For most, an evening playing board games is an occasion to relax and enjoy. It’s something you look forward to. Perhaps it’s even a treasured family tradition.
But even the pleasurable experience of a good board game can become frustrating or stressful when you have dyslexia. When words and numbers can get mixed up, having to read a bunch of cards or complicated rulebooks is exasperating.
To help everyone with dyslexia enjoy board games, we’ve created a list of the best board games for dyslexics. Read on to see what our favorites are.
Best Board Games for Dyslexics
One of the most accessible games on this list, Azul is a sight to behold when it’s played. In Azul, each person plays as an artisan trying to build patterned tiles to decorate a king’s home with.
The objective is to make patterns and ensure you get the right tiles to complete your patterns. It’s a game that’s played pretty much entirely with visual rather than textual elements. You won’t need to struggle to read tiny text on cards, or overly thick and convoluted rulebooks.
- Visually motivated gameplay.
- Supports anywhere from two to four players.
- It will look beautiful as you play it.
- Easy to learn to play.
- Suitable for all ages from eight and up.
- Some have reported that the scoring system is a little difficult to understand at first.
With a freshly redone rulebook made to be understandable for beginners, Carcassone is famously easy to learn. The rules are simple enough to appeal to novices, but the strategies are varied enough to appeal to board game veterans at the same time.
In Carcassone, your goal is clear: claim features on the board to earn more points. Each player will take turns drawing tiles to place on the board, and each tile could have a number of features on it. Features include things like cities, roads, and farms.
To claim a landmark, players just need to set one of their Meeples (miniature people figurines) down on it before someone else does. This might sound too easy, but there’s a lot of strategy involved, especially when you consider that each of the possible roles you can play in the game earns points differently.
- Great for beginners, but strategic enough for experienced players.
- The board will look different every time you play, because the tiles are randomly drawn.
- You won’t need to read text-packed cards and the rulebook is easy to read.
- Even if you didn’t want to read the rulebook, this game is so popular that there are tons of tutorials online to watch instead.
- With tiles being randomly drawn, the game can sometimes come down to luck rather than strategy.
Read Also: Best Fantasy Board Games for Beginners
Like Azul, Blokus is a game that’s about making patterns. It’s very comparable to Tetris, as the goal is to fit your color in wherever you can.
Each player must try and get 21 of their colored pieces placed on the board somewhere. However, every piece they place must be touching another one of the same color…and only on the corners. As more players have set their pieces, this becomes increasingly challenging.
The rules are so simple, no one will struggle to play Blokus. It’s a great game for the whole family, children included.
- Extremely easy gameplay.
- Games can be played pretty quickly.
- Great for the whole family.
- You can learn to play it in under a minute.
- The board will look more and more colorful the longer you play.
- Simple gameplay might not appeal to anyone looking for a sophisticated experience.
We recommend Mysterium to anyone looking for a mature and creepy experience. Because it’s not full of text-based cues, it would also be pretty easy for someone with dyslexia to play in complete comfort.
You’ll need at least two players. One person must be the ghost, and all other players are investigators. The mission is to discover how the ghost was killed, and the ghost can use picture cards to give clues to the other players.
The catch is, these picture cards are bizarre and dream-like. They won’t be easy for the investigator to interpret, and therein lies the challenge.
- Amusing paranormal theme and story.
- It has high replay value, because the truth behind the mystery is different each time.
- Has some of the most stunning artwork we’ve seen on a board game.
- Can be played with as little as two or as many as seven players.
- We recommend playing with different people when you can, because playing with the same people too often allows you to develop a code with the pictures that’s too easy.
When people think of board games, Jenga probably isn’t what comes to mind. We’re including it, anyway, because it’s an absolute classic game and would work wonderfully for someone with dyslexia.
There’s no need to read any cards and the gameplay couldn’t be less complex. After stacking the Jenga blocks in a tower, all players need to do is try to remove blocks without knocking the tower over. You win the game by being the last person to pull out a block without knocking the tower down.
- A classic that everyone knows how to play.
- Doesn’t take long to set up or clean up.
- Can be played with any number of players.
- Suitable for pretty much all ages.
- The box is just a bit too big, so it doesn’t hold the blocks in a tower shape very well when you put them away.
It sounds like you shouldn’t want to play a game called Aggravation, but we promise this one isn’t as maddening as its name sounds. Each person playing takes one color and the subsequent side of the board with that color.
With their colored marbles in place, players must try and race each other around the board. The danger lies in the aggravating, which is when another play captures your marble on the journey.
- The board is very sturdy, so you won’t need to worry about it ripping anytime soon.
- Easily understandable rules.
- Can play with up to six people.
- Suitable for the whole family.
- There are some reports that bumping the board can cause the marbles to roll out of place.
Wood Checkers & Tic Tac Toe Set
What better than time-honored classics to bring to your own tabletop? In this set, you’ll get not just one, but two different games: Checkers and Tic Tac Toe.
Both are games which won’t take anyone long to learn, nor are there complicated rulebooks to leaf through. You’ll get to play either one on a beautiful solid wood board.
- Includes two different games in one set.
- The board is made from sturdy, solid wood.
- Checkers and Tic Tac Toe can both be learned in minutes.
- Can be enjoyed by everyone in your family of all ages.
- Both the games are perhaps too simple for veteran board game players.
- Some said the board is a little too slippery sometimes.
Qwirkle is a visual matching game that’s fun for your entire family. Your goal is to match either shapes or colors as you form lines on the table – that’s about it. No unnecessary complications and no having to deal with easily jumbled cards.
Plus, this game has great value as an educating tool for younger players. It encourages children to develop visual recognition skills.
- Fantastic for children.
- You can learn the game in literally seconds.
- Easy to set up and clear away when you’re done.
- It might be a little too simple for some adult players.
Features to Consider
For dyslexic people, numbers and letters often get interposed. It’s more difficult to read longer passages, or sometimes even to speak at length.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to do these things. Most learn to cope with the condition and go about their daily lives as normal – including how they play board games.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t consider their comfort when you’re playing with a dyslexic loved one. There are tons of board games out there that rely on visual rather than textual or numerical clues.
These can be easier to play for everyone involved, including those with dyslexia. You won’t need to squint at rulebooks or cards packed with text.
Read Also: Best Board Games for the Blind
When we say difficulty, we’re referencing how hard it can be to learn to play a particular game. Can you pick it up in just a few minutes, or do you have to spend hours leafing through the instructions?
This is something that applies to everyone, not just those with dyslexia. Difficulty is always worth considering, especially if you’re going to be playing with anyone who’s not very experienced with board games.
Complex board games are better-suited to veterans who want a more in-depth experience. You can usually tell if a game is difficult based on its number of pieces and what players have to say about it.
Competitive vs Cooperative
Finally, think about the overall kind of game you’re choosing. Do you want something where people will compete against one another, or would you prefer something where everyone can work together?
Cooperative games or games where you can play in separate teams can be helpful for anyone who struggles with reading. In these types of games, teammates can assist any members who need a little help.
Competitive games are great for getting everyone’s blood pumping. If you’re looking to liven up an evening, you won’t be able to do it better than with a good, old-fashioned competitive board game.
Everyone can play board games, and we think everyone should. No disability, whether it’s a learning disability, physical disability, or other kind should prevent you from living your life to fullest and having fun.
We’re confident any of the games on this list could be suitable for a lively night of entertainment for everyone, including those with dyslexia. Our personal favorite pick in this list would be Azul.
The pattern-based gameplay is easy to grasp, and it looks stunning. We love how the tiles almost look like sophisticated works of art as the game progresses.