Hey there folks. Now I know today I just released an opening statement to the mass internet populous about being an advocate for the disabled gaming community, and I am wholeheartedly, and it’s not often when a game comes along that I find would be an excellent casual game for physically challenged folks, while also helping raise money for an entirely different charity at the same time. Neat huh? Now sure you’ve probably seen by now my links to sites that deal with getting more information on medical conditions, or other disabled gamer websites which you are free to check out and enjoy if you’re curious. This, however, is my first game to be reviewed on the premise of accessibility – so I hope I do well! [ If I don’t and you feel there are points I may have missed, please feel free to let me know! I love feedback from fellow gamers and it really helps me grow as a writer and developer.]
So, what game are we talking about well it’s called “Where’s My Water?” designed by Disney Mobile.
Now you’re probably thinking to yourself – “Oh come on Chad! A Disney game? I’m all grown up – what do I need with a Disney game?” – well, there’s a special reason behind this game that I think most folks will enjoy, and it’s highly accessible to all types of groups.
In “Where’s My Water?” we’re introduced to this lovely and adorable looking – alligator named Swampy. The essential scheme of the game is that Swampy is an alligator who loves water, and thus, loves taking baths. The game uses physics and your mouse dragging to guide the water through puzzles that ultimately have to end up getting into the pipes so Swampy can be clean. So why is this important at all? Well, I’m glad you’re concerned. The ladies and gents over at Disney Mobile have started a movement that I am in total support of. They have teamed up with Conservation International to help raise money for helping conserve ecosystems and fresh drinking water for families all over the world.
How does this relate to the game? Well, “EVERY DUCK COUNTS” is their slogan. Every good alligator needs a rubber ducky to accompany him to the bath. In the game as you try to get the water to Swampy and his many other bathing pals throughout the game, if you let water hit the ducks you gain extra points for every duck you gain. For every duck collected it goes towards the total donation amount that Disney and Conservation International are able to provide. So, now on to the important part: How is it an accessible game, and for whom is it accessible? Well, I can only provide my first hand experience, but I’ll give my take on the gameplay to the best of my ability.
The gameplay is smooth and it really is a click and drag, almost one-button input technology. You really don’t have to do much more than dig a path for the water to go or press a valve to make water spray from it. This is great for patients who lack major muscle movement and can only move one hand. The puzzles, while easy at first, do get rather difficult as you go on – so gamers with cognitive impairments may have trouble playing the game in later stages, but overall the game looks and sounds great. The sound isn’t a requirement to play the game either, which gives deaf app users the ability to play the game flawlessly. Sadly the game really isn’t set up for blind players, as it requires you to be able to see the pathways of the water to make sure you gain success, but overall the game functions incredibly well for a wide audience of players – and it’s helping out a wonderful cause. What more could you ask for?
The game is available in the iPhone App store for FREE, and you can play for FREE online here. I do believe that it’s available on the Android market too, but I’ll check and get back to you folks. Here’s a link to the game, please enjoy and get to duck huntin’ – that water’s not going to move itself!