iOS Gaming: Have Blind Gamers Ever Had it so Good?

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The number of iOS games which are playable by VoiceOver users seems to grow daily, with developers either releasing new titles that are accessible out of the box (such as The Inquisitor Audiogame Adventure and Clever Clues) or joining the VoiceOver party by making existing games accessible.

No matter what your gaming preferences are, there should be something to suit your tastes - whether you simply want to roll a dice, play card or word games against sighted friends, care for virtual pets, immerse yourself in roleplay, or go on a zombie killing rampage.

Quite simply, blind gamers have never had it so good! Or have they? It's certainly true that only a very small fraction of the games available from the App Store are actually playable by the blind, whilst the developers of many extremely high-profile and popular games show no interest in making them accessible. And no, we're not talking about highly visual games such as Angry Birds, which with the best will in the world are never going to be playable with VoiceOver. We're talking about classic games such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Uno, all of which have a form of gameplay that means they could be made accessible ... the only barrier seems to be no interest from developers in making it happen.

With such a small choice in a very large market, there is certainly a strong argument that blind gamers are being seriously short-changed.

So, whatever your views, we would love to hear what you think about gaming on the iOS platform. Has it opened up gaming to the blind? Has it turned you from a non-gamer into a casual gamer? Or an occasional gamer into a hard-core gamer? Or does the whole experience of gaming on iOS still leave you underwhelmed?

Let us know your thoughts on iOS gaming by posting a reply below, perhaps also letting us know more about your personal favorites.

As an added incentive, we have a few promo codes to give away. First up is Robo-E, a newly-released game that has the title character in charge of cleaning up the galaxy from toxic waste. The developer has already given away some promo codes to our community, but we also have some up for grabs and will be giving these away to people who take part in this discussion. We'll simply be picking names out of our virtual hat, so be sure to share your thoughts on the state of iOS gaming to make sure that your name goes into that hat!

Update: In addition to the promo codes for Robo-E, I'm really pleased to announce that we're now also able to give away a couple of promo codes for The Inquisitor Audiogame Adventure. As mentioned above, this is a new release on iOS which has already gained much praise from blind gamers.

With this game costing $13.99, you game lovers out there should definitely want to make sure that your names are in the hat when we choose the lucky winners! We'll be doing this tomorrow at 12 noon GMT, so don't hang around!

A big thank you to the developers of both games for their commitment to making accessible games and for letting us have these promo codes to share with our community.



Submitted by Janamari on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Submitted by André Silva on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hi everyone,

I would like to make a comment on this post. I think that Stem Stumper is a very cool game for both blind gamers and sighted gamers. I'd like to thank Kwasi Mensah of Ananse Productions for developing such a brilliant game! His work with this game was simply fantastic! I hope that he continues to develop great new titles similar to Stem Stumper because I love to play it when I'm sitting down doing nothing for a long period of time. The concept behind this game is awesome! Great work!

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, August 11, 2014

Well folks much of this ground has been covered already so I'll keep it brief: the game I play the most as a casual gamer is Cribbage Pro. This is a game designed for everyone rather than specifically for blind people. A similar game is Chesswise, though I do find that with any form of computer chess you do need to play on a board alongside. This is what is fantastic about IOS, although it's also true to say that the games designed specifically for us are generally very good too. The big gap in the market is sports games as many people have said. I would love to spend the afternoon winning Wimbledon, becoming the PDC world darts Champion, getting the ashes back from Australia, going down the 18th green with the match all square and the Rider Cup at stake, or getting the ball back to Johny Wilkinson to allow him to drop for world cup glory. That would be superb and I would love that type of game more than any other. I realise these games present a particular challenge but someone much cleverer than me could surely think of a way round it. In any event I am surprised that some of the sports management games such as Championship Manager, or International cricket Captain, have not been made a bit more accessible.

Submitted by Mustafa Gamal on Monday, August 11, 2014

I think it is possible that more games become accessible. For example the popular game subway surfers can be accessible. It can be played by blind users using their headphones. Using zsounds it can alert you to incoming obstaculs and incoming coins. I hope I can play it one day.