Railway Hero: Accessible Digital Math Game

Join the CyberSquad on a mission to repair the Super Railway after pieces of its track were stolen by the Villain Hacker. This game follows the CyberChase PBS TV series, an educational show that embeds math, problem-solving and spatial reasoning into the plot. The Railway Hero game is a "born accessible" game geared for students 6 - 8 year old. The game  with its customizable accessibility features is designed to teach children with cognitive and physical disabilities about STEM. Audio descriptions, simple keyboard commands and audio for students who are visually impaired, captioning for users who are deaf or hard of hearing and a variety of in-game learning supports for students with cognitive delays.

Link to the PBS website, Cyberchase Games page.

Game Play

Note: The web-based game can be played on any device. This review accessed the game on an iPad. On the iPad, VoiceOver is only used to navigate the PBS website and to select the Railway Hero game. Once the Railway Hero game opens, VoiceOver is not compatible; however, the game is fully described for users who are visually impaired and simple Bluetooth Keyboard commands work. 

Keyboard Commands

  • Tab: Move to next option
  • Shift+Tab: Move to previous option
  • Enter/Return: Select the option
  • Space: Launch 
  • R: Repeat last directions

Note: Listen to all the directions before moving on.

When the Railway Hero home screen is opened, turn VoiceOver off.  This page is an image and the play button is not accessible with a screen reader. Tap the Play button which is located at the bottom of the screen, almost in the right corner or press the Tab key three times to navigate to the Play button. Note: The first two times that you press the Tab key, there is no auditory or visual indication that anything is happening. On the third Tab key press, you will hear "Play". Then, select Play by pressing the Enter/Return key. This will load the story page. You can listen to the story or activate the Skip button. If you listen to the entire page, the game will automatically move to the next page, the Control page, where you can select your preferred accessibility options.

The image below resembles a control panel on the SuperRailway Car.

Screenshot of Railway Hero control page for accessibility options.

Tab through the controls and adjust the game to your personal preferences. Be sure to turn Audio Description on. Tab through all the settings; the last setting is the Play button. Select Play by pressing the Enter/Return key.

Listen to the instructions before selecting the first of 15 levels. You can chose to play each game as often as you would like or move forward sequentially through the levels. You must successfully complete each game before you can move to the next game.

Video demonstrates how to get started in the game and one game.

The second video demonstrates a simple problem-solving game, where the student has to use a simple additional to complete the game.

CyberChase Series

First aired on PBS Kids in 2002. There are currently 11 seasons of twenty 30-minute episodes.