Colorblind Review: Splendor

Rubies are red, sapphires are blue…

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I recently played Splendor on PC, based on the engine-building board game from Asmodee. The objective is to collect gemstones to purchase developments and lure visiting nobles to earn “prestige.” The game is engaging, and on PC I liked that up to three AI opponents can be configured by type, like balanced and opportunistic.

The gems themselves are distinguishable by both color and shape, and even the red rubies and green emeralds are “ok-ish” for me. The primary problem I had was with the cards. The placement of colored shapes to indicate gemstones is not consistent, so only color distinguishes them. I personally struggled with green and red, in particular.

The bottom-row counter has the same issue, but it’s less problematic because the order stays the same and generally matches the placement of the gemstones: Top-to-Bottom gems equates to Right-to-Left placement on the screen.  However, I did still mistakenly grab rubies instead of emeralds, and vice versa.

As I started brainstorming ideas to work around the problem, I discovered that it’s already been fixed! The updated version of the tabletop game has been modified with gemstone icons next to each circle or square on the cards. It’s an elegant solution that maintains the game’s theme.

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Have you played Splendor yet, and if so have you run into any accessibility issues?

Top Image Credit: Steam          Bottom Image Credit: The Board Game Family

Author’s Intent

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My intention and hope for Colorblind Games is to share stories of color vision deficient gamers, designers, developers and publishers – including my own. Look for colorblind-focused reviews, essays, and interviews, along with after-market ideas to help us play “color-required” games.

 

 

Image Credit: m_hamberg via Board Game Geek. “Through the Desert” published by Z-Man Games