Deaf Game Review – Ring Fit Adventure

Before we get into the review (and there's not much of one, really) we need to take a moment to appreciate the game Nintendo has given us. What we have here is a fantasy game with magical creatures and magical powers and characters wearing athletic wear that in no way ties into the narrative or lore. And Nintendo doesn't even care. They just put everybody in a leotard and plopped you into a world of fantasy and magic, wearing your athletic wear. It's an odd choice but I like it. Who needs narratively appropriate clothing anyway? NOT ME. With that…
A nicely accessible and novel game that Deaf/hoh players should not find any barriers in.

Ring Fit Adventure Deaf Accessibility

Visual Representation of Dialogue - 8
Visual Cues - 10
Controller Vibration - 9
Visually Engaging - 10

9.3

A nicely accessible and novel game that Deaf/hoh players should not find any barriers in.

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Boss against a purple sky flexing his muscles, wearing a leotard.

Before we get into the review (and there’s not much of one, really) we need to take a moment to appreciate the game Nintendo has given us. What we have here is a fantasy game with magical creatures and magical powers and characters wearing athletic wear that in no way ties into the narrative or lore. And Nintendo doesn’t even care. They just put everybody in a leotard and plopped you into a world of fantasy and magic, wearing your athletic wear. It’s an odd choice but I like it. Who needs narratively appropriate clothing anyway? NOT ME.

With that out of the way, on with the review.

It’s worth noting that I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to put the leg strap on my leg because I like to go into games prepared to start then, only to find that there’s a whole thing upon launching Ring Fit Adventure for the first time that walks you through it all.

Setup screen telling players to "press in and start."

I also spent a long time trying to figure out what exactly “in” meant. When I finally surmised that “in” meant push on the big ring, well, I dislocated my shoulder (don’t worry, it happens fairly easily to me) because I under estimated the force required to press “in” and failed to properly flex my muscles in such a way that would support my shoulder and keep it in place.

Instructions for putting on the leg strap.

Shoulder back in place, “In” understood, and leg strap in place. I was ready! The good news for everyone is that while I couldn’t (and still can’t) figure out how to get to an options menu, the instructional and dialogue text are nice and big. And as with most Nintendo games, the spoken dialogue is minimal, so all text is well done because everyone needs it.

In-game scene illustrating the large size of the dialogue text.

The image above is how all dialogue text is displayed. There’s a photo of the speaker and it’s always within a dialogue box. What you see above; the path running ahead of the character, is pretty much the entire game, which means there’s no need for too many visual cues because there’s not much in the way of audio cues, as there’s nothing in the game that’s not within your line of vision. All vital information, such as time spent, your level progress, and your HP, are displayed largely on screen. Even in the required ring, vibration for many sounds is well done and helpful in communicating a variety of sound levels.

And that’s about all there is to it! It’s a rather simple game in terms of Deaf/hoh accessibility and the standard required things like subtitles are all nicely sized and legible.

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Co-founder and EIC of Can I Play That?, captioner of many things, occasional writer of fiction. Any pronouns. courtney@caniplaythat.com

Courtney Craven

Co-founder and EIC of Can I Play That?, captioner of many things, occasional writer of fiction. Any pronouns. courtney@caniplaythat.com