Innovative Audio Technology Creates a Profound Immersive World and Brings AAA Quality Narrative For A Unique Gameplay Experience
St. Catharines, Canada (August 19, 2021) — Falling Squirrel are thrilled to announce that their award-winning audio-only action-adventure game The Vale: Shadow of the Crown is now available on PC and Xbox One. Winner of the 2018 Ubisoft Indie Special Prize and the Reboot Develop Red 2019 Special Selection Prize, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown trades visuals for audio cues, creating a distinct take on action combat while also breaking down barriers for low-vision and blind gamers. Challenging battles, exciting quests, and AAA quality voice acting performances from dozens of acclaimed voice actors including Karen Knox (Starlink, Far Cry 5), Samer Salem (The Expanse, The Handmaid’s Tale), and Steve Cumyn (Far Cry 3, Versailles), make for a gaming experience unlike anything you have ever played!
Developed in close consultation with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), The Vale: Shadow of the Crown utilizes the latest in assistive technologies, including binaural audio and haptic controller feedback, to create an immersive experience and a thrilling action-adventure game. The team at Falling Squirrel is committed to their mandate to bring inclusive and accessible games to the mainstream — The Vale: Shadow of the Crown’s development features sincere and deliberate representation by employing visually impaired voice actors and developers.
“We’re thrilled to invite players to try out a unique and accessible take on the action-adventure genre,” said David Evans, Falling Squirrel Founder and Creative Director. “We hope that what we’ve learned during The Vale: Shadow of the Crown will prove that games in a variety of genres — from indie to AAA — can be made accessible to blind and low vision gamers so that they can enjoy the same exciting experiences as sighted players.”
In celebration of The Vale: Shadow of the Crown‘s launch, Falling Squirrel has released a new gameplay trailer. Watch and listen below:
In The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, players embark on the emotional journey of the Second-to-the-Throne — blind from birth and recently exiled to the edges of the kingdom upon the coronation of their elder brother as King of the Land. Through the ears of the hero, players must embark on a treacherous journey as they explore the world around them, fight off enemies in challenging, interactive combat, hunt for resources, acquire gear, and lose themselves in a rich narrative supported by top-tier voice acting.
- Accessible Gaming For All: Haptic controller feedback, binaural audio technology, and professional cinematic voice acting guides players through real-time combat, exploration, quests, and cut scenes, making this a gaming experience that is accessible to visually impaired and sighted players alike.
- Diverse Soundscape Environments: The bustle of busy villages, the gentle rustling of leaves through the trees in the forests, the eerie echoes of the unknown in dank caves — full 3-dimensional sound surrounds players from all sides as they adventure in over 20 diverse locations ripe for exploration.
- Immersive Medieval Combat: Players become engaged in the action in a way that is entirely refreshing as a diverse set of enemies attack with random and story-based encounters, boss battles, and more. Intuitive battle clamor guides players towards enemies as they attack and defend against their foes.
- Meaningful RPG Elements: Presented with a choice of combat styles, players will guide their fully-voiced hero and build their potential as they unlock upgradable magic paths, loot enemies, hunt animals for valuable items, and visit shops to purchase weapons and armor — each with unique sounds and stats.
- A Story for the Ages: With optional narrative paths including over 20 side quests and more than 70 audio cutscenes, players will uncover twists and surprises as they travel the land and speak with the many unique and fully voiced characters they encounter.
The Vale: Shadow of the Crown is now available on Windows PC via Steam, Epic Games, and itch.io, and Xbox One for $19.99 USD. Players who wish to learn more may visit the official webpage: https://www.fallingsquirrel.com/the-vale.
About Falling Squirrel
Falling Squirrel is an independent video game studio, service provider, and proud member of Niagara, Canada’s growing independent game development industry. As a studio, their commitment to creating compelling, Triple-A caliber story-driven game experiences for the visually impaired has spearheaded their goal of pioneering advances in narrative design and audio-based game mechanics. Their core team derives a passion for video games through their combined experience in Triple-A multi-platform game development and extensive background in Film and TV, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
Although The Vale: Shadow of the Crown is the first game developed by Falling Squirrel, the studio has contributed creative direction and narrative design to a wide range of interactive projects, such as Creative Byte Studios’ Embers of Mirrim and Phantom Compass’ Rollers of the Realm: Reunion. To find out more about Falling Squirrel, visit the official website, found here: https://www.fallingsquirrel.com.