Upcoming indie game Harmonium: The Musical looks to champion accessibility in new ways

Child singing
(Image credit: The Old Gentlemen)

The new indie game Harmonium: The Musical was just announced at The Game Awards 2023, and it looks to champion beautiful and meaningful stories.

The upcoming indie game saw the developers, The Odd Gentlemen, work closely with artists and developers from the deaf community in hopes of creating a new kind of music-focused game. 

The new trailer showcased at The Game Awards 2023 showcases various characters, some with hearing aids, signing to one another. The story seems to follow a young girl who is hard of hearing, exploring how to best explore her love for music. At one point, after pouring glitter on her drumset, she explains how her music may not "fit on the page." The trailer goes on to claim that Harmonium: The Musical will be "an accessible musical journey.

"When Melody's notes leap off the page, she is pulled into a musical and visual wonderland called Harmonium. To make it home in time for her big show, Melody has to face Cacophony, an all-consuming force that can only be defeated with a masterpiece symphony. 

"In a world where all music is visualized, players explore the wonders of Harmonium through innovative gameplay mechanics and narrative puzzles that incorporate American Sign Language and allow the player to communicate through body language, handshapes, and gestures."

While there is no release date currently set for this indie game, it is set to come to Netflix Games and Xbox Game Pass

In recent years, we've seen the video game industry slowly champion accessibility more and more. While AAA studios like PlayStation have done good work extending accessibility, especially in titles like The Last of Us and God of War Ragnarok, we've seen some of the best work done in indie titles. 

However, it is wonderful to finally see a game champion accessibility in not just its settings. Harmonium: The Musical looks like it will have inclusivity and accessibility sown into its soul. The passion for music and joyful stories seeps through the short trailer, and we can't wait to see more.

For more excellent games that may be hard to come by, check out the best indie games and best indie horror games available to play right now.

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.