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10 Games for the Legally Blind and People with Low Vision

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10 Games for the Legally Blind and People with Low Vision

Since the late 1990s, the gaming industry has turned out quite a few impressive pieces that offer a surreal gaming experience for blind and visually impaired gamers. While there has always been a variety of entertainment options for sighted people, you’d be pleasantly surprised to find out that some of these game-plays are designed uniquely to interest people with visual difficulties, just as much as they do for sighted people.

The games are designed to let audio navigation and sound effects acquaint the visually impaired player with the game arena. Once a player gets hang of the storyline and player controls, he is mostly engaged with audio feedback cues, text-to-speech options, vibration feedback from controllers, or special patches and mods that boost the overall sound experience.

With this exciting development on the games’ front, let’s talk about the all-time favorite games that have earned popularity among gamers who are blind and visually challenged.

Here we go!

#10 The NightJar

the nightjar app for visually impaired

Night Jar is a mobile phone video game (iOS), but one that quite literally is played without a video! Building from the ground up, a team of 3D audio specialists has designed it to be entirely audio-centric, and a fascinating play for people with reduced vision.

This sci-fi adventure game features an audio narration by Benedict Cumberbatch that welcomes the player (you) as the last passenger who is left stranded on a spaceship that is slowly descending into a collapsing star called the ‘Black Dog’. You have to use the sound cues to pick up on the eerie details and escape from an alien who is stalking you on the spaceship.

#9 A Blind Legend
Blind Legend; a video game poster for the blind and visually impaired, showing a knight and his horse.

Blind legend is an action-adventure video game with a heroic fantasy flavor.

The theme centers around a blind knight who has set out to free his wife from unknown captors in a medieval castle. The protagonist has to fight through the dangers of the High Castle with the only help of his daughter, who narrates in the background as they move along dangerous landscapes.

The realistic soundscape of Blind Legend is truly engrossing and provides a novel gaming experience for sighted and non-sighted players alike!

#8 The Magic Door
The Magic Door audio game for the blind and visually impaired people, powered by Amazon Alexa.

The Magic Door is a fun yet absorbing interactive-adventure game powered by Amazon Alexa. To begin, all you have to say is, “Alexa, open the Magic Door!” From there on, it lets you select an adventure story of your liking. 

Yes, there are ten different stories to choose from! 

This sophisticated adventure framework hosts different storylines, that include forests and gardens to ancient temples, a variety of character voices, and dramatic sound effects.

As you navigate across the magical landscape, you can tell Alexa what choices to make as you go about trying to collect hidden items, solve riddles, and help magical creatures.

While the elder lot sure enjoys playing this game, it has the bonus advantage of being age appropriate for a younger audience as well!

#7  The Escape Room

The Escape Room, which is also Alexa-powered, can certainly be ranked among the top variety of interactive team-based games.

If you’re in for a mind-boggling escapade, gather your friends and let the fun begin!  

This mystery adventure consists of over five game-room settings with different difficulty levels. A thorough audio description helps you visualize the escape room with vivid details and background sound cues that let you feel out the vibe. In order to escape the room, the players must work against the clock to find hidden clues, manipulate surrounding objects and solve various puzzles.

For gamers who are keen on more taste of mystery and thrill, the game also offers premium (paid) game levels with increased difficulty levels.

#6 Braille Scrabble
Braille Scrabble board set up with game tiles set up for visually impaired players.

Feeling competitive… and nerdy?

Braille scrabble is one of the most enjoyable crossword games, and a stimulating brain-teaser to play with your family or friends in your leisure time. The alphabet tiles have braille labels that can be deftly interpreted by visually impaired people.

The alphabet tiles are distributed among players at each turn, and the goal is to string them together into as many high-score words as you can before the tiles run out! 

Braille scrabble is suitable for all ages, and both blind and sighted individuals can play effortlessly.

#5 Braille Chess (The Braille Superstore)
Braille chess board made of wood, for the blind and visually impaired players.

Video games are all the rage these days, but if you crave the familiar nostalgia of an old-fashioned board game, nothing beats a classic chess game!

The Braille chess set available at The Braille Superstore comes with a tactile wooden board and chess pieces. Players can easily tell the black and white squares apart on the chess board as the black squares are raised noticeably in comparison. Similarly, the chess pieces, king, queen, pawns, and the rest are all made out with a marked difference in shapes. Also, the white pieces each have a large dot on the top to distinguish them from their black counterparts.    

Despite the name, this particular chess set has little to do with Braille signs rather the sensory feel of the game pieces alone is enough to familiarize your way across the board. 

This makes it a preferred game of choice for people who may have just lost their sight and aren’t necessarily skilled in the Braille language.

#4 Tic Tac Toe (Tactile)

Tic Tac Toe braille board for the visually impaired players.

Tic tac toe has always been one of the favorite no-brainer pastimes. The tactile version of the game comes with a game board, and round and X-shaped pegs made out of solid wood. These playing pieces can easily be identified by touch.

Also sometimes called Knots and Crosses, it is an easy game that kids and elders can enjoy during travel, long car rides, or picnics.

#3 Turn-a-Cube

Turn-a-cube puzzle game with embossed tile designs on 6 sides for the visually impaired people.

Turn-a-cube is a 3D combination puzzle, an ideal game to play when you have a couple of hours to kill. The six-faced cube has 6 different shapes etched into it on all sides, and it is quite similar to the Rubik’s cube in technique.

A visually impaired individual can distinguish the shapes with the touch and feel of the cube, while the goal is to twist and align the segments such that each side has only one particular shape.

The challenge is yours to take on!

#2 Bell Volleyball for the Blind
Two visually impaired women playing bell volleyball together.

Bell volleyball is one of the games that bring back the exhilarating joy of physical activity for people with low vision. With modified rules, volleyball for the blind was first introduced by physical education teachers in Japan and is now enjoyed by many people across the world. 

There is an initial learning curve during which players acquaint themselves with the game rules and practice following the ball through the game court. The ball is unique in that it contains two large bells that make noise whenever the ball is in motion, this feature helps players judge the speed and direction in which it moves so they can follow the ball on auditory instinct.

While blindness and vision impairment usually have a significant detrimental impact on a person’s mobility, physical games such as bell volleyball contribute to agility, physical fitness, and a positive social experience all at the same time!

#1 Blind Football
 Three visually impaired men competing with each other in a game of blind football.

Football is easily the ‘most’ popular sport in the United States. 

No wonder, everybody loves to be part of the game! So why should visual impairment keep you from participating? 

Blind Football first began as a popular sport in Paralympic Games, in 2004. People with low vision can opt to play between two teams that each have four players who are blind, as well as one sighted or visually impaired goalkeeper. The ball, which has a sound system located within, makes a noise that helps players judge the movement of the ball and orient themselves accordingly.

With pretty much the same ground rules, the game can put the competitive thrill and some healthy exercise back into your life. 

Till present, blind and visually impaired football champions (like Sergio Alamar) continue to make their way to the international football field of paralympic games.