Board/card games for the color blind that are also kid friendly?
June 19, 2017 2:48 PM   Subscribe

I enjoy playing board and card games with my 10 year old son but my color blindness often makes things challenging. Thankfully, son has not inherited my color blindness and often helps me when I play the wrong card by mistake.

I'm looking for recommendations for games suitable for kids and adults where color identification isn't key to winning. I struggle with red/green/brown and at times, blue/purple. Games that have color-coded pieces/cards/squares are fine as long as there's a symbol to go along with them (i.e., if the purple cards also have three dots on them, we're good).

Thanks in advance!
posted by Twicketface to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sushi Go would be perfect.
posted by Uncle at 3:13 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Carcassonne is my favorite, and definitely kid friendly! The little "meeples" that you use as players are colored, but you could modify those as you wish. They're just made of wood, so maybe just draw a smiley face on your set. Everything else is done by mapping roads, fields, or villages.

You might also try Dominion, which is card based. As I recall, it is not color dependent.

Both games have lots of expansions and other variations.
posted by wwartorff at 3:16 PM on June 19

Boggle and quiddler are word games my family* enjoy (no colors). Also, strategy games with complex enough pictures shouldn't be a problem color-wise-- we like Carcasonne and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle (in the latter, the pictures are decorative only). Slightly younger skewing games like Hedbanz, Sleeping Queens, or Apples to Apples Junior should also all work. (The pictures all have words that would work fine on their own.)

What kind of games do you like?

*Includes one ten year old.
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:17 PM on June 19

"Games that have color-coded pieces/cards/squares are fine as long as there's a symbol to go along with them . . . "

Stickers from the Dollar Store could be your friend. My first thought was for Uno, which is a great game for a 10 year-old but has plays based on color. With a sheet of small circles, you code color cards by the placement of the sticker on the large number portion of the card.

Blue - sticker 1/4 inch above the large number.
Green - sticker in the middle of the large number
Red - sticker IN the bottom of the large number
Yellow - sticker 1/4 inch below the large number.

So it is a visual/ tactile clue by placement, not color of the sticker.

Other games would be double-six dominoes which are usually just black/white. (12 count dominos are tougher without color coding) And there is a wonderful French card game called, "Mille Borne" that you could find for cheap on eBay. There is some slight red/green color coding, but that is accompanied by words/symbols that also explain or suggest the card function. It's an amazingly fun game that teaches addition and strategy.
posted by ITravelMontana at 3:18 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]

Ticket to Ride is a good choice for 10 & up. The first edition (in 2004) only had color matching, but current editions have both colors and symbols; so if you buy a new edition it should have the symbols present as well. You can see the board here (the symbols are the small icons in the many rectangles on the board — they're a bit washed-out in the photo, but they're clearer in person) and the cards here, with the corresponding symbols on the corners.

Sushi Go Party involves matching cards together, but cards that get grouped together all have different pictures & corner icons on them as well as different-colored backgrounds. It's a better game with at least three people, though there is a variant for two.

Similarly, it's been a while since I've played, but Dominion is another card game that (I think) doesn't rely on color-matching very much.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:19 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

You're going to balk at the $200 price tag for a decent board, but there are many good reasons why Crokinole is among the top family games at BoardGameGeek. In your case, the fact that the pieces are usually black and white for two players is helpful, and it's pretty timeless--I'd bet you and your son will still get it out to play 20 years from now.
posted by Wobbuffet at 3:36 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Assuming card games where you need to keep your hand secret until played: the other way you could adapt cards is by going through the deck with a non-colour blind person and labelling the face colour with a pen (R-red, B-blue, etc. as needed).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:00 PM on June 19

Do you know about Meeple Like Us? They review board/card games with an eye to accessibility. Here's their Accessibility Master List, which lets you break down the color-blind-friendly-only games. They also recommend Sushi Go!

Of their As and Bs for color-blindness, Lantern and Rhino Hero get good reviews and seem kid-friendly. Love Letter might be good for older kids and is really well-regarded.
posted by peppercorn at 4:14 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]

Pit. Pass the Pigs. Tsuro maybe -- you might have to swap the tokens for ones from some other game (there's no reason they can't be the top hat and Scottie from Monopoly). Othello. DC Superheroes. Dominion. Munchkin. Mancala. Hedbanz. Clue. Various Timeline sets (although some of them aren't going to be of interest to a 10-year-old). Apples to Apples. Connect Four (it's a game for little kids but in my experience 10-year-olds still love it). Battleship. Machi Koro.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:19 PM on June 19

This fellow on Board Game Geek is reviewing games for colorblind friendliness. It looks like most of the games are for adults/teens/older kids, but it's something to keep in mind.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:40 PM on June 19

IIRC Fluxx doesn't depend on colors at all. It's pretty fun and quick to learn. Family Fluxx would be a good starting point.
posted by wintersweet at 7:24 PM on June 19

We've recently gotten hooked on Hive, which doesn't rely on colors to the extent that they released a black-and-white version (Carbon).

Aquarius is fun and the graphic design doesn't depend on the colors.
posted by Lexica at 7:53 PM on June 19

Thanks all for weighing in - lots of good options to choose from. So happy I can post things 'on the red' and get good ideas!
posted by Twicketface at 10:46 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

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