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Headliner: NoviNews Review

Game image Headliner NoviNews
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Posted: 4 months ago, last updated 8 weeks ago.

Author: Ellen Robertson, @GeekDadGamer and @JonahMonaghan.


Headliner: NoviNews is a narrative-driven simulation game where you play as the person in charge of the headlines and stories that are released to the public. Each article you approve from your office has a direct impact of the world outside. Which news stories you choose to push will affect the graffiti on walls, the moods of other people and your relationships with the other three main characters, Evie, Justin and Rudy, all with their own complex and compelling backstories.

The game is an in-depth look at journalism and political issues that feel very relevant to today's society, like the prospect of making national healthcare available in the midst of an epidemic. Headliner seems to take a very neutral approach to each issue you face, presenting facts for each side of the argument, as you decide which articles will be seen by the public and what title they'll have.

Overall, Headliner: NoviNews presents a dim reality where neither side of the argument is truly right. It challenges you to assess your own political and social views and the consequences of them becoming a reality. The game has a variety of art styles which maintain gameplay that's visually diverse. However, it is worth noting that due to the identical daily schedule, the game can become repetitive over time whilst watching the effects of your headlines unfold around you.

Headliner: NoviNews was built off of a smaller game called Headliner. The game is similar in how it is played but has a much shorter 7-day story. Headliner is only available on PC and MacOS.

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 05/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @UnboundCreation


Duration: This game will take between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.
Players: This is a single player game.


Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 12+ for moderate violence and mild swearing

ESRB TEEN for alcohol reference, blood, crude humour, language, use of tobacco and violence


The prequel game Headliner has the following accessibility:
  • Reaction-time Not Critical
  • Low Pressure, no actions in the game are time-sensitive.
  • Auto-Save
  • Speaker Indicator
  • Playable with mouse only or mouse and keys
  • No rapid pressing required
  • Playable without hearing

Headliner: NoviNews can be played with the mouse only, aside from entering your name at the beginning of the game. A random name is generated for you, but if you would like a custom name you will need to use a keyboard. The game does accept keyboard input when the game isn't focused (if using an on-screen keyboard for example).


How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Cognitive Pressure

Reaction-time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions.

Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.


View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

No Unlocking Required: Access any mode, location, character, weapon or vehicle from the start.


How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Extensive Complex Reading: Extensive reading required.

Text Visibility

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.

Speaker Indicator: Captions or icons and speech bubbles indicate who is speaking.


How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.

Mouse And Keyboard

Keyboard Alone: Can play with just the keyboard.

Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse button/mouse wheel.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.


How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.


How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well

System Settings

Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. 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. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @JonahMonaghan

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