When Hank Krang wins a talking time machine in a game of poker, he knows exactly what he’s going to do with it. Study long-lost cultures and societies? Of course not! He’s going to steal the Holy Grail.
Grail to the Thief, a new game by For All To Play, is an interactive audio adventure starring Hank and TEDI (Time Excursion Digital Interface) as they solve puzzles and wander through medieval England. It takes inspiration from BBC radio dramas and the 1981 movie “Time Bandits,” and it has the potential to be something very cool. Especially because it’s designed for players who are visually impaired.
One problem: Grail to the Thief is currently still in the Kickstarter phase. They’ve got one week left to raise the remaining 35% of their goal.
Audio games for accessibility seem like a no-brainer. They’re cheap to make (For All To Play is only shooting for $8,000), they’re easy to produce, and they’re entertaining for both seeing and visually impaired gamers. While there are some options out there for blind gamers, there aren’t many. As For All To Play explained, “many of the [accessible] games that are available are severely dated, lack the quality and polish of games for the sighted, and rely on synthesized computer voices.” This leaves a huge number of potential gamers cut out of the market. It’s demoralizing.
Grail to the Thief will have many elements of classic dungeon crawlers and choose-your-own-adventure novels, but with quality voice acting and sound effects to make the experience more real.
The demo of the game (you’ll need Chrome to play it), while a little silly, still had me wishing for more by the end. In addition to being a great option for visually impaired gamers (or for relatives of the visually impaired), Grail to the Thief’s simple text accompaniment strikes me as a great resource for kids who need a little extra reading practice. A text-heavy game may be an exciting alternative for students who don’t have the attention span for traditional books.
While I cannot review Grail to the Thief for age appropriateness just yet, the demo version is quite family-friendly. I would have loved its Monty-Python-esque style of humor as a kid. True, I am disappointed by the lack of female voices (so far). However, if the Kickstarter raises enough money, For All To Play has stated that it would create the option for a playable female character.
Even if a comedic romp through medieval England isn’t up your alley, this project is important. There are simply not enough options for visually impaired gamers. I want to see more of these games, and the best way to do that is to encourage those who are trying now.
For more information on For All To Play, check out their website by clicking here.