Welcome to The Curb Game!

Life isn't really exciting when you're a hedge-hog living on a curb. But life is what you make of it! So get your quills moving because there's bound to be some excitement waiting in the place all hedge-hogs know as...The Other Curb!



In The Curb Game you are a small hedge-hog living on a city curb, which isn't really that exciting. So, as a hedge-hog, you get your thrills from crossing the road as many times possible! Not an easy task because you may either end up as roadkill or die from boredom if you stay on your curb.

The Curb Game is developed by AudioGames' Richard van Tol and Sander Huiberts (with support from Hugo Verweij). With this game we research the possibilities of designing a game fully based on sound (making it directly accessible for blind players) while it also features graphics (hybrid). This means that during the game you'll be able to turn off the graphics and continue to play on sound alone! In this, The Curb Game is unique!
We deliberately chose the subject "crossing the road" for this game because of several reasons. First, the tension of crossing the road while not being able to see the traffic is something most blind people have experienced in real life. It is this tension that we wanted to use in a game. The second reason is that we wanted to present seeing people (since we were making a hybrid game) with a situation blind people face everyday.
The Curb Game is also an attempt to increase the very limited amount of online (Shockwave) games for blind gamers.

screenshot of The Curb Game


Here's all the information on how to play The Curb Game. Please read it carefully to avoid problems:

Step 1 : Installation
To play The Curb Game you need to install the Macromedia Shockwave plugin. Click here to download the plugin if you do not have it installed already. The Curb Game works best when using Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher. The Curb Game adresses a voicesynthesizer to read the score. So in order to hear the score you must have a voice synthesizer on your computer! Such voicesynthesizers are automatically included with MacOSX and Windows XP. Windows 95/98 users can download the FREE Microsoft Speech API (speechsynthesizer) here. Screenreader-software like Jaws already contains a voicesynthesizer. Such installed software is sufficient to play The Curb Game (but you still need the Macromedia Shockwave plugin!).
It may be possible that you experience trouble with getting the game to start. If that is the case, please scroll to the bottom (or click this link) of this page to read an excellent how-to-get-the-curb-game-to-work-manual written by Paul Erkens!

Step 2 : Rules of the Game
In The Curb Game you have to cross the road over and over again in order to raise your Excitement Score (this is what hedge-hogs do all the time!). When you arrive at the other curb you'll hear your Excitement Score increase. But while you wait to cross the road again, your Excitement Score will decrease automatically. The longer you wait, the less your Excitement Score will be. You can hear your excitement score by pressing the spacebar (to use this option it is neccesary to have installed a speechsynthesizer on your system).
You cross the road using the arrowkey-up (to move forth) and arrowkey-down (to move back). So to get to the first curb for instance, you press the arrowkey-up. When you arrive at a curb you'll hear your Excitement Score increase. Now you have to press the arrowkey-down to move towards the first curb again!
Of course crossing the road wouldn't be exciting when it wasn't for the various vehicles trying to run you over! The vehicles come from the left or the right, all travelling at different speeds. When your Excitement Score increases, more and more different encounters will pass on the road.
Whenever you get hit by a vehicle the game is over. You will then hear your score (when you have an installed voicesynthesizer on your system). Your score is checked with the hi-score list on this website. If your score is high enough you will be asked to type in your name, after which your score is added to the hi-score list!

HINT : During the game seeing players can pull the chord at the top-left of the screen by clicking on it with the mousebutton. A screen will drop down so that seeing players can try to play the game using only their ears!

Step 3 : Play
Now you're ready to play The Curb Game!

Click here to play The Curb Game!

Hi scores

Ranking Name Score

The Curb Game has been played 329318 times in total. We estimate the number of times that Hedgy crossed the road to about 6586360 times...

The Curb Game Technical Help

This is a technical note was written by Paul Erkens for users of the Hal v5.0 or above screen reader. It concerns the problem of starting The Curb Game when pressing a key to start the game doesn't work. This note assumes you are not using the Webformator browser plugin to surf the web. It aims at users of Hal/Supernova version 5.0 or later who are experiencing trouble starting The Curb Game. If you are using JAWS, you will need to disable the virtual PC cursor, once the game window is open. If you are a Window Eyes user, you must turn off the MSAA mode, once the game window is open.

When you get to the link in step 3 that starts The Curb Game, you may hear the announcement of the game, asking you to press a key to start playing. If you're not in luck, the key you press will seem to be ignored and the intro will play over and over. Here's a possible solution:

When you start Internet Explorer, Hal or Supernova defaults to a mode referred to as "virtual focus mode". This special screen reading mode is only used while navigating internet pages and sometimes you may also notice Hal kicking into it while you read the text of an email message. The moment Hal/Supernova switches to virtual focus mode, your speech synthesizer, if any, will announce "virtual focus". In virtual focus (vf) mode, most keyboard commands will not work as you might intuitively expect. Vf mode is designed to aid you in linearly reading an internet page or email message, and therefore pressing cursor down will advance hal or supernova's virtual cursor one line down the page, instead of performing usual windows keyboard behavior. While vf mode is perfect for navigating internet pages, it gets in your way if you want to send a keystroke to your browser or one of your browser's plugins. the Macromedia plugin must be able to receive your keystrokes, rather than Hal intercepting and interpreting them as vf mode commands.

To play The Curb Game and "press a key" when you are asked to, you must therefore first tell hal or supernova to revert to the normal, live focus mode. In this mode, the keystrokes you press will not be intercepted by hal so that the Macromedia plugin can receive them. To turn off virtual focus while you have an internet page displayed in front of you, use numpad minus (-).

Now, pressing a key will indeed start The Curb Game. If you are tired of it, simply close down Internet Explorer so that the game exits. The next time you open Internet Explorer, virtual focus mode will kick in as usual and everything will be like it was before. All you did was turn off vf mode during the one internet session to play the curb game.

Note: Numpad minus is a simple toggle, i.e. if you press numpad minus while you are in vf mode, hal or supernova will return to live focus mode. Then if you hit numpad minus again, hal returns back into virtual focus mode.

Hal / supernova can be downloaded as demo products at www.dolphinuk.co.uk


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