Over the past week, I’ve been trying to play through a bunch of recently released indie games, looking for interesting titles to talk about, and a game called Revita really caught my eye.
The game is a side-scrolling twin stick shooter roguelike, in which players try to defeat waves of enemies with gunfire, while using their own health as a resource traded for better weapons and upgrades.
While the game itself is really interesting, it also has a really robust set of accessibility features on offer that reminded me most closely of challenging indie platformer Celeste.
So today, on Access-Ability, we’re going to talk about Revita. We’re going to discuss how the game creates its level of challenge, what accessibility options the game contains, and how they work together to provide a customisable gameplay experience.
Let’s start off this video by discussing in general terms how Revita plays, outside of the game’s accessibility settings.
In Revita, you play a young non binary character with memory loss, fighting their way through a series of ever more dangerous environments. The left analogue stick moves your character around, the right stick aims a reticle, R2 fires bullets, L1 is mapped to jump, and L2 is a dash.
As you progress through runs, you’ll have opportunities to gain new items or upgrades, which can be paid for by offering up amounts of health. The more damage you agree to take, the better the item or weapon you will be offered, with the ability to see what you will receive before committing to the trade. At later points in the game, you can trade permanent heart containers for upgrades to those existing power ups that make them more effective.
By defeating enemies, players build up a meter which can be spent to recover health, and if spent when your health is full will generate portions of new heart containers, building your maximum health value.
So, what accessibility settings does Revita contain?
Well, on each boot of the game, before the main menu, players are given a content warning that the plot deals with specific heavy themes, including mental health issues, grief, loss and suicide. No further information is given on specifics for these warnings, and there is no option to receive warnings prior to those events showing up in the plot.
One unfortunate downside to this game’s setup is that D-Pad controls are not supported for navigating in game menu options, only analogue stick controls.
If you navigate to settings, you’ll find the game has its own dedicated accessibility settings menu, although unfortunately some accessibility settings are not found there, and we will get back to those a little later in the video.
So, in the accessibility settings menu, one of the most notable options is the ability to change the speed of the game, either up to double speed, or down to half speed, in 10% increments. This is super useful for players like myself who sometimes struggle with reacting at full speed to on screen challenges, and need just a moment longer to get their brain and hands in sync during tricky combat segments.
Players can also tweak the size of the relic HUD, the size of their aiming cursor, the level of camera zoom so that you can see more of each room at once, turn off bright flashing effects, turn on a coloured outline around the player character in custom colours, outline enemies in custom colours, turn button mashing and holding prompts off, customise enemy damage to half its usual amount, darken background elements for greater contrast, turn off foreground elements, and change the game’s default pixel font to an easier to read “HD font”.
The game also allows several degrees of aim assist, which at its maximum setting will allow you to flick your stick in roughly the right direction, to have your character essentially auto target a given enemy, while they are in range of your shots.
Outside of the dedicated accessibility settings menu, the game offers sliders to alter screen shake and vibration levels, the ability to turn off potentially distracting elements such as damage numbers and bullet trails, and the ability to remap the game’s controls, although the first time you visit the menu the game will attempt to discourage you from using it, as they want you to play with the “intended experience”.
While you have the option to remap specific control functions, and turn on or off certain additional control tweaks, one of the more interesting aspects of the game is the addition of a one stick control preset, which remaps the game’s controls to all fit on a single JoyCon on Switch, which is really nice to see.
Having put a few hours into Revita now, I am really enjoying the game, and am pretty pleased with the way the game handles its accessibility settings support. It’s a shame some accessibility settings are not in the accessibility menu, but when that’s the worst thing I can say about a game, it has done a pretty good job of accessibility.