Hiromasa Shikata, the director behind Tri Force Heroes, recently spoke to The Verge about development behind the game. When asked about the lack of voice chat, Shikata revealed that he doesn’t see the missing feature in Tri Force Heroes as “a negative” thing.
“I believe it might be a little bit stressful for players,” Shikata admitted. Tri Force Heroes features a number of dungeons filled with enemies and puzzles that must be conquered through the joint effort of all three Link’s. Shikata went on to say, “But I think that because of that feeling, when you’re able to do it successfully there’s a level of satisfaction.”
In lieu of voice chat, Tri Force Heroes features eight emoticons the player can tap to catch their fellow players’ attentions, or to relay directions. This limited form of communication adds an extra layer of challenge to the game, and encourages the players to work together instead of focusing on ordering each other around.
Shikata sees another positive point in the lack of voice chat in Tri Force Heroes. Without the feature, there is no fear of more experienced players potentially ruining the game for newer players.
“Higher players would tell lower players what to do, and lower players would wonder why they’re being told what to do,” Shikata explained. With voice chat replaced by the emoticons, players are on more equal footing, and friendlier co-operation is encouraged.