I misjudged Portal Knights after my first few minutes playing it yesterday. It seemed to be a Dragon Quest Builders clone that was way late to the party. And it is very similar to Dragon Quest Builders, but it’s a lot more than that as well, and if you’re a fan of building things ala Minecraft (which I still don’t quite understand) then you’ll really enjoy this one.
You have your major RPG classes to choose from when creating your character and a fair amount of options in creating the look of your character for such a cartooney game (any game that lets me make a bald lady is a winner in my book!) You’ve got your basics of armor and weapon crafting and harvesting resources to do so, you get to explore worlds that are different for every player, you fight some monsters, and you build stuff. Lots of stuff. AND you can replant anything you harvest, so you don’t suffer from deforestation as I did in my first attempt.
And it’s got great accessibility!
First and most importantly, while there’s not a whole ton of dialogue, what there is, is captioned and very easy to read.
Even the text that displays on non-contrasting backgrounds is clear because of the size of the text (take a lesson, every other game ever).
The visual cues are great too. Items you can interact with or destroy have a yellow shimmer to them, and if you can further interact with them, there’s also the appropriate button indicated.
Building controls are a little finicky, it’s a bit hard to get your blocks exactly where you want them when building above your head, but the indicator for where the block will go is obvious. Tutorial messages displayed for your first time through your first world are as clear and easy to read as the captions, and areas you can explore (like mines and dungeons) are indicated with a glowing orb above them that changes colors based on whether you’ve completed the area or not. This is nice, but the one missing feature I’d appreciate is a local map once you’ve discovered a world, so you don’t spend 10 minutes running around the place trying to find where you built your workbench.
The thing I really like about this game is that everything that should be easy (save for building on occasion) IS easy. Planting stuff is easy, knowing when it’s time to harvest it is easy, crafting things is easy. I appreciate that it leaves the challenge for the monsters and lets you just enjoy the non-fighting parts of the game.
And about the monsters… They’re labeled too and have a very handy lock on feature. Their level, type, and health are clearly indicated, as is your own, so you know when you need to make a break for it so you don’t die.
My favorite thing about Portal Knights is the unique worlds. I made three characters (have to have one of each class, you know) and three different worlds, and while the characteristics of each world are similar, they’re still unique with different things in different places. It makes for a fun, mostly easy way to just enjoy a cute game.
505 Games did a great job with this one. It’s perfectly accessible for deaf and hoh players and that accessibility is just a part of the game. You don’t have to change any settings to make it so, which is a refreshing change. Portal Knights is a fun game and while it has many similarities to others, it’s still got a unique feel to it that makes it interesting and kept me wanting to explore more. Well worth your $30.
Great accessibility that doesn't feel like an afterthought in the least.
Helpful visual cues.
No minimap makes it a little too easy to lose track of yourself.