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Designed For Aphantasia

Aphantasia is the inability to visualize. Otherwise known as image-free imagination. When people imagine something they are able to visualize that to a varying degree. At one end of this spectrum are people who have very little ability to visualise things in their mind.

“You might imagine a lifelike image of a horse in your mind, while your friend might only see a dim or vague one. Some will find it easy to visualize a horse in all its colours, while others will have to work a little harder to paint that picture. Some of us can only hold images in our minds for mere seconds, others for longer. But almost all of us will have some variation of this quasi-perceptual picture-it system.”


We’ve worked with the Aphantasia Network to uncover some games that are well suited to people with Aphantasia. These are experiences that offer inclusive design and features to avoid this being an unintended barrier to players. It also includes experiences that ease the extra effort required by players with Aphantasia in other ways:
Some good examples of games that reduce this barrier are Triangle Strategy which lets you pull up a bio and image for any character who is currently speaking. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney and Ghost Trick are examples of games that let you rewind dialogue at any point if you need to refresh your memory about what was said.

Other examples of games that ease the navigation load by offering direction and maps are Submerged Hidden Depths and Legend Of The Skyfish. The latter also provides really helpful lists of missions to keep track of what you still have to do – along with information on where to go for each one.

Finally, there are other accessibility features that generally reduce the cognitive load on the player. These can be useful for people with Aphantasia who are working harder to cope with recall and visualisation aspects of the game:

This list includes 10 games from the last 15 years, with 404 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to be supported to remember and visualise.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth and Strategy
Total Likes: 404
 

 

Submerged Hidden Depths

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/12/2020, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 43 features

Developer: Uppercut Games (@UppercutGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Submerged: Hidden Depths is an adventure game where you boat, climb and explore the ruins of a sunken world. With light puzzle solving and no combat you discover a drowned city, crumbling skyscrapers and deserted villages. It's the sequel to the first...

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 22/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Race and Sports

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Megagon inds (@Megagon_inds)

Players: This is a single-player game

Race down a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route to find the fastest way to the finish line.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Ember Lab (@EmberLab)

Players: This is a single-player game

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure about a young girl who travels to an abandoned village in the hope of finding a sacred mountain shrine. To get there she must find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their...

The Last Of Us Part II

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16-18 year-olds

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Price: 67% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Play, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 48 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Price: 55% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Us Two (@UsTwo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-14 year-olds

Release Date: 12/12/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, GBA, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_)

Players: This is a single-player game

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a courtroom murder mystery series where you piece together clues to challenge testimonies and uncover the truth. It’s like a visual novel, although you must interact with characters and evidence to progress.

Bioshock

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016

Price: 80% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Ghost Story Games (@GhostStoryGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy, and what happens when a society develops with a power mad genius in control. It's an unusual combination of...

Legend Of The Skyfish (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 24/02/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: M Gaia Studio (@MGaiaStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Legend of Skyfish is a puzzle exploration game where you head into a dangerous land, hopping from island to island, solving puzzles and battling enemies. Each arcade-style level is a chance to put your unusual weapon to use -- for fighting but also for...

Ghost Trick

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/06/2010

Platforms: DS and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_)

Players: This is a single-player game

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a game where you play a ghost that can stop time to solve crimes and save lives. You can inhabit and control objects and possess corpses to alter what happens. His ultimate aim is to use his memories to find out how he...

Triangle Strategy

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/03/2022

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting, Role-Play and Strategy

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Square Enix (@SquareEnix)

Players: This is a single-player game

Triangle Strategy is an action role-playing game that combines a complex branching plot with grid-based battles like Fire Emblem or Advance Wars. It stands out not only for its unusual diorama visuals, but by creating an intertwining story of many...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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