[Image courtesy of Make Board Game.]
I’m a huge proponent of the idea that there’s a game out there for everybody. Some prefer fun, lighthearted fare. Others like the high-stakes of a winner-take-all scenario. Some thrive in cooperative games where victories are shared and losses softened by camaraderie, while others like one-on-one strategic battles.
But no matter who you are, there’s a game out there for you.
Unfortunately, for colorblind gamers or those dealing with visual impairments, some of the most popular games are less accessible.
[Ticket to Ride remains one of the more colorblind-friendly games on the market today. Image courtesy of Board Game Duel.]
I’ve had several colorblind friends tell me that the color-and-pattern-matching tile game Qwirkle is a no-go, because the game’s colors (as well as the black tiles on which those colored symbols are set) can cause serious confusion that hampers gameplay.
Although there’s no official colorblind-friendly edition of Qwirkle on the market, there is a colorblind-friendly version of the game that has been shared online. The color palette is more accessible, and instead of black tiles, the base tiles are gray.
Other games have also picked up on the need to keep their multicolored games accessible to a broader audience. As mentioned in a recent post on the official Tabletop Day website, the game Lanterns: The Harvest Festival incorporates specific symbols for each of their differently colored cards to make it easier for colorblind players to distinguish them.
And if you’re a visually impaired game enthusiast, there are other companies out there working hard to ensure you have the widest possible range of games to enjoy.
The folks at 64 Oz. Games produce specialty sleeves and other modifications for established board games and card games, allowing visually impaired players to play alongside their sighted pals.
[An image from their successful Kickstarter campaign a few years ago.
Image courtesy of 64 Oz. Games.]
A combination of Braille and clever use of QR codes has opened up games like Munchkin, Cards Against Humanity, Coup, Love Letter, Seven Wonders, King of Tokyo, and numerous roleplaying games to a previously excluded audience.
Add items like their 3D printed Braille roleplaying dice and a touch-based game called Yoink! that is based on tactile gameplay, and you have a wonderful resource for all sorts of game fans.
As we gear up to celebrate a day dedicated to gathering with family and friends to enjoy playing games, it’s a pleasure and a privilege to acknowledge those who are going above and beyond to make sure as many people as possible can participate.
It’s a beautiful thing.