10 games with voice commands

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The gaming industry is always coming up with exciting new ways to play games. Rather than simply relying on thumb and finger dexterity and speed of reflexes, more and more games are starting to put another factor into play – the human voice.

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Speech recognition in games can take two main forms – either by recognizing any sound that goes through your microphone or by interpreting players’ speech patterns into specific words or phrases to control an element of the game. Particularly exhilarating or terrifying gameplay – from barking commands to your troops in battle, or having to remain completely silent to hide from monsters in a horror game like Alien: Isolation.


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In Verbis Virtus

Screenshot of Verbis Virtus gameplay

This action-adventure allows players to unleash their inner Harry Potter. In this world of magic, players must use their voices to cast spells, solve puzzles, and escape horrific demons in dungeons. Fans of the wizard boy and anyone who plays a mage in Dungeons & Dragons, this one is for you.

This 2015 indie game was built entirely in the Unity engine and plays the same as the first person view of The Elder Scrolls series. The characters in the game appear to come straight from a World of Warcraft expansion, but with a mix of dark horror and Lovecraftian whimsicality.

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One-handed applause

One Handed Applause gameplay screenshot

This sore throat-inducing 2D platformer requires players to vocalize – whether singing, humming, shouting or shouting – into their microphone to move and jump through the levels. There are also rhythmic elements in the game which means players have to clap or even beatbox to overcome the silence and come out victorious.

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Gamers don’t need a complex setup or even any kind of vocal talent to play – just a microphone and a sense of rhythm to play. Released in Early Access in June 2021 for PC and consoles, this lovely indie game received rave reviews and critical acclaim, receiving numerous international awards when it was first announced in 2018.

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The End of Tom Clancy’s War

Screenshot of Tom Clancy's Endwar game menu

This retro tactical RTS game from the Tom Clancy franchise was first released in 2008 for Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, PSP, and Xbox 360, before finally being released for Windows in 2009. Players use their voices to command their armies and control their units across the combat zone, a revolutionary step for RTS games of the time.

The microphones could also be used for chatting via online play for multiplayer co-op. However, as the fan base moved to newer and more advanced multiplayer, the game removed support for co-op multiplayer in 2018.

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Hi you, Pikachu!

Hey You Pikachu gameplay screenshot from Pikcachu

Before the likes of Nintendogs for the Nintendo DS, there was Hey You, Pikachu! This Pokemon derivative game for Nintendo 64 was released in Japan in 1998, before being released in North America a few years later in November 2000.

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Players used the N64 hardware accessory known as a Voice Recognition Unit (VRU) to communicate with Pikachu and also guide the main character through the game world to collect items.. The game received a fairly mixed reception from gamers, scoring 57% on Metacritic after launch.

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Binary domain

Binary domain gameplay screenshot

One of the more modern entries on this list, Binary Domain is a third-person shooter game released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows in 2012. Inspired by earlier games like SOCOM, players use their voices to say simple sentences to command their comrades in combat, such as the typical “cover me” and “shoot” commands..

While this is one of the newer games to use full speech recognition controls, it has by no means been a success. Review sites and online forums like Reddit are full of criticism for the janky speech recognition system, which at times would misinterpret or even listen to player commands.

5
Odama

Odama Promotional Art

This unique game from 2006 combined tactical warfare and pinball. Yes, you read that right. It was also one of the last GameCube games released by Nintendo, followed only by The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess later that year.

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The bizarre gameplay that takes place in feudal Japan forces players to use their voices to order soldiers to move away from the Odama, a giant pinball machine that destroys everything in its path. While it was semi-popular with fans, the game overall felt hampered by the GameCube’s limited hardware.

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Safety rope

Lifeline gameplay and PlayStation 2 box art

Released by Sony and Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2003 for the Japanese public, Lifeline was released to the rest of the world in March 2004. In this space RPG adventure, players mainly used their voices to control characters on the screen using voice recognition..

Lifeline is rather infamous for its failure in terms of sales and reviews, with many players criticizing the games’ unpredictable speech recognition mechanics, sometimes resulting in hilarious and frustrating situations. However, many fans have called it a cult classic for being ahead of its time.

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Phasmophobia

Phasmophobia gameplay with character model and mind box

The popular indie ghost hunting horror game Phasmophobia is a shining example of how modern horror games should use speech recognition to their advantage. Not only does the game recognize any sound coming out of the microphone, meaning players must hide in silence during ghost hunts, but the game requires specific questions to be asked aloud to find evidence of ghosts throughout. the spirit box..

RELATED: Phasmophobia: Tips All Players Should Know

The latest update to Phasmophobia Exposition means that solo players can still be heard by in-game ghosts, even when push-to-talk is on. Certain types of ghosts like Yokai also become angrier when more people are talking nearby and are more likely to chase when sound levels get too high.

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Marine

Strange fish with a human face

This bizarre Tamagotchi-esque virtual pet game was created for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 (2000 outside of Japan). Using the built-in Dreamcast microphone, players must use voice commands to feed, interact with, and care for their Seaman, a fish with an oddly human face.

Similar to Tamagotchi, players must check in with Seaman daily in real time, or risk the animal’s death. Every aspect of Seaman should be understood by the player, without any help or tutorial. The game has earned a cult following for its dark humor and weird aesthetic, as well as for the storytelling of Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy.

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Albedo

Screenshot of Albedo's gameplay

The spooky horror survival game Albedo has released on itch.io and places players in an abandoned mansion, with only their voices to save them from the supernatural beings inside. Unlike other similar horror games like Amnesia, players must exclusively use their voice to progress through the environment and interact with obstacles and puzzles.

Throughout the game, new powers can be unlocked in the form of spells or commands, and must be used wisely to continue. The terrifying story deepens with each moment as players uncover more of the secrets of the mansion, with players requiring an equal measure of brains and bravery to survive and escape.

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