It’s becoming a common experience. I hear about the new, hot game on Twitter or my local friendly game store. I watch a video review or play along. I see a lot of pretty colors, few of which I can identify. I get nervous I will not be able to play the game without help.
Tiny Towns—designed by Peter McPherson and published by AEG—is colorful and charming. It accommodates 1 to 6 players, and I’m happy to say it is quite accessible for most colorblind gamers. It’s also a delightful game experience in solo mode, online play-along via YouTube, or multiplayer with friends and family.
The five resource blocks require color vision, but for most colorblind gamers (myself included), the colors selected will be easy to distinguish. The game’s buildings use similar colors (e.g., red, orange, yellow), but each has a unique shape to distinguish from the others.
Colorblind accessibility was baked in from the beginning, as I found out when asking Peter how he selected the color palette.
“You made excellent colorblind-friendly choices in Tiny Towns. Was that an up-front decision, part of playtesting, or from another source?”
“Thank you! Though it was a necessary decision—I’m colorblind!”
“There was one (briefly terrifying) point when we got back the latest version of the cards and I couldn’t tell the red and brown apart. We tweaked them until they appeared as distinct as possible to me…”
Beyond Peter’s own personal experience, he also reached out to colorblind playtesters.
“…I just tried to get the game in front of other colorblind players to confirm that they had no issues.”
I was thrilled to meet a colorblind game designer, and I look forward to seeing how Peter’s perspective will impact his future game designs. I also highly recommend giving Tiny Towns a try!
Colorblind Mode Mod: To make Tiny Towns 100% colorblind friendly, the five types of resource cubes need an upgrade. The Agricola Resource Set from MeepleSource contains replacements for wood, wheat, brick and stone. This leaves only glass, which you can replace with acrylic cubes or just keep using the original blue cubes from the box.
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