Hello Ability Powered Gamers! We have a special accessibility first look this week. Why special? It’s our first one on the Wii U platform. I usually stick to PC but the guys over at Brave Rock Games asked us to check out their new Visual Novel on Wii U. It’s called Alice In Wonderland. Let’s take a look!
What is a visual novel?
I will be completely honest. When approached to check out Alice in Wonderland I wondered too. I knew what they were, but on Wii U? I wasn’t sure what to expect on a console. What I found was a great way to bring books to people via console. It was exactly what you would expect, a book given graphics to tell the story.
There aren’t many options to share with you guys. The only one was an option for voice-overs. This would read the story to you and would benefit people with vision impairments. Each character had a different voice making it easy to follow along with the story without needing to see the screen.
Controls were simple! Tap your Wii U controller screen to “turn the page “. Tapping was not confined to any certain place on the screen, you can tap anywhere! Another plus for me was tapping multiple times on accident didn’t scroll pages ahead. Each page would finish before you could advance. The tap anywhere page turning will benefit anyone with mobility issues. I can see this easily done with hands, toes, elbows, ect. Just position the screen and bump it.
I have read / watched other reviews of this developers other titles and have seen a few negative ones because of its content. You cannot pick up this on Wii U expecting a game. It is not a game. I think Visual Novels sometimes get a bad rap because of incorrect expectations. At first I thought the same thing… “what am I playing?!? ” but you aren’t playing at all. You are being presented a story.
Keeping that in mind, I really enjoyed the experience. Real life backgrounds and colorful characters were something new. Sometimes I didn’t understand some of the backgrounds, like why Alice was falling past jars of canned foods for so long as she felt through the rabbit hole. Overall it didn’t hurt the story and definitely wouldn’t for a younger audience.
Accessibility wise I appreciate the fact this is in the Nintendo library. Nintendo is pretty bad about having options for someone like me with little movement. That paired with books themselves being a struggle, I can see how this is something new that people like myself could actually enjoy on the console. There are some areas that could make this even better however. First, the option for toggling voice-overs on and off was super small and needed precision to tap. My assistant, who has no disabilities, had issues with it. Bigger buttons would have helped immensely! Another option that would have helped was an option to make the text bigger. It was well contrasted so it wasn’t bad to read for myself, but I can see where some others could have problems. Voice-over should help for most gamers but I sound free option with bigger text would have been welcome.
As a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and taking this as a visual novel, not a game, I enjoyed it. I liked the colorful characters and voice-overs and could see this being perfect for young bookworms who have disabilities. But don’t take my word for it, check it out in the Nintendo Game Store. Have you tried novels on consoles? Share your favorites below! Big thanks to Brave Rock Games for sharing this with us!