Game Over Gopher
Accessibility for educational games is a work in progress across the industry. We continually seek solutions to make our products fully accessible and we strive to adhere to established standards for accessibility and usability on each new project. Some of our older products may not be accessible in all areas, and have not been optimized for current accessibility recommendations. Here, we offer the content and approach of this game, so that learners are better able to find alternative content and ways of learning.
Content of the game
In Game Over Gopher, players learn how to place coordinate points on a graph by playing a defense-strategy game. Gophers come from their hole in the ground and start walking on a path to the prized carrot. The player has to select the proper ‘weapon’ to feed the gopher, so that the gopher gets full enough that it won’t eat the prized carrot. Each ‘weapon’ has different rules: some may have to be dragged to a specific point on the path; some may have to go to a specific place on the coordinate grid. During bonus rounds, the player has to find the location of a hidden chip by digging. The player puts in some sample coordinates, then views arrows provided by the system, showing that the location is, for example, up and to the right. The player then alters entered coordinates until they find the correct location.
- Approach & Input devices
- This game requires mouse or trackpad use, including precise clicking and dragging. Food launchers and mining machines must be dragged to specific points on the screen. Some actions (not all) are accessible via keyboard.
- Ambient noise is used and can be turned on/off via on-screen controls; however, the game can be completed without sound.
- Color blindness
- Color is not the only element used to distinguish different elements of this game, but some visual aspects of the game may be difficult to distinguish for colorblind players.
- Visual Aspects
- Zooming options are present during gameplay. The game depends heavily on visual graphics for gameplay. Font color, size, and type cannot be adjusted.
- Cognitive Aspects
- The game includes a practice mode for players to test skills without time-based pressure. Some parts of gameplay are time sensitive.
- This game is only playable on platforms that support Adobe Flash, which may no longer be supported by browsers beginning in 2020. It is not supported by mobile devices.
- This game is accessible in both English and Spanish.
- Fine Motor Skills
- This game doesn’t require quick and repeated button pressing, but does require some point-and-click precision. Many tasks are time sensitive.
- Letterboxed subtitles are present. Audio cues are accompanied by visual cues.