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Subject: Review for color blind players – not-so-fun/unplayable :( rss

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Eric Snider
United States
San Jose
California
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For most people who are red/green colorblind Takenoko is unplayable/not-so-fun. It sounds great from other reviews and I had high hopes of playing it with my kids though. I couldn't tell the difference between the colors so I couldn't really play. I've read of some players getting help and marking their games by hand. I've got so many other games to choose from that I'm gonna play other games but you can find discussions on reddit with some ideas for how to mark things with a Sharpie or print labels etc.

After realizing the problem I emailed Asmodee back in October 2016 and just heard back from them three months later. D'oh. They don't have plans to make any art changes. I hope they'll do what most video game companies do and teach their designers and artists how to use more than just color for important things in their games so their future games will be easy-to-play for more players. I sent 'em some links to good design articles in case they're not heading in that direction.

https://designshack.net/articles/accessibility/tips-for-desi...

http://www.64ouncegames.com/blog/braille-add-ons/color-blind...

Anyway, here's what I wrote them originally:

Hello! I bought Takenoko for my family for Hanukkah last year to play w my kids. Everyone was pretty excited but it turns out, and I'm betting you know this by now, it's very difficult/not fun to play for people who are red/green colorblind.

I was super surprised this was a problem. I own like 600 games and the last time I remember this happening was with the original version of Ticket to Ride. Later on they released a fixed version that made it easy for anyone to play.

I'm a professional iPhone game developer and in that world it's common knowledge that ~10% of men are red/green colorblind. Anyway, I'm writing to let you know you've got a sad customer. I paid $41 to buy the game last year and it's been sitting on the shelf after trying to play once.

I realized I'd feel better if I tried contacting you to see if there's an update with symbols or easier to see colors available. Or maybe you've solved it some other way?
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Molokov (AU)
Australia
Adelaide
South Australia
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I'm red/green colourblind and don't find Takenoko too bad - in good lighting it's perfectly fine.

If the lighting is poor, however, I'll agree with you. Identifying the colours on the cards and the plot tiles can be difficult some time (especially distinguishing green from yellow).

I know everyone's colour vision is different, so I feel sorry that this makes the game unplayable for you, because it really is a wonderful game.


[For example: I find the colours in Qwirkle to be MUCH harder to distinguish but I do still enjoy playing that game too - Takenoko's colours are much easier to tell apart]
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Wilko F
Germany
Oldenburg
Niedersachsen
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"Nice" to see that other people experience the same stuff I experienced yesterday. It was a big disappointment for me to realize that a game with such a good reputation has a flaw like this. We played it in the afternoon with a quite good source of light and I wasn't able to determine the colors green / yellow from the card decks.
I used a trick, I already used in Bruges etc. I made notes on the cards with a pencil. Now it's playabale but I really don't like "damaging" my games by writing on the cards.

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Justin Mazz
United States
Bozrah
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I wonder if you could look up the Japanese characters for pink/red, green and yellow and find a friend with good penmanship to "enhance" your game with the symbols on the goal cards, plots, and maybe bamboo pieces with a paint marker. It would take a little while to do but it would keep the game thematic and might look even nicer!

I checked and found that come a are multiple characters so maybe you could just find suitable replacements 1 character long. The words don't have to be correct unless you're playing with people that speak Japanese as long as the match across the board.

http://www.omniglot.com/language/colours/japanese.htm
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Jordan Hillis
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My brother-in-law is red/green color blind and he ran into this same issue when he purchased this game. I usually game with him about 2-3 times a week so making sure games are colorblind friendly is always on my radar. Also the fact that my second oldest child is also colorblind makes me look at the games I purchase differently.

As you mentioned, my brother-in-law ended up marking the tiles/cards in order to be able to play the game. Not ideal but we're able to play the game with him now and he doesn't have to ask us what color the three tiles he picked up are.
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Sven F.
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Thanks, Eric and others, for a very interesting thread! Vision is one of my few strong sides, so I have never had any troubles with colours, but I remember how impressed I was with how Ticket to Ride (my first modern board game) made the colours visible for everybody.

Of all games I have subscribed to on BGG, Takenoko is the only one where colourblindness is frequently mentioned and obviously it is troublesome for many. Should that fact maybe be added to the main game description too?
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Wilko F
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Quote:
Should that fact maybe be added to the main game description too?


For me it would have been quite helpful, because I didn't hear it being mentioned in German (text and video) reviews.
 
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