Linux Games: my process of searching through games and contacting developers

This log will detail my search throughout Linux for accessible games, besides the audio game manager, and my reaching out to developers, and their responses. Hopefully, this will motivate me to keep going in the face of, undoubtedly, much failure.


Because I’m weird. I can’t just start with any old app category, oh no. ToDo managers? Pomodoro timers? Text editors? No, I choose to bang my head against games. And because I want new blind Linux users, when they join Linux, to have some games outside the Windows audio games, to play. Because it’s like... a sighted person coming to Linux and finding out that all there is to play is Windows games. And yeah there are a good many games made for Linux. So why not? Hopefully I can get at least one game made accessible, or find that one already is accessible. If I can do at least that, then that’s one more success story of the open source community actually giving a crap.

Testing the games

I test each game using the Orca screen reader, version 3.38.2. I run the Mate desktop (version 1.24.1) on Arch Linux. My PC has an Intel Core i7-6500U CPU at 2.50GHz and 8 GB of RAM and a Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] graphics card. At least, I think that’s the graphics card. 😊

Game list

I am getting the list of games from the Arch Linux Wiki. It’s separated into game genre headings, so that’s great. At a fellow Mastodon user’s suggestion, I’m going to go with casual games first.

Arch Wiki List of Games

So, from here, I’ll have the game category, then the games, their accessibility, and contact with the developer.

Casual Games

Aisleriot (version 3.22.12)

Upon starting the game, I hear “Klondike, drawing area.” The “Drawing area” is what the Screen Savers use as a “frame” to show the picture. But in this case, I assume a game has started, so this should be filled with cards. Whenever I press Tab, I hear “new game, button, start a new game”, and when pressing it, the drawing area stays the same, so that’s why I assume a game has already started.

When pressing Tab after the “new game” button, I’m placed back onto the drawing area. If I use the Right Arrow while on the “new game” button, I find the other buttons on what I assume is a toolbar: “Select game,” “Deal” and “hint”. If I press Enter on “select game,” I am able to choose another game type to play. Even so, the Drawing Area is still there. If I press the “Hint” button, I am given an accessible dialog with a hint on what to do next, like “Move the ten of hearts onto the ten of clubs.” I can dismiss the hint with the Enter key. If I press the “Deal” button, back in Klondike mode, nothing is reported, but two new buttons, “undo move” and “restart” appear.

When I press F10, to open the menu bar, that part is accessible. Pressing “New game,” “restart,” entering the “recent games” menu, and closing work, in that I can perform those functions. The statistics screen was much more accessible than I expected, with textual labels for each field, along with the number associated with them. There is also a button to reset the statistics, and one to close the window. None of the items in the “view” menu affect accessibility, although the removal of the “tool bar” hides the buttons “above” the drawing area. Nothing within the Controls menu affects accessibility, neither does anything in the Klondike menu. In the help menu, there are keyboard shortcuts, but none regarding accessibility.

In short, everything is accessible except the cards and ways of moving and controlling them. I don’t know much about Solitaire, but I do know there are supposed to be cards, and from the hints, they can be moved.

Gitlab Issue (HTTP)