Choice of Robots is in These Lists
In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Choice of Robots in the following lists:
Success in video games is often framed at the personal level: the last person standing in Fortnite
, achieving high viewership on a Twitch stream, the best player in Rocket League
. However, many video games choose to focus players on a wider view, on working for the greater good of the world in which they live.
Games can develop a deep sense of civic identity. Civics is the study of the rights and obligations of citizens in society. Our civic identity comes from situating oneself within a larger group, often committing oneself to public action. Games give children a chance to try out taking public action within society for the greater good.
This list of games offers space for players to develop a sense of civic identity. We put it together with Barry Joseph
, who has worked in many contexts to empower children to achieve this. Whether at Global Kids, Inc, where he helped youth to acquire leadership skills and engage in efforts to address global issues through the production of digital media, in founding Games For Change, where he worked with video games as a form of youth media, or at Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, where he piloted digital engagement for girls around the country.
There are many mainstream games, not created specifically for education, that are a great way to engage with civic identity. This includes games that invite players to take control of civic space, like Alba
, One Hour, One Life
, Sim City
, Thousand Threads
Then there are games where civic space is presented as dysfunctional and in need of repair, like Papers Please
, Not For Broadcast
, Do Not Feed The Monkeys
. Other games let you take civic space in questionable or futile directions, like Headliner: NoviNews
, Bad News
and Photographs Puzzle Stories
Finally, there are some games specifically created to teach children about civics. The always-growing collection of games from iCivics explore U.S. Government functions, including Argument Wars
, Branches of Power
and Immigration Nation
. There is the novel Civics! An American Musical
that teaches US History through creating a Hamilton-style musical. Digital Compass
teaches digital citizenship through an interactive story and MP For A Week
that teaches children about being an MP in UK Parliament. Finally, the Democratic Socialism Simulator
is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country.
Being able to discern between reliable sources and unreliable sources of information is an important skill for children to develop. This starts with questions of trust and authority but then leads to decisions about how we use and share information ourselves.
We've worked with Childnet International
on this list of games that help children and young people experiment with what they should trust and the potential unintended consequences. Childnet International is an online safety charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. They believe that the internet is a wonderfully positive tool for children and young people. Childnet are also part of the UK Safer Internet Centre and organise Safer Internet Day in the UK every February.
Some of the games, like Thousand Threads
, either put them in a world where what people say and believe impacts the other characters. Other games, like Headliner
, put the player in charge of information so they can see the consequences first hand of its misuse. There are even games, like Papers Please
, that enable the player to police who is and isn't allowed access to information or even access to the country.
As Childnet write, "Critical Thinking is an important skill that we need in order to navigate the internet safely and find the latest news headlines or facts and information. With the amount of content that is online sometimes it’s quite easy to be reading something that is inaccurate without realising."
These games each provide different ways for players to develop critical thinking. They provide a space where trust and authority can be experienced first hand, and where the negative and positive consequences of how we handle these topics play out.
Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.
These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
These games, compiled by Christy Smith
, have graphics styles or options that make the games easier to see for people with impaired vision. Many of these games include
Fonts: Larger, scalable font sizes and bold fonts, like Moving Out.
Zoom: Ability to increase the size of all objects on the screen such as in Untitled Goose Game's zoom feature.
Contrast: Settings to adjust contrast and brightness, as well as distinct colours with good lighting, like Splatoon.
Non-Visual Cues: Sounds and haptic feedback that help direct the player, like Lego games.
Colourblind: Modes that invert colours or change colours to accommodate different types of colourblindness, such as in Hue.
Screen Readers: Functions that read text and menus as they are highlighted and appear on the screen, such as in Eagle Island.
In addition, there are other ways to make games easier for people with low vision to play. Some offer modes that lower the difficulty, like the Assist Mode in Super Mario Odyssey. Playing with a sighted friend or family member can make things much easier.
Some platforms provide system-wide accessibility features
that help. The Nintendo Switch offers a built-in zoom function, while the Xbox offers co-pilot mode that allows two people to play as a single player. Such features create necessary flexibility for players.
There are many different types of visual impairments, and no two people ever see things the exact same way. Because of this, games that are accessible for one person may not be accessible to all low vision gamers. For gamers who find visual games too cumbersome, audio-only games may provide a solution.
It may be difficult for parents and caregivers who are fully sighted to understand which games will be easier to see. The best way to learn about what works and what doesn’t is hearing from people with impaired vision themselves. Can I Play That?
has a variety of reviews discussing accessibility of games for people with disabilities, by people with disabilities.
We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust
to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.
The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.
Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.
There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.
Video games are a medium that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience, but sometimes, Deaf or hard of hearing players can struggle to enjoy a game due to information not being conveyed to them properly. Audio cues without visual indicators or captions, spoken narrative or direction without subtitles, for example.
However, games that include well-illustrated subtitles or captions can enable these players to understand what's being spoken through dialogue, and what's going on in the surrounding area.
Providing subtitles and captions is a good first step. But also important is that subtitles are readable and stand out from the game. Some games do this by adding a background, or a heavy drop shadow behind the text while others use colours to separate different meanings. Metro Exodus, for example, will inform the player where an enemy is located in the world through captions.
Where audio is used to locate events in the game world, a visual representation of this information is helpful. Games such as Fortnite
have an audio visualiser ring that identifies where key audio (and the related event) is coming from. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
uses a similar feature to indicate nearby dangers.
Games that enable Deaf and hard of hearing players with subtitles, captions and visual indicators are hugely welcomed by the community, with wider accessibility benefits for other players who can opt to benefit from these interface enhancements as well.
We are used to books, films and radio programs challenging our assumptions on subjects. Adam Curtis, Louis Theroux and David Attenborough have powerfully used film to change perspectives and values.
Less well known is how many video games tread a similar furrow. These are games that not only tackle difficult subjects, but get beneath the usual binary perspectives to create new ways of thinking about these themes.
The progress that large video game publishers are making with low vision or sightless accessibility is impressive. High profile titles like The Last of Us Part II
and Microsoft Flight Simulator
are inspiring and exciting. However, games designed from the ground up for players with low vision or without sight offer many a more satisfying experience.
We’ve worked with Aaron Spelker on this list of games that offer a bespoke experience for low-vision or sightless players. This has expanded our database search for Play Without Sight
and added a new Play Without Sight with VoiceOver
criteria. These games offer experiences that entertain, intrigue and challenge players through spatial audio, text to speech and voice-work. We’re excited about the games here, but first, we want to share Aaron’s story.
Aaron is an author (The Bubonic Reorder
), commentator, accessible game reviewer and father. He runs the Apple iPhone iOS Voiceover Compatible Games
Facebook page where vision-impaired members discover a wide variety of games, swap tips and answer questions.
He has loved console games his entire life. But two and a half years ago, he lost his sight in an accident. “One day I was sighted; the next day I was blind,” as he puts it. He soon sat down to play The Last of Us: Part 2, in the hope of finding an entertaining accessible game but found that the “gameplay felt hollow and unsatisfying”. “The Last of Us: Part 2
has done something exceptional with its extensive accessibility efforts. In fact, I feel guilty that I failed to have a fun experience with the game,” he told us. “But I realized that I was comparing my blind gameplay with my sighted gameplay from earlier years. Playing graphics-rich games as a blind person ultimately made me feel inadequate and depressed. I was so distraught by the interaction that I packed up the controller and have not played a console system since.”
However, my desire to play games did not dissipate. I longed to get lost in a game world. With the loss of my sight, I needed that distraction from life’s daily struggles even more. I began searching the internet for accessible video games for the blind and vision impaired.
He found a deep pool of accessible games on smartphones such as the iPhone and started to work through its catalogue. “While playing these games, I became thoroughly familiar with the iPhone's VoiceOver screen reader. This accessibility tool allows a blind person to have any text on the phone screen read out loud through a series of swipes and taps.”
There were games that went beyond the commonly accessible text adventures, word puzzles and dice games. They were immersive games with 3D Worlds, like A Blind Legend
and A Detective’s Demise.
Or adventure games where the vision-impaired gamer fought enemies, like A Dark Room
. There were also action games where you drove cars (Blind Drive
), manage sports teams (Football Chairman Pro
) and fight dragons (Swordy Quest
“They allowed me to reestablish my love of video games because they are primarily focused on the gameplay rather than high-quality graphics. Therefore, vision-impaired players do not feel left out or left behind. The vision-impaired player can have the same game experience as the sighted player. For me, this was what I needed. It increased my gaming confidence and enjoyment. While I loved 40 years of sighted gaming, I have now found a rich community of non-vision games and gamers to engage with for my next 40 years.”
All games offer you agency. You can win or lose. You can complete them or stop at any time. But there are some games that offer a story that genuinely branches. Where you end up will be different from other players. This not only makes your actions really matter but also gives you a reason to play them again.
Setting aside games that evolve through simulation, or games where once you die it's game over, these branching narrative games tell a story that ends in a certain way because of the choices you made.