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
Pearl Diver is a game designed to help students conceptualize how positive and negative numbers are distributed on a number line. The diver must reach the correct depths, noted as spots on the number line, to retrieve pearls hidden in clamshells. After the completion of each level, the player is given a bonus minigame and is challenged to use fraction skills to gain extra points. While attempting to gather hidden pearls, the player must avoid touching electric eels that randomly spawn. Additionally, each level has a time limit and the player is further challenged to retrieve the pearls before time expires.
Gameplay on the computer version is controlled by mouse or trackpad. Gameplay on mobile devices and tablets is controlled by tapping and dragging the screen. Pearl Diver is extremely reliant upon precision and may not be suitable for players with fine motor issues or eye hand coordination difficulties. Unfortunately, Pearl Diver does not possess a practice mode to allow players to familiarize themselves with the game’s controls, nor does it feature an option allowing players to remap keys.
This game is reliant on visual graphics and may not be accessible to visually impaired players. Some key elements of the game are identified by red and green; however, colorblind options are present. Subtitles are present, are letterboxed, and are easy to read. The font color, type, and size cannot be adjusted on this interactive game. The game menu is easy to see, read, and use. Subtitles identify the speaker, and audio cues are accompanied by visual cues. Ambient noise is used; however, the game can be completed without sound. On desktops and laptops, this game is only playable on platforms that support Adobe Flash, which may no longer be supported by browsers beginning in 2020. However, Pearl Diver is available at the Apple App Store for iOS tablets and mobile devices, making Pearl Diver accessible even without Adobe Flash Player. Pearl Diver is accessible in both English and Spanish.