11 Blindfold games for the visually impaired

Confession: I love playing games—board games, video games, word games, you name it!  My iPhone has so conveniently brought the world of games to the palms of my hands.  Playing games is a fun way for me to pass the time when I’m waiting for the bus, or sitting in a waiting room at the doctor.  Even after a terribly long day, I like to sit back and relax while playing games on my phone.

Recently, I have been focusing a majority of my research on assistive technology for the visually impaired.  With my love for games, I thought it’d be fun to do a post on games for those with visual impairments.  While conducting my research, I stumbled across several Blindfold games developed by Kid Friendly Software.

Before proceeding, please note the following disclaimer:

The purpose of this blog is to provide individuals, with or without visual impairments, information on a myriad of accessible games available on mobile platforms.  Some of the games listed in this article may feature frequent/intense simulated gambling.  Please note that by providing said list we are not endorsing gambling activities.  The following games are available for free download but may feature in-app purchases.  The games provide players fictitious money which will replenish over time, thus no real money is necessary to play.  

If you suspect you or a loved one may have a gambling problem, please call the National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-5700 or visit their website at ncpgambling.org.  

11 Blindfold games for the visually impaired

1. Blindfold Sudoku

Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement puzzle.  In traditional Sudoku, the objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, column and each of the 3×3 boxes contain all of the digits from 1 through 9.

Blindfold Sudoku is similar to traditional Sudoku and comes with 5 Sudoku 9×9 puzzles, ranging from easy, medium, and hard.  However, unlike other Sudoku puzzles, the puzzle board is not visible, instead it’s played by listening.  According to its description on iTunes, “Tap on a cell to hear what’s in the cell, swipe right to hear the row, swipe down to hear the column and swipe up to hear the square.”  This app provides players with audio cues to differentiate between initial puzzle cells and cells the player fills in.  It also allows players to set multiple candidates for a cell.

2. Blindfold Racer

Have you ever thought about what it’s like to drive blindfolded?  With Blindfold Racer, you’re able to drive with your ears instead of your eyes!  In Blindfold Racer, players must listen carefully to avoid crashing into fences or running into animals crossing the street.  The faster you finish each level, the more points you earn.

3. Blindfold Simon

Blindfold Simon is a fully accessible audio game comparable to the traditional memory game Simon.  To play Blindfold Simon, simply listen to a sequence and repeat that sequence.  All action sequences are gestures on your iOS device: swipe up, down, left, right, or tapping with one finger or two fingers.

Each time all steps in a sequence are completed, players win coins and move onto a sequence with an added step.  There is a single player mode where you can win coins, and a two-player mode where you can pass the iOS device back and forth between two players.

4. Blindfold Crazy Eights

Blindfold Crazy Eights is an entirely accessible version of Crazy Eights.  This version includes multiple variants of Crazy Eights, such as discard or draw, and discard or draw until you can discard.  You have the option to play against a computer or another player in Game Center.

You’ll notice the cards are not visible, thus you’ll play by listening to the audio cues.  To play, simply flick up or down to hear the cards, and tap to play a card or draw from the deck.  A complete guide to the gestures is included in the help menu.

5. Blindfold Wildcard

Blindfold Wildcard is a fully accessible card game comparable to the game of UNO.  It features several modes of play, such as discard or draw, and discard or draw until you can discard.  Since there are several rule options for this game, players can customize it for many of the rules.

Like the other games in the Blindfold series, the cards are not visible so you play by listening.  You can flick up or down to hear the cards, and tap to play a card or draw from the deck.  A complete guide to the gestures is included in the help menu.

6. Blindfold Solitaire

Blindfold Solitaire is a fully accessible Solitaire card game designed for rapid audio play.  This app features the typical game of solitaire where you build all four suits from ace to king, in separate piles.  According to the iTunes description, “28 cards are dealt into seven piles on the tableau, where the first pile contains 1 card, the second pile has two cards with only the top card showing, the third pile has 3 cards with only the top card showing and so on.  Each time you draw from the deck, you get 3 more cards.”

Again, the cards in Blindfold Solitaire are not visible, thus you will play with audio cues.  You can flick left or right, or up or down, to hear the cards.  To move a card from one pile to another, tap on the screen twice to start the move, then tapping twice again to finish the move.  The app will tell you if a card is able to be moved to the foundation piles, and can be set to move the cards automatically.

7. Blindfold Blackjack

Blindfold Blackjack allows you to play Blackjack without even looking at your phone.  The dealer tells you what cards you and the dealer have and you play by tapping or swiping on the screen.

“Feel the thrill of trying to win big against the house.  Use strategies like split or double down to become a high-roller without traveling to a casino.”

8. Blindfold Dominoes

Blindfold Dominoes is a fully accessible Dominoes tile game designed for rapid audio play.  Blindfold Dominoes comes with a blocking game, where you and up to 3 computer opponents each place a matching domino on the table until one player runs out of tiles, or no one can move.  The winner gets the points of the losing players tiles.

9. Blindfold Hearts

Blindfold Hearts is a fully accessible Hearts card game designed for rapid audio play.  Blindfold Hearts is a trick-taking game, where you try to get the lowest score against 3 computer opponents.

“Each heart is worth one point, and the Queen of Spades is worth 13.  You can also ‘shoot the moon’ getting all hearts and the Queen of Spades, but beware–your opponents will try to stop you.”

10. Blindfold Spades

Blindfold Spades is a fully accessible Spades card game designed for rapid audio play.  It is a trick-taking game where the spade suit always trumps.  First you decide how many tricks you’ll be able to take, and you bid that amount.  You play against two computer players who also bid how many tricks they think they can take.

If you make exactly the number of tricks that you bid, you will achieve the highest score.  You’ll lose the most points if you don’t make at least the number of tricks you bid.

11. Blindfold Cryptogram

Blindfold Cryptogram is a fully accessible Cryptogram game for both sighted and visually impaired individuals.  This app comes with 5 different Cryptogram quotes by famous people.  The categories included are age, change, computers, being cool and education.

The Cryptogram puzzle board is not visible; instead, you play by listening to the audio cues.  “Flick left and right to move one letter at a time, and hear the encrypted letter.  Swipe with 2 fingers to move one word left, or one word right.  Swipe up to hear the entire encrypted puzzle, and your solution.”  The solution for each letter can be entered in three different ways: 1. Using a Bluetooth keyboard, 2. Alphabet at the bottom of the screen, or 3. Popup keypad.

Click here to learn more about games by Kid Friendly Software.