The Last Door is a free to play point-and-click episodic horror adventure game made by Indie developers, The Game Kitchen, based in Spain. The first episode, The Letter, is now available and the second is on its way in May this year. “AccessAble Games, a branch of The Game Kitchen working to make games more accessible for disabled people” collaborated on the title that has full closed captioning, the option to use OpenDyslexic font and many other accessible and inclusive features.
The project was successfully funded through a Kickstarter campaign and backers receive early access to each episode. Those who enjoy the game and would like early access, can still make a contribution to receive early access well. In addition, “if your donation is a bit more generous, you can get perks like unlocking all future content, the game soundtrack, and even a guest appearance in the Hall of Fame.”
Reasons to play it
Set in the late 19th Century, the a traditional point-and-click horror adventure squarely focused on raising questions and not providing many answers. Its pixelated style is basic but superbly done and combined with the audio and original instrumental soundtrack, delivers an appealing adventure. The puzzles are easy and the language a bit clumsy, but it has charm and intrigue mixed with a dash of horror that creates just the right atmosphere.
Room for improvement
The pace is very slow and with a lot of inevitable back tracking through rooms to find clues that you have missed, the story drags a little. Be prepared for a lot of walking and searching.
The Last Door is very accessible if you have photophobia, motion sickness, blurred vision, visual loss or a colour vision deficiency. It has almost no flicker, flash or other bright visual effects and there are no motion sickness triggers. The menu system and user interface is well designed with large text and large interactive objects set against a high contrast background. In-game elements are easy to discern thanks to the help of the large reticule that changes depending on what you mouse over. There is no reliance on colour alone.
It is a text-based adventure with no audio option for dialogue or text.
Full closed captions are available, press 2 in-game to toggle them on or off. Audio cues are vital, but with closed captioning, there is always a visual component. For those with tinnitus or a mild to moderate hearing impairment, audio is clear and easy to follow with no excessive background noise. It would have been helpful if volume could be adjusted separately for sound effects and music. The Last Door is very accessible and can easily be played without sound.
The Last Door: The Letter is very accessible for anyone with a physical impairment. It does not need quick reflexes or instant reactions and there are no quick time events. A low level of precision is needed to control the mouse cursor and click on objects, but you do need to be able to use a mouse with some reliability.
The game automatically pauses whenever you leave the game tab and autosaves progress on exit when you play as a registered user.
The controls are simplistic, consisting out of controlling the mouse cursor (pointing) and clicking on interactive objects with two keyboard keys to toggle the two key accessibility features. It is a mouse-only game with no keyboard control option, ideal for one handed gamers but less so for those who cannot use a mouse. It is a PC browser-based game and a GlovePIE script could be used to add additional controls yourself if needed.
The Last Door is reasonably accessible for anyone with cognitive issues. The language used is primary school level and provided as text only. Text is in an easy to read font, with the option to switch to OpenDyslexic font and can be read at own pace with a mouse click activating the next part. Writing is not required at any point.
It does not rely much on memory, other than a basic requirement for navigation in a house with a small number of rooms and remembering where the puzzle points are. I think it would make a great rehabilitation game for those wanting to improve their memory. There is no numbers or math in the game.
The game menu, mechanics, plot and game controls are easy to master and although no tutorial is available, part of the game’s mechanic is to figure out what to do next. It is a single player game and there is no complex social interaction required at any point.
- Press 1 to toggle OpenDyslexic font
- Press 2 to toggle closed captions
The Last Door: The Letter is a charming introduction to an interactive web series that holds a lot of promise. It is easy to play and even easier to enjoy and I really look forward to the next instalment. It is a very accessible game and it is obvious that the developer team have put a lot of effort into making it broadly accessible to many with varying types and levels of disability. I would highly recommend heading over to the site and trying the free playable prologue.
[stars rating=”4″ type=”Game”] Product: The Last Door | Developer: The Game Kitchen | Platform: Web, Flash only | Genre: Point-and-click Adventure | Players: 1 | Release Date: 2013 | Content Rating: not rated, but clearly aimed at a mature audience