Blind / Low Vision Game Review – Roller Champions Alpha

Roller Champions is a team based game with intense action and roller skating. This is our Blind / Low Vision review of the Alpha.
Game Accessibility Nexus

Introduction

Roller Champions is a team-based game where the objective is to complete a lap in possession of the ball, and score a goal.

Settings

Roller Champions has no option that has any effect on improving vision in the game. It only has common settings such as Resolution, Screen Mode and Volume sliders.

The gamepad control scheme for Xbox control.

The main menu is very simple. Pressing to play, invite friends or browse options is very intuitive and simple to use. It has a simple interface and large text I can read using the magnifier. I couldn’t see the controls because I was playing with a controller and every time I moved the mouse to use the magnifier the gamepad scheme would change and show the keyboard controls instead. As always it would be good to have narrated menus.

The gameplay is simple to understand too. Accelerate, brake, dodge, pass the ball and hold a button to aim and score goals.

A team of three players and the ball on the floor well ahead of them signaled by fucsia round lines.

During some matches, I had a hard time understanding who my team members were. This is a common problem in team games. There is usually one color per team, orange and blue but I haven’t been able to make use of this information because the indicators on top of the players aren’t big enough and don’t have enough contrast. I understand the difficulty of having a color scheme that has good contrast with the different stadium backgrounds, but black outlines for bright/daytime arenas and white for dark/nighttime ones would help.

This has a very negative impact during a match in various situations. When I’m trying to protect a team member who is in possession of the ball I try to run over everything that moves because I can’t distinguish who is who. To use the Team action I always do it by trial and error. Sometimes I try to grab a teammate and the opponent hits me. When I have possession of the ball I never know who is approaching me and I end up losing the ball quickly.

Two players side by side, one of them has the ball and this is indicated with round lines of the team color, orange in this case.

I also had difficulties in knowing who is in possession of the ball, I have no indication that the opposing team has the ball but I managed to find an alternative solution. When my team has the ball and I press the button to request the ball, my player asks by raising his arm and when the opponent has possession my player does nothing.

White arrows form a line showing the ball trajectory when aiming to score.

One of the best visual cues is the arrows shown when we are aiming. I was able to score a few goals when I could see the goal properly.

Audio cues often don’t help much. When we are trying to complete a lap of the circuit both our team and the opposing team make the same sound when passing through the checkpoint lines. It would be very useful if each team had a different tone. This would help a lot to understand who is completing the lap. I would also like the announcer to provide more information during matches with tips like “The opponent intercepts the ball” or “Your team has the ball”. I like the sound cue telling me that a teammate is asking for a pass.

I was not able to communicate with my team at all. There is no text or voice chat at least in this Alpha. The social interaction animations don’t help because I can’t see them. Also when my teammates leave the game for some reason I don’t notice as the only notification is apparently a text in the top left of the screen, without any sound.

Final Thoughts

Roller Champions is easy to play but difficult to navigate. It has common barriers such as team differentiation, the lack of sound distinction for each team and a certain level of low contrast in visual cues as to when teammates are asking for a pass and even the goal could be more prominent. An option to add colored outlines around the players would be great. I feel like seeing the ball was never a problem because of the big circle around it. The vibrant colors and good contrast on the floor help a lot to see the track and when we have to turn, but the same doesn’t apply to the visual cues especially in the daytime when they lose most of their contrast. It’s a fun game that would be really enjoyable if these problems were addressed so low vision gamers’ experience wasn’t limited by so many barriers.

Blind / Low Vision Game Review - Roller Champions Alpha

Overall Score - 3.9

3.9