Deaf Game Review – Farming Simulator 19

Farming Simulator 19 Deaf Accessibility
6 / 6 Reviewer
Pros
There's no essential sound in the game, so no need for subtitles or captioning
Cons
The text for the tutorial and the UI are uncomfortably small
Visual Cues
Controller Vibration
Visually Engaging

Farming Simulator 19 is in the same vein of Warframe as being incredibly difficult to review. Though this time, not because we just love it that much that we’re biased. Susan started a new game six times and spent three hours trying to buy fertilizer and get it back to her farm. When she finally did discover how to transport fertilizer back to the farm, she discovered that she’d bought the wrong kind for the type of fertilizer spreader she bought and was out of money having wasted it all on buying the wrong things. That’s when she deleted the game from the Xbox, much to Courtney’s dismay because Courtney grew up on a farm and misses country people things and looks forward to getting to relive it in some small way without the risk of being murdered by a Trump voter. Farming simulator is a hard game to do an accessibility review of because its flaws (and there is a major one) aren’t necessarily accessibility related. They’re just issues that make the game uncomfortable to play on a console.

So what is the problem?

Yellow hay mowing machine with hayfield in background.

The text in the tutorial and the UI are WAY too small to be able to play the game and learn how to play the game without being right on top of your TV. This text is difficult to read when you are right up at your TV, so reading it from across the room, sitting comfortably on your couch? Not going to happen.

Top down view of red sowing tractor and empty field.

As for the UI, it could really stand to be adjustable in size too. Just compare this to the reimagining done by @PVBuk:

Enhanced screenshot with enlarged UI from Twitter user PVBuk.

The reason we say these aren’t a deaf accessibility issue is that none of the tutorials are voiced in the game. It’s all text so all players are equally struggling to read this. So while there are accessibility issues, none of them are deaf accessibility issues.

Game settings menu.

You’ve got a few individual volume options in the game menu, allowing you to set different volume levels for music, vehicles, environment, and the radio. And given that these are the only sounds in the game and not one of them is essential for playing the game, we found these settings to be just a nice addition of customization as opposed to accessibility options (though if you’re hard of hearing and prefer louder crickets and cicadas than tractor engines, they’re probably quite helpful).

Given this, we really don’t know what to say in the accessibility review here. Yes, the UI and tutorial text is horrendous but after the first 10 minutes, you don’t encounter tiny text you need to read again and the UI sucks for everyone. So looking at Farming Simulator 19 from a solely deaf accessibility perspective, the game is free of issues. The only sounds are those of woodland creatures and farm animals, tractors, and crashing noises every time I hit something due to bad driving. Deaf players aren’t getting an experience any different from hearing players, outside of the usual differences we experience in everything.

Farming Simulator 19 is perfectly playable and enjoyable for deaf and hoh players once you get past those painful few minutes at the start of the tutorial.