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Subject: Reviewing Village for Color Blindness rss

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phillip wilson
United States
Surprise
Arizona
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Welcome to Reviews for Color Blindness. The aim of this series is to have a spot to discuss how a game plays for people who are colorblind. For the unfamiliar, colorblindness is more like blurry vision than the ability to not see any color (except for a small percentage - monochromacy/achromatopsia). For those with poor vision, a small letter E far away is hard to discern, and a giant letter E right in front of them is easy to discern. Similarly for someone with red/green deficiency (deuteranopes) may have a hard time discerning a small red swatch far away, but close up it can be clearer. There is a wide spectrum of blurry vision problems, and there is also with color blindness. This review is for discussing how colors are used in this game, and how much colorblindness (atleast mine - deuteranomalous) effects gameplay.


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In Village, each player will take the reins of a family. You put your meeple family to work, knocking them off at the right time to score the most points and allow you future generations to do more work. There are some interesting mechanisms and a bunch of colored pieces. Let’s dig into it.




Player Pieces
Each player gets a family of pieces with numbered stickers on each one along with 8 discs that are used for bookkeeping. Each number represents a different generation of the family. The games comes Blue, Red, Yellow, and Ivory. With most games, you need to be able to tell the pieces apart and Village does well enough here. During the game some family members will go into the black church bag along with some black monk pieces. At the end of the round, some pieces will be pulled out of the bag. A colorblind player isn't affected here, because the pulled pieces are shown to all players at the same time and color seeing players can clarify if needed.

One disc is for scoring, another for your time track, and the rest to mark which locations you have visited on the traveling area. The time track is on your own player board and doesn't get mixed up with other players. The discs may be mixed in the traveling space, but in practice traveling isn’t lucrative enough to justify a few players placing discs there.





Influence Cubes
While it is very easy to discern your player pieces from one another, it gets rough when it comes to the influence cubes. When you take an action in the game you get to pick a cube. Some actions will then cost cubes to take them. The cubes are not friendly to color blind players. At all.

... Pink - Knowledge
... Orange - Skill
... Green - Persuasiveness
... Brown - Faith
... Black- Plague


The colors of the cubes are hard to distinguish. When I opened up the game, I thought the greens would be lighter. I thought some of the oranges were really green. Then realized that the greens are darker and I really can’t tell them from the browns.


In the game you will seed the action spaces by filling a bag with specific numbers of cubes based on player count. The cardboard aid shows how many for each type, but it can be hard to separate. It doesn’t really affect the gameplay if a color seeing player can do it.


When you want to take an action, there will be a pile of mixed up cubes for you to select from. The game play is such that you may be taking actions specifically because you need another green cube. So you need to be able to see which spaces have green and not only brown that you can select from. Usually there is alot of asking “Is there a green here? … How about a Brown there?” As a color blind player, it is very tedious and frustrating.






Main Board
The game board has a lot of icons for what cubes are required on each space. When you see all four colors together, like on the game setup aid, it isn’t too bad to see what each space requires. But the game often has 1 green cube here or 1 brown there. A color blind player will need to clarify with a color seeing player every single cube on the board. Probably multiple times. If the game just used some sort of icon silhouette in each cube on the board, that would be so much better.



Each type of area on the main board also allows players to put their family members in specific spots in the chronicle. You need to know which spots in the chronicle are open and where they are in the board. It isn’t easy separating the colors of those apart and connecting them to a spot on the main board. Again, if they had icons this wouldn’t be an issue.


Summary
The method of knocking off family members using the time track in order to maximize your points is really clever and fun. Pulling random cubes from a bag and then pouring over the colors to see if you have the correct kind is no fun at all. If the game had just inverted the player piece colors and the cubes, the game would be easier to play. Village could have been a really nifty game. As it is, it is close to impossible to play and in the trade pile.



All Reviews of Games for Color Blindness
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Mauricio Montoya
Colombia
Medellín
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Yes, this game along with Takenoko is infamous for its unfriendliness towards color-blind people, by simultaneously using pink, green and orange/yellow in shades that make them very hard to distinguish. Even for us color-seeing people the orange/brown and the brown/black cubes are a little hard to tell apart sometimes under poor light.

It's a shame, because the game is very good otherwise. A possible solution (if you own the game) could be getting those dry-transfer lettering sheets used in typography (like Letraset, and yes, they still make those) to put a small and printer-quality-looking "O","G","P" or "B" on every small cube depicted on the board for easy identification, or at least in the ones that give you most trouble. You can also do the same to a couple of the faces on the wooden cubes with a fine sharpie, so you don't have to ask every time (I did the same to the 3x resource meeples in Marco Polo because they are almost the same size as the 1x resources and it's very easy to take the wrong one). Despite most information being open in this game, it's a shame that you have to reveal your intentions by asking everyone if there are green cubes left on a particular spot
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Dave Minnis
England
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Yeah, I love Village but it's really awkward to play as a colour-blind person. The thing that gets me the most is the shade and grain variation within the sets of coloured cubes. The greens can range from brown to orange looking. This lack of uniformity makes poor colour choices even more difficult to me. That said I still persevere due to the game play, although I'll probably mark up the greens with marker pen before I next play.
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A J
United States
Riverside
CA
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Thanks for doing these reviews! I replaced the green cubes with beige ones in my Village copy, and it's worked alright.
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Nicolas Varela
Chile
Santiago
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I spray-painted the Brown cubes, making them darker but not black, and problema solved.
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Jake Fernandez
Philippines
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Oh man. Went here precisely to check if anything has changed for this game when it comes to colorblind friendliness. That's why I'm very happy to see this review.

Years ago I also bought this game and though I found it to be a really good game, but it was pretty much impossible for me to play effectively due to the color of the cubes. I guess I'm sad to find out nothing has changed
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Theresa Porter

Bellingham
Washington
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I played it for the first (and last) time last week. I liked the game play but the color of the cubes and some of the icons on the game board made the game nearly impossible for me to play. I am fortunate to play with a group of players who put up with my incessant asking what color a game piece is, but this game I spent half my time asking that question.

I understand that the designers were going for a muted feeling but come on designers, this is a crime.

On my trade/sale list and out the door.
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