The Block Accessibility Report
We've documented 23 accessibility features for The Block in the Controls, Getting Started, Reading, Navigation, Visual and Audio areas to aid enjoyment of the game for different players. This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.The Block is a creative city-building game where you place buildings and trees to make beautiful miniature scenes. Inspired by games like Dorfromantik, there are no time limits, objectives or enemies. The randomly generated pieces offer countless unique creations as you let your mind wander, making for a unique and meditative game.
There are no time limits or objectives, and all the controls are clearly displayed by default (you can hide them). There is no need for quick reactions or fast reflexes.
The text is all high contrast, but not large.
Release Date: 16/12/2022
Platforms: Mac and PC
Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3
Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds
Genres: World Building and Creative
Accessibility: 23 features
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks and Grid
Developer: Paul Schnepf (@Paul_Schnepf)
Costs: Purchase cost
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Controls in The Block which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.
Mouse And Keyboard
Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.
Specific button operation required to play
Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons for prolonged periods (a second or more) is not required or can be switched to toggling the action on and off. This is in addition to the movement stick/button which is not considered a hold for this purpose.
Rapid Repeated Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing (more than 2 times a second) is not required, can be skipped or switched to holding a button to trigger a repeated action.
No Simultaneous Buttons: Only one button or key required at a time, in addition to direction stick(s).
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls
If you want to play The Block, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:
We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in The Block which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play. The following games are similar to The Block, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:
We've documented 6 accessibility features for Getting Started in The Block which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.
Assistance Getting Starting
These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.
Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.
View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play. This clearly displays the mappings of actions to buttons/keys/mouse/keyboard without having to leave the game. This includes games that always display buttons to press during play.
Reaction-Time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions, or there are settings to lower the requirement for quick reactions. This means you don't need to quickly press a button in response to an on-screen prompt, target a fast-moving target or skillfully complete a scenario against the clock.
Low Pressure: Game tasks aren't time-limited or there's a low-pressure mode. This avoids the pressure of being put on the clock for overarching missions, or failing tasks because you didn't reach a destination in time.
Adjust Speed: Adjust the speed of the game at critical moments or throughout, or rewind play for a second attempt, to ease reaction times. By slowing the game, you have more time to interpret what is happening and then execute your actions. It also reduces the pressure on getting things right quickly or the first time you attempt them.
No Jump Scares: No sudden loud noises or popping-up scary visuals that unexpectedly appear without warning, or the option to disable them.
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Reading in The Block which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.
How much reading is required to play the game's main path or story and how complex the language is. This doesn't include subtitles as required reading if they are fully voiced.
Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a primary/elementary student (9-year-old) could understand.
High Contrast Text: Text colour contrasts to the background or can be adjusted to be. The text in menus, instructions and other information is presented in high contrast with a solid background.
All Speech Subtitled (Or No Speech In Game): All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to hear spoken dialogue or narrative to play the game.
All Dialogue is Voice Acted (Or No Speech In Game): All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to read the dialogue and narrative text to play the game.
We've documented 2 accessibility features for Navigation in The Block which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.
Adjust Head-Up Display: Resize and adjust the content of the head-up display. This enables it to be made more visible. It can also enable the removal of too much information that can be distracting or confusing.
Menus Don't Wrap: Menus don't wrap and stop the cursor at the bottom of the list if you press down. Or menus do wrap but make it clear that you are back at the top of the list with sound or narration.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation
If you want to play The Block, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:
We've documented 6 accessibility features for Visual in The Block which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.
Medium Contrast: Game uses generally well contrasting and bright visuals, or has a slider to make this the case.
No Flashes: No flashing strobe effects or you can disable them. This includes the absence of flashing from dramatic visual effects, explosions or weather effects like lightning.
No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or it is included but it can be disabled. This includes the absence of screen shake for dramatic effect as well as to indicate hits on a target.
No Busy Backgrounds: No distracting backgrounds or you can make them static or blank. This includes the absence of other movement elements in the background that might distract or confuse the action.
Motion Sickness Friendly
Motion Sickness Friendly: Doesn't have 3D movement elements that may trigger motion sickness, like motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision. Or includes the ability to disable motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision effects.
Colour blind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colour blind friendly mode with double coding or similar way to avoid colour dependance.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual
If you want to play The Block, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:
We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in The Block which deals with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.
Play Without Hearing
Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio
If you want to play The Block, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:
System Accessibility Settings
In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
Read more about system accessibility settings.
Accessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Ben Kendall