Accessibility First Look: Zombie Solitaire

Hello Ability Powered gamers!  This week we are looking at a fun solitaire game I picked up during one of the infamous steam sales.  It is called Zombie Solitaire.  In Zombie Solitaire people are transformed into zombies after eating tofu burgers.  Lucky for you, your dad left you a map and instructions on how to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Once you find the map you play solitaire to kill zombies.

 

The game starts in full screen mode but can easily be changed to windowed mode before having to enter your name.  There aren’t many options in place for the game but in my opinion not that many are needed due to the nature of the game.  The only real sounds so far have been things like coins falling and zombies growling.  All story line and tutorial information have all been presented in text form.  For colorblind gamers there are no colorblind options in the menu, however so far none of the game play has required for it to be color coded.  Since it’s solitaire you will be playing with a deck of cards which is clearly marked by suits.  So far each power up as had a different logo and not just a color.

 

For  mouse only gamers this game has been rather relaxing.  It is not timed so fatigue should not be a problem.  To choose the cards you want to play, just click on the card.  There is so dragging and dropping required and you only use your left mouse button.  For keyboard only gamers I did try to cycle through the cards with my onscreen keyboard but that did not seem to be an option.  This game looks to be point and click.

 

As far as being fun, I really enjoyed the game and fighting my way through a zombie apocalypse with a deck of cards.  This is definitely one of those games to pick up to waste time with while waiting on raid invites or just when you have a little free time.  But don’t take my word for it, it’s called Zombie Solitaire and it’s available on steam.  Do you already have this game?  If so tell us how far you made it in the comments below.  Be sure it to leave any questions you have about the game there also!

Button Remapping coming to PS4?

 

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Hello Ability Powered gamers!  This week there was a information leak from beta testers in Sony Playstation’s beta program about an upcoming firmware update Sony is planning to launch in the near future.  The most exciting information coming from this leak is about an accessibility feature which would allow console gamers to fully remap the Sony PlayStation controller.  While Sony is not commenting on if this leak is true or not, it would be a huge advantage to disabled gamers who need this feature to make console games easier to play.  It would also be a huge win for Sony since it would let gamers remap buttons universally and not reliant on a game by game basis.  While many sources have  tried to contact Sony, the only confirmation I have seen is that there is a firmware update coming soon.

 

apgwheelchairgifWe can only hope that these leaks are true and button remapping will be coming soon for Sony PlayStation 4 console gamers.  But don’t take my word for it! Keep an eye out for more news about Sony’s update.  Would the button remap option make your console experience better?  If so leave a comment below!

New Wow Token Will Allow Real Life and In Game Currency Exchanges

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Hello Ability Powered gamers!  Today Blizzard announced the introduction of a new way to trade in game currency for game time and vice versa.  It’s called a WoW token.  If you would like to sell game time for gold you can buy a token from the in game store and list it in a special section of the auction house for a set price depending on the market value which will change due to supply and demand.  There will be no listing price or auction house cut.  If you would like to buy game time you just by the token off the auction house and it will appear in your bag.  The tokens can only be traded via the auction house to ensure a safe transaction.

The possibilities of this system are huge!  Citizens of Azeroth now have a safe way to get extra gold for real world many without using third party sites which often stem from hacked accounts.  This would be great for gamers who need extra currency but have little time to farm gold and due to real life responsibilities.  It’s also a great way to get gold on a realm you may be new to.  This will also be a way for members of the community to help someone out if they are in need of game time because of real life hardships that seem to come up from time to time.  While you cannot trade to tokens, you could give a friend some gold to buy the game time if needed.

This is also great news for anyone on a fixed income.  Now you will have an option to play the game you love without it being a burden on your monthly expenses.  Between playing the auction house, farming old content, questing and making the most out of your professions, you can now earn enough gold to purchase a token for a month of game time.

apgwheelchairgifI think it’s a great addition no matter which side of the transaction you are on.  Whether you just need a little gold boost with real life money or if you need pay for your game with in game currency this will provide a very safe way to do it!  But don’t take my word for it, check out Blizzard’s WoW Token F.A.Q.  about this feature coming to a future patch.  What do you guys think about the new WoW token?  Do you think you will use it?  If so, in what way?  Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!

Sesame Enabled Touch Free Smartphone Funded

Sesame_logoHello Ability Powered gamers!  Do you have limited movement in your hands and arms?  Do you wish smartphones were smart enough to not need to be touched all the time?  Then this story is for you.

There’s a new smartphone coming soon from Sesame Enable founders Giora Livne, a quadriplegic, and Oded Ben Dov, an app and game developer.  Thanks to funding from a campaign on indiegogo, Sesame Enable has the funds to continue development of a smartphone that is changing the lives of disabled people who have previously been unable to operate their phone.  The two founders created software that can be used on the android platform and is currently being operated on the Google Nexus 5.

The software, called Sesame, uses the phone’s camera to allow users to control a cursor using voice commands and slight head movements.  The software added lets users send text messages and emails, make phone calls, download apps, and play some games such as angry birds.

Their website sesameenable.com has videos showing how easy it is to use the phone right out of the box.  Simply saying “open sesame” powers up the phone allowing users to begin using sesame software with only minor movements of their head.  With users able to control apps hands free, the possibilities are endless.  There are apps already available in smart homes for controlling TV, air conditioning, Ect and now people with disabilities can access them without the need to touch their phone.  This is huge for people with a long list of varying disabilities including spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, and many others.

apgwheelchairgifPersonally I’m really excited to see this technology becoming available and hope to see it on the market quickly.  With so many game developers making mobile games, I’m excited to try out a whole new genre of games.  But don’t take my word for it, check out the links below two learn more about sesame enabled and their touch free smartphone and let us know what you think!

Sesame-Enable.com

Indiegogo Campaign

IRL Shortcut: Protect Your Straws

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Hello Ability Powered Gamers!  Disability confession: I have to drink using a straw.  For those of you who need straws also, you’ll understand fully the perils I am about to discuss.  Everyone else sit back and listen to a tale…  A tale of untimely demise!


If you need straws, they are something you’d never leave home without.  You run to town, get thirsty, see a Coke machine (I’m from Tennessee, everything here is referred to as a Coke), and drop your money into it.  The machine just gave you cold refreshing drink…  But no straw.


Now say you can’t lift this drink, you have two choices…  You can either wait until you get home to put a straw in it, which if you’re thirsty defeats the point in buying it, or ask someone to tilt your head back and slowly pour some into your mouth.  If you choose the latter, be very careful or it could turn into soda water boarding in the blink of an eye!  Coincidentally that is precisely why I now never leave home without my straws.


The water boarding however is not the untimely demise I spoke of earlier.  That comes to our poor friends the straws once they start traveling.  Guys, meet the wheelchair backpack… A.K.A straw graveyard.

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At first I started buying straws in an plastic bag.  At the time I was in school. The bag would go into a backpack nice and neat, my textbooks would go into and out of my backpack all day, and before I knew it the poor package of straws would come out looking like this:

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The top would be completely ripped across, straws would be bent and mangled…  It was pretty terrifying!  So I thought “Hey!  I bet a box would be a lot more sturdy!” So I switched to buying the boxes of straws instead.  Again what came out was pretty horrifying.

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That’s right friends, the poor box met its untimely demise also.  It was squished!  Not only that but the top and bottom were busted open.

I’m out of school now and the days of textbooks are long gone but the backpack has never been kind to our hero the straw.  Boxes to this day still meet uncertain death anytime they enter the backpack.  Later, you clean out the backup and always get this pile of remains. *plays Taps*

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One day I was mourning the loss of another handful of mangled straws when I decided the backpack would no longer be the bane up of our friend the straw.  I needed a way to protect them not only in my backpack but in my purse.  Something that was small enough to be convenient but big enough to last all day.  And then it hit me!  The solution is in the travel section of your local Wal-Mart or Target store!  So friends, are you ready to save a small fortune by protecting your straws?  I thought so.

Here’s what you do.  Go to your local department store, Wal-Mart or Target or any store that has a section for travel supplies.  Ignore all those little bottles of soap and lotion that are so cute you think really need to buy one and focus on the end of the aisle with the plastic bottles and boxes.  Now there should be this nifty little tube.

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Now I know what you’re thinking, but this is not a toothbrush holder for your upcoming vacation.  This, my friends, is the solution to all the straw problems we talked about!  That’s right, protection for your straws.

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These toothbrush holders come in a variety of colors.  They slide open easily yet are secure enough that I have never had one come open in my bag on its own.  Now straws come in different sizes so I make no promises on exactly how many your straw holder will hold but if you use the average gauge straws such as the Brands shown in these pictures you should be able to fill up the tube with around 10 straws.  Depending on how thirsty you are and how long your day is, this should be enough to last you all day.  The best part of all is your straws will not be mashed and mangled in the bottom of your backpack.

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apgwheelchairgifSo now you guys know the secret.  Be a responsible straw owner and protect them from the dark depths of a your wheelchair backpacks or purses.  Putting your straws in a toothbrush holder saves them from being mashed, mangled or meeting their untimely demises!  But don’t take my word for it, get you a toothbrush holder to day and let me know how it works for you!

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