Listen up: A game for both the sighted and blind to play together

Rarely seen in the video game world, a trio of students have developed a game that puts audio before visual.

A multitude of apps have emerged over the years that have been designed specifically to aid the visually impaired. There are apps that tell you where you’re going, what you’re taking a photo of, and even how much you’re spending, just so you know which bill to hand over to the cashier. But a New Zealand trio have landed on a world first by designing a game for not just the blind, but the sighted as well.

Developed by AUT PhD Student Jarek Beksa, AUT Computer Science Student Alex Garkavenko and programmer Jeong Su Jeon as part of the Lightning Lab Business Accelerator programme, the app is called Audio Game Hub and was launched earlier this year. It’s already been downloaded more than 4000 times on both Apple and Android devices, and the reviews are glowing.

Considering the overwhelmingly visual nature of games nowadays, the premise is an obvious step out of the box. But the binding aspect is simple: just use sound. Through a series of mini audio games, the app plays on arcade classics like Blocks (Bejeweld) and Slot Machines (Casino), using sound to apply an experimental twist.

Watch a demo of the game: