. The amount is next to the completed recipe. The number of stars you get depends on how well you did against your opponent. If you are using Game Center, there are additional achievements you can get with stars.
A Close button is in the upper left. It will bring you back to the main screen.
BattleFruit is a fun game to play. You have to think about which utensils to use and where to use them.
The Bottom Line
All these games are very accessible with VoiceOver. I enjoy playing them and I hope you do, too.
This article is made possible in part by generous funding from the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust, Huntington, West Virginia.
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