Games for the blind or non-sighted, need suggestions please
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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Hi, my mother has been completely blind for about 7 years, she is around 60 years old but is mentally sharp and can handle email and various computer games quite well. I have been trying to figure out what games might be fun to play with her and maybe the rest of the family. If you have any experience with this it would be greatly appreciated.

She is still in the process of learning basic braille so complex markings would still be a problem. I have a basic braille punch so I can mark cards and make transparent labels for bits, the thing is I don't want to spend all the necessary time marking games (in my collection) in the event that she might not be able to play the game or even like the game.

She can play mancala no problem of course but I am looking for better themed games (I like games like settlers, carcassonne). I have several copies of acquire so I was thinking this would be a good place to start as there are not so many rules, few card types, a board that holds the pieces well (I also bought the travellers settlers of catan because the board will hold the pieces).

Anyway, I would love to hear any success stories with some great games so I could make some informed decisions....my mom I think would like themed/fun games over serious strategy type games, appreciate any comments
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1. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:261]
Board Game: Acquire
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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Since I have several copies of this I don't mind marking one up for play. My mom likes money games and also the playing board has pieces that set in place so may be a good choice
 
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2. Board Game: Fist of Dragonstones [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3075]
Board Game: Fist of Dragonstones
You might want to consider games without maps, preferably ones with a limited amount of state for each player. Then it is easy to determine the current game status. Auction games without boards usually have fairly simple states. Of course, I just like auction games; they usually have light themes. From my 7+ rated games:

Fist of Dragonstones (replace stones with objects of different shapes?)
Modern Art (requires marking the cards into 5 categories or using equivalent objects -- Scrabble tile-type things; currency could be an issue)
Ra (call tiles and issue each player a Braille-coded player mat)
The Big Idea (place dice beside cards that have been won)
Eidel, Stein and Reich (need to mark five cards and may want to use 3 types of stones for different types of gems)

Some negotiation games might also be adaptable without much effort:

Fantasy Business
Dragon's Gold
Quo Vadis? (this one requires a little work, but you could put small stones in place of laurels)

These aren't quite what you are looking for, but they are all good games and some have okay themes. Many of them actually rely on players hiding most of their information, so there is nothing to see. None of them require you to mangle your copies if you invest in sets of different types of game pieces (cubes, glass beads, buttons, mini sea shells, etc.).
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3. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:518]
Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
This game has a perfect design for blind people due to the simple board and the use of hidden information. Unfortunately you will need to do a bit more marking up of pieces. Every piece has a special power so a braille cheat sheet is a must. Strong on theme.
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4. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:628]
Board Game: Blokus
Léan -
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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An abstract game that doesn't look like much fun, but in fact it is. In one of the game groups, some people got quite addicted to this game. It's a sort of 'Tetris in board game form'. The shapes are held by the board, just as in Acquire.
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5. Board Game: Introduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:8447]
Board Game: Introduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Robert Choi
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Not technically a boardgame, but all Paper & Pencil RPGs like D&D are deep and fulfilling games that can easily be played by the visually impared. The mechanic is storytelling, some dice rolling and a lot o imagination.
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6. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:524]
Board Game: Medici
I think Medici would work for you. The cards for auction are rotated and would only require you to voice what everyone has. There is really no need for marking, unless she wants to secretly check the majorities that everyone has in the 5 goods - but that would be a piece of cake.

If she can handle memorizing people's stock amounts and types for Acquire, she can probably handle the memory required for Medici.

On top of that, it's very fun. It's a bit easier to learn than Ra (and cheaper). It's best with 5-6, but plays fine with fewer.
 
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7. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:384] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
 Missing Image
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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We tried this game tonight, I used the travel edition board to mirror the main board, my mother used the travel board to feel the game state. Both my mom and dad enjoyed this quite a bit, I was wary to try a game which relied so much on spacial states but after the success with acquire thought we would try it. I do know there is a board game player that is a big fan of settlers that is also blind (he said he has a very "light touch" which allows him to play the game without disturbing the pieces). We're anxious to play again but also want to try Medici or other bidding type games.
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8. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1254]
Board Game: Backgammon
art cohen
United States
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This isn't a "themed" game, obviously, but it's much more of a fun game than a heavy strategy game. I assume that there are some kind of "braille dice" available, so if you got two different kinds of pieces (distinguishable by touch) you'd be all set.
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9. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:740]
Board Game: Mahjong
art cohen
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This might be kind of a long-shot, but if you found a set where she could distinguish the tiles by feel, you might be able to give this a whirl. Great, fun 4-person game. One reason I thought of this is that it's traditional to say the name of a piece as you discard it (because all the discards are face up in the middle, and it might get confusing as to what was just discarded otherwise), so as long as she could remember what melds the other players had exposed, she could probably play this game just fine.
 
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10. Board Game: Dominoes [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:19158]
Board Game: Dominoes
Specifically the Chicken Foot game. Okay, this isn't themed (as requested) but it is fun. The sighted players tell the blind one what is needed and place their domino for them. We're going over to our blind friend's house this afternoon to play it.
 
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11. Board Game: The Mole in the Hole [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3673]
Board Game: The Mole in the Hole
This is one of the modified games that the www.velen-spiele.de website (mentioned in the comments) offers.
Others are:
King Arthur
Sagaland
San Marco
Rummy
The aMAZEing Labyrinth
3D x Word - like Scrabble
Kuhhandel / You're Bluffing
Monopoly
Torres
"Der zerstreute Pharao"
Skat
San Marco
more german names I have no idea about
 
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12. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:453] [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
Board Game: Chess
Never too late to learn chess. Braille set could be used for other variants if she doesn't enjoy the regular game. Quick Chess and Tic Tac Chec (both on the Geek)come to mind. Or even the pawn game that beginners start out with.
 
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13. Board Game: Traverse [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:8935]
Board Game: Traverse
"Faster than chess! More exciting than checkers! The fun of both GONE WILD!" This won Games Magazine's "Best Game of the Year" and looks like it could be easily modified for blind players. Saw it yesterday in our gameshop, so it's still in print. Maybe use a chess-for-the-blind chessboard?
 
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14. Board Game: Senet [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:7761] [Average Rating:5.84 Unranked]
Board Game: Senet
Our game shop recommended this for our blind friend, but we haven't tried it. Throw sticks instead of dice, indented playing board. Might work.
 
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15. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:222]
Board Game: Modern Art
David Williams
Australia
Ebor
NSW
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Modern Art

I made my version from a Po-Mo Tarot deck. We use chits for money.

There's no reason why the cards couldn't be brailled, and different sized/surfaced pieces used for money,

Bidding is mostly verbal, for 'tenders' we just write our bids on a piece of paper and flick it out from behind the screen/wallet.

It is reasonably easy to keep track of the board state, and players could even place their purchases face down (ahem, 'blind') to even that side of things out. Just so long as no one forgets when they have got to 5 (of the same art-type).

Great fun to play too.

All in all, a go-er for the vision impaired.

chx
 
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16. Board Game: BuyWord [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:3750]
Board Game: BuyWord
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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A big hit with my mom, she loves word games and I have a hard time beating her. She of course has a big disadvantage but somehow manages to to come up with some excellent words (we have to tell her the letters drawn and also their values), really this is a pretty good game.
 
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17. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:534]
Board Game: Coloretto
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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We all enjoy this game, she has a big disadvantage in trying to remember what everyone is keeping (which card colors people end up with or select) but otherwise she enjoys it.
 
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18. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:573]
Board Game: High Society
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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An easy one for her, easy to remember since the deck size is small, not her favorite but ok for a change
 
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19. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1263]
Board Game: Pirate's Cove
Andrew Petty
United States
Everett
WA
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This one works pretty well, sort of a fun diversion but simple game play makes it easy to follow, not my favorite but always find it fun
 
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20. Board Game: Blurt! [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:17360] [Average Rating:5.52 Unranked]
Board Game: Blurt!
Chris Fenwick
United States
New Jersey
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We used to play this game with someone who was blind! With only a slight rule modification, it worked great -- Normally, each person takes a turn reading the cards. If the cards aren't brailled, you have a problem. We would each take a turn sitting in as reader when it was her turn, and she simply wouldn't guess that turn.

Worked great! We had a lot of shouting fun.
 
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21. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:317]
Board Game: Lost Cities
Darin McGrew
United States
Mountain View
California
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The colors for this game are just card suits, so we used the same braille technique used on braille playing cards. In the top left corner of each card, we embossed two braille characters: one for the rank and one for the color/suit.

We labeled the ranks 2-9 with Nemeth (math braille) numbers, the rank 10 with "x" (from Roman numerals, just like braille playing cards), and the investors with "v". We labeled the colors/suits with the first letter of the color name, except for white, which we labeled with the braille "wh" symbol.

The game can be played without the board, but we always use it. We labeled the spaces along both sides using braille Dymo tape: "red volcano", "green rain forest", "white himalayas", "blue neptune's realm", and "yellow desert".
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22. Board Game: Quiddler [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:3325]
Board Game: Quiddler
Darin McGrew
United States
Mountain View
California
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We brailled our Quiddler cards in a way that is very similar to normal braille playing cards. Where braille playing cards have two braille characters in each index corner (one for the rank and one for the suit), our braille Quiddler cards have four braille characters in each index corner (two for the letter/letters and two for the point value).

For two-letter cards, we just brailled the two letters. For one-letter cards (most of them), we brailled the "letter" symbol followed by the letter itself. We used Nemeth (math braille) numbers for the card point value. For single-digit numbers, we added a leading 0.
 
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23. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:236]
Board Game: Hive
Marcin S
Poland
Warszawa
EU
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What about Hive? I suppose you could mark the bakelite pieces somehow. Black/white, and five types of bugs.
However, playing this might be a bit difficult at first I suppose, as spatial relations between the pieces are crucial.
 
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24. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:439]
Board Game: No Thanks!
Darin McGrew
United States
Mountain View
California
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Microbadge: ChristianMicrobadge: Plays Games with SpouseMicrobadge: My games have braille.Microbadge: Tent CamperMicrobadge: Cooperative Games fan
Card games are easy to adapt if you can braille the cards. We brailled the upper-left (and lower-right) corners of the No Thanks! cards with two-digit numbers: 03 through 35. The chips don't need adapting.
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25. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:295]
Board Game: For Sale
Darin McGrew
United States
Mountain View
California
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Microbadge: ChristianMicrobadge: Plays Games with SpouseMicrobadge: My games have braille.Microbadge: Tent CamperMicrobadge: Cooperative Games fan
Card games are easy to adapt if you can braille the cards. We brailled the upper-left (and lower-right) corners of the property cards with two-digit numbers: 01 through 30. We brailled the upper-left (and lower-right) corners of the check cards with two-digit numbers preceded by a number sign: #00 (for the void checks) and #02 through #15. The chips don't need adapting.
 
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