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Subject: Need a Game with little to no reading! rss

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Adam Richards
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My girlfriend is severely Dyslexic, and I'm trying to find games we can play together, or with friends. I have a few games that have worked ok in a group, like 'Kill Dr. Lucky' and 'Apples to Apples'. But even in Apples to apples the game slows down a lot when it comes time for her to read. It's not that she isn't capable of reading the cards, it just takes her a lot longer to, and so she feels uncomfortable, and doesn't want to play.

So here is what I'm looking for:

Primary requirements -
- little to no reading required for the player. Apples to Apples seems to be her limit of reading requirements.
- Not a child's game. Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly aren't going to cut it here.
- Games that can be played with just 2 players, and play well, is a major plus.

Secondary requirements -
- preferably not a cooperative game. Dungeon crawls, and 'team games' where its everyone against one, or the AI tends to bore her
- If there is a backstabbing element involved, the above bullet point should be ignored. she does like to scheme against other players.

Minor requests -
- Games with some re-play value. Wont get old after playing 2 or 3 times
- she is a big fan of steampunk, and Cthulhu mythos, anything with those elements would probably get her bonus points.


I know this is an odd set of parameters but Ive been looking around my local game store for games to bring home with only some hit-and-miss purchases. Betrayal at house on the Hill is a game we picked up, and play often with friends, but I run it like a GM would where I read everyone's cards as they are drawn, so that she doesn't feel singled out not being able to read hers. The only problem we run into is if she is the betrayer, in which I need to explain her instructions to her, and that generally doesn't go well. she gets frustrated. I bought Kill Dr Lucky, which was a lot of fun the first few times we played, but after 5 or 6 games it seemed to loose its edge and we got bored with it. Zombie Dice was fun as well, but again, gets old fast. I bought Stone age like, 2 years ago, but she really wasn't interested in the theme, and we never even played it. That was a little frustrating because it seemed like the perfect game. no reading at all! We tried the Gears of war game, but it was cooperative and had a lot of reading, so that didn't go well. I also picked up Zombie Munchkin but have yet to get a game in of it. after looking over the rules and the cards I think its again going to be too much reading required on some of the cards.

well with all that info out there, any suggestions you could give would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Lance Peterson
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Some ideas:

Kingdom Builder
Carcassonne
Maybe Elder Sign, it has a lot less reading than Arkham Horror.
7 Wonders - not very good 2 player though.
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Roger
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Games I play (mostly 2 players) with non-english speakers should work (if reading number is not an issue) from very short and easy to more complex.

Hey That's my fish
Lost city
Archeology
Ra the dice game
Battle line
Jaipur
Carcassone
Pergamon
Biblios
Santiago de Cuba

~j
 
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CM Amidon
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Here's three different style of game suggestions.

Hive A clever 2-player abstract.

For something a little more involved, maybe Galaxy Trucker. Build spaceships, watch them fall apart. Tiles and picture based.

Maybe Power Grid, though there is a lot of math. No real reading though.
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Jeff Forbes

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The majority of euro games are designed under the idea of language independance. I'm going to go down my highly rated games and pick the most language independant ones. My tastes probably lean on the heavy side compared to what you're looking for, but you might find something in there for yourself.

Steam - Train game where you try to deliver cubes to cities of the same color of that cube. No words at all other than city names. It's a midweight game, and isn't super playful. You also need expansion maps to play it properly with 2 people.

Goa - Midweight euro, with auctions and development. No language skills required (my girlfriend has it in Dutch) - stuff has names, but that's it. It is also on the dry side, but it plays well with 2-4 players.

Caylus - Worker placement, but much more involved than Stone Age. Also one of my favorites, but I think she's not going to be very much in to it.

Kamisado - 2 player abstract game. Very quick to play one game. Basically, each player has a unit of each of eight colors on the board and is trying to get a piece to the opponents' home row. The twist is that when you, for example, move your piece on to a yellow square, your opponent must move their yellow unit. This keeps the decision space small, and the mind bending high. Not a good game if one player is significantly better than the other, though, because the better player will win every time.

Medici - Light auction game that is well suited from 3-6 people. The only text in the game are numbers from 0-5. It's a slick little game that has more to it than it first appears. Like others I enjoy, it is definitely dry, but anything with auctions spices itself up if players get in to it at all.

Modern Art - A pure auction game by the same designer. 3-5 people, best with 4-5. Again, the players need to get in to it. In this game, you are auctioning off "art" by different artists (essentially just different colored cards), and at the end of each round, the art is sold based on how many of each type were put up for auction. Again, it's a dry game, but it is very fun with the right crowd.

Liar's Dice - Simple multiplayer dice game where people bid on how many of any dice with, say, the number 3 are present in the game. It's simple, tense, and fun.

For Sale - Quick little auction game with 2 phases - an auction for houses (value = 1-30), followed by selling the houses. Very simple, but between bidding tension in the first phase, doublethink in the second, and lots of opportunity for ridiculous things to happen, it is a very fun little game. Plays well from 3-6.

Tikal/Java/Mexia - A classic trio of euro games still held in very high regard. I've sort of played Tikal, and have played Mexica, and can happily recommend both of them.

Kahuna - A little abstract 2 player game where people try to control islands by owning the most links from island to island. The tricky part is that when you dominate one island, all of your opponents links to that island go away, which can create a chain reaction. Does have place names, but they are all in alphabetical order (ABCDEF) and the cards pictorially show where the island is on the board. Quite nasty and pretty fun.

Balloon Cup - Another nice little 2 player game with some nastiness. If you're famaliar with Lost Cities, this is similar, but you can also place cards on your opponent's side to screw them over, too.

Well - that's some recommendations/examples of games with no or very little in the way of wordiness, ranging from fairly serious strategy games to some light fluffy ones too.
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Mike Smith
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Mr. Jack or Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation are both great 2 player. I have not tried Mr. Jack in New York but could be good too.

From memory there is no text at all in mrjack - just some easy icons - there is a few words on lord of the rings on each character but not too much.
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Aaron Morgan
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It's better with more than two, but Bohnanza is a fun game where the only in-game text required is the number values on cards.

codenothing wrote:

- she is a big fan of steampunk, and Cthulhu mythos, anything with those elements would probably get her bonus points.


Once you learn the rules, there is little reading required to play Elder Sign. Cards have some text, but most of the gameplay is rolling dice and matching symbols.

The Stars Are Right is mostly symbol-based, as well.

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jforbes wrote:
The majority of euro games are designed under the idea of language independance. I'm going to go down my highly rated games and pick the most language independant ones. My tastes probably lean on the heavy side compared to what you're looking for, but you might find something in there for yourself.


What he said. My favourite two euro games that have absolutely no text are Helvetia and Singapore. Notre Dame is a pretty great slightly lighter euro, and then finally I'd recommend The Name of the Rose with 4 (not 5!) for one of the coolest back stabby euro deduction games I've ever seen.
 
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Jimmy Sorel
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My immediate thought was Ingenious. No reading, just colors. Good 2-4 players.
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Tim Thornhill
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+1 jaipur
+1 hive

Dixit is a great game very similar to apples to apples, but uses surreal artwork instead of words.


Not so heavy:
Blue Moon City
Alhambra
Stone Age
RA

heavier:
Troyes
Tigris and Euphrates
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Jason Waeber
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As has been said, you're really going to be ok with most modern euros, as they use more symbols than text, and abstracts are going to be good too, but it sounds like you're more of an Ameritrasher.

Someone mentioned Galaxy Trucker, and even though it's a euro, it's got a great, fun theme that should interest her, and all the interaction is with symbols.

If you don't mind spending a bit more money or waiting for the second printing Eclipse is amazing and has virtually no text either. It's a much bigger game, but it's actually quite concise for what it is.

If she wants back-stabby, go with The Resistance. It's great, short, vicious, and has no text outside the plot cards.

Hopefully something there that will work for you.
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Alexander Shen
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My wife and I actually really enjoy "Take-Back-Toe" (http://cheapass.com/freegames/takebacktoe). It's more of a parlor game, but we probably play it 5+ times every go.

"7 Wonders" (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/68448/7-wonders) is also quite good, but requires more than 2 players. It uses a lot of iconography vs. actual text.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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Another vote for Carcassonne.

Dyslexics of the world, untie!
.
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Michael Z
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Some said before

* carcassone
* 7 Wonders
* Dixit
* Funny Friends If you can get around explaining the poorly worded (but IMHO simple) rules --- everything boils down to symbols and pictures except maybe one or two goal cards with asterix explanations. Played this with my Non-native speaking SO
* Zooloretto and its cousins
* The Resistance if she likes backstabby/secret werewolf like games
* Power Grid if she is okay with math based strategy
* Trias only symbols, simple strategy play
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Jill Reid
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Samurai
Piece o' cake
Pickomino
Sushizok im Gockelwok
Tsuro
Bazaar
Can't Stop
Carolus Magnus
Botswana

+1 For Sale, Carcassonne, Alhambra, Bohnanza (2-player variant), Lost Cities, Balloon Cup
 
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Corey Brin
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Onirim is great and requires no reading of cards. Everything is very color and symbol oriented and it's a steal at it's price.
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Claudine Finlay
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I just went through my collection looking for games to send my son. He is living in Mexico and needs games without reading to play with the native spanish-speakers. Here is the list I sent to him.

Rattus (just discovered this game and I am loving it)
Hive
Yinsh
Gipf
Glen More
Power Grid (I would also recommend First Sparks if you want a shorter game)
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Jeff Hinrickson
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The greatest backstabbing game and no reading is Intrigue
 
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Mike Fox
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Backgammon---classic abstract, my son and I love it
Lord of the Rings: The Duel---cards have icons, very few have text
The Battle for Hill 218---cards have icons
Beowulf: The Movie Board Game---once you learn the game, it's just a tile layer with little to no reading
Chess---seriously, give it a chance b/c it rocks!
Carcassonne---once you get the rules down, should work
Sparta---on a grid like Chess and Checkers, but pretty new and more up to date (haven't played it, but my son and I want it)


Best of luck to you. You really rock for going through the trouble of finding the right games so both of you can play them together. Blessings, brother!
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Dino25 wrote:
I just went through my collection looking for games to send my son. He is living in Mexico and needs games without reading to play with the native spanish-speakers. Here is the list I sent to him.

Rattus (just discovered this game and I am loving it)
Hive
Yinsh
Gipf
Glen More
Power Grid (I would also recommend First Sparks if you want a shorter game)

You should send him mexica!
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David
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No ingame text, recommended with 2 (according to BGG)
7 Wonders
Blokus
Can't Stop
Ea$y Money
Mundus Novus
Pickomino
Sharp Shooters
Space Maze
Stalag 17
Ubongo
Pelican Cove

No ingame text, playable with 2
Bohnanza
6 nimmt!
Get Bit!
Liar's Dice
Mare Balticum
Take 5!

Little ingame text, recommended with 2
Kingdom Builder - Most of the game consists of a few well designed icons. The only real text is on the scoring cards, of which you draw 3 each game. But those can be easily explained and remembered.

Potion-Making: Practice - While there are names for all the potions and ingredients each of them also has a unique image. While some potions look a bit alike, both hints together should be feasible. The biggest problem are the 3 spell cards which have a bit of text. I've made myself 3 cheat sheets that show what each spell does with icons.
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Claudine Finlay
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hanibalicious wrote:
Dino25 wrote:
I just went through my collection looking for games to send my son. He is living in Mexico and needs games without reading to play with the native spanish-speakers. Here is the list I sent to him.

Rattus (just discovered this game and I am loving it)
Hive
Yinsh
Gipf
Glen More
Power Grid (I would also recommend First Sparks if you want a shorter game)

You should send him mexica!


Excellent idea!!
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Andrew Snyder
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There are a lot of good suggestions here, so I'll offer up some off the beaten path a bit. Hey Waiter! plays well for 2 and is no text. Dungeon Twister 2: Prison and Thebes are low text.
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Samo Oleami
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Searching for thematic games with little reading is a bit difficult. And when it's possible by rule master reading the events and flavour text, you're in a co-op and that's also a no-no.

Idea bulb: search for european multilanguage games/editions, they often use icons instead of text.

Cyclades - played yesterday. Fun (auction + attacking). I haven't played it with less than 4, though there's the map for 2 and 3 players.

Small World is I think similar. Fantasy themed area control with icons for special powers. Again - special map for 2 and some say it's the most thinky with 2. (Read articles by Koala).

Fairly Tales - european edition. All icons. Not sure about playability with 2. Light filler game, with fantasy artwork (though the game has no theme really).

Some Kramer games also use icons on cards and can be thematic. Not sure about all of them though. Also I think mostly these are better with more players:
- Torres. No theme really, but nice pieces, 3D thinking and all cards have icons (Rio Grande edition)
- El Grande A lot of text, BUT the game is tactical and everybody sees all 5 cards that are available to players each turn (so just read these as they come up).
- Tikal is a good idea as well.

Queen games mostly publish multilanguage editions, though I'm not sure any of their games really qualifies as thematic.
for 2 player game: Roma (not the sequel Roma 2 though)
Lancaster is said to be one of those generic themed euro that actually make you feel that theme. multiplayer.
Thebes is more of a ride. Family game where the win is decided by pure luck (draw VP chits out of the bag). No text though and the theme is said to work.
Check the other Queen games as well.

Galaxy trucker might work - I haven't played, but I think the text is only on event cards and you can read those. Is this correct?

Dixit (4-6 players). No reading, but your imagination is working. It's a very light party game though, not suitable for 2.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Apologies if I repeat some games already mentioned. If they are, just consider my recommendations as a "+1".

Jaipur, Lost Cities, Oceania, The Hanging Gardens, Medici vs Strozzi, Alchemist, Carcassonne, Stone Age.

Egizia has a very small amount of text on some of the cards. However, I don't think there would be too much time spent reading them - they are pretty easy to understand.

This is assuming, of course, that you'll be reading the rules and explaining everything to her.

These games were just off the top of my head. But you'll have lots of options to choose from.

Good luck!
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