When it comes to my experiences with video games, I have found side-scrollers to be the most accessible in my opinion. The designs of their stages make way for simple controls. It is nice to be able to pick up a game like Kirby Star Allies and not have to worry about camera issues, turning a camera to aim, among other things.
But what makes controlling Kirby via the Joy-Con so accessible? While his movements to jump and attack require one button press it is his blocking ability that caught my eye. Being able to use the left and right triggers to block is fantastic; it allows disabled gamers to protect themselves at all times. This really benefitted me because it was nice to not have to quickly move my right stub above and below the Joy-Con so many times.
Instead, all I had to do was slide my left index finger over the left trigger and press it. This provided me the ability to immediately jump back on the attack while not taking unnecessary damage. Something that is more difficult to avoid in games like first-person shooters and some role-playing games that utilize cover. Tapping buttons are not something that is a big part of Kirby Star Allies; unfriending someone only requires pressing and holding down the Y-button.
Though button tapping is still a part of many games, we are starting to see some games offer people the ability to change tapping to holds. Insomniac’s Spider-Man being one of the more recent AAA games to have the feature. I think it is important for games to give disabled gamers the opportunity to flow through games better. In a game like Kirby Star Allies, the function is even more important when it comes to abilities.
Abilities can be gained by pressing the B-button and pulling down on the left stick. If you want to drop an ability for a different one, just press and hold the Y-Button. Just like unfriending allies, a meter will fill up and once it does the ability will be dropped. Though the game is colorful like many if not all of Nintendo’s first-party games I did not see a colorblind option which is something I believe all games should have.
The dialogue is mostly text, however, I also did not see an option to increase text size either. Outside of those couple options, HAL Laboratories did a wonderful job ensuring many people can fully enjoy the game. I did not find accessing areas and completing stages to be difficult or demanding on my body. This is something I have to give they and Nintendo a lot of credit for because for the most part they do offer plenty of games that offer simple controls.
I had a blast playing Kirby Star Allies because its simplicity felt very refreshing. Simplicity is something I feel Nintendo is king of; so far the only game I’ve played where its accessibility was lacking was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If you are looking to add an accessible side-scrolling game to your Switch library, Kirby Star Allies is the one. What are some of your favorite side-scrolling games? Comment below!