Rules that make my eyes bleed
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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Inspired by downloadable rules that are hard to read due to various design decisions, and the fact that I'm not that young any more. If you add a ruleset, please include a link to the actual file so we can share your pain. I'll add screenshots of entries as time permits.
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Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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Ouch. Black text on a red background. Why?
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Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
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Great game! But why put black text on a mottled, aquamarine background?
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
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Black text on grey background... and small. Here's a sample:

Thank goodness they printed the icons in color.
 
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4. Board Game: Mykerinos [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:788]
Mike Ulrey
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Gotta add this one, black text on a busy Egyptian background.
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Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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Not the rules but the counters... They were so elaborate the numbers and names were virtually unreadable. Even the publishers evidently agreed, as they published not one (still hard to read), but two sets of downloadable replacement countersheets.

I've found the rise of DTP systems have brought about a similar rise in this problem - counters that look great on a computer screen, but are unreadable at 1/2" square on cardboard, mostly because of lack of contrast, or just being too small. Old-fashioned counter designs were more likely to be done by someone with a better eye to colour contrast and visibility, or so it seems.
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6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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The Appendix is quite, uh, well you get the picture.
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7. Board Game: Soccerama [Average Rating:5.26 Unranked]
Lindsay Thomas
United Kingdom
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Here's a blast from the past.

The rulebook on our copy was printed on a piece of very thin, almost transparent paper so that the print on the reverse side of the page showed through.

This was so confusing to my 8 year old eyes that I passed the rulebook to my older brother for him to read and explain the rules to me.

I sometimes wonder if this was the reason for him having to wear glasses from an early age. Too much eyestrain from Soccerama rules.
 
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8. Board Game: Hermagor [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1123]
Donovan K. Loucks
United States
Providence
Rhode Island
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Like the caption for this photo states, "The terrible font chosen for the poorly-translated rules". Here's the entire front page of the rules:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/347519?size=large
 
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