Entertainment Apps For The Blind And Visually Impaired
Being visually impaired does not mean that you cannot have fun on an iDevice. In fact, we have found a great suite of apps that do not rely on sight to use. From music playing apps to fighting your way out of the dark underworld, our AppList has a fantastic selection for all sorts of hobbies and entertainment. If you are looking for essential apps for the visually impaired, which allows an iDevice to assist the blind and visually impaired in daily living, please check out our AppList For The Visually Impaired. Did we miss any? Feel free to send suggestions to Stella@AppAdvice.com
King of Dragon Pass
Do you love adventure and role playing? Need to escape from reality a bit? King of Dragon Pass is an interactive story game where the goal is to become the leader of your clan and be crowned the King of Dragon Pass. Fully accessible with VoiceOver, this game gives the player a fantastic storyline that is easy to become addicted to.
If you love engrossing story games like King of Dragon Pass, Frotz is interactive fiction at its best. Billed as a game that requires thinking, Frotz is actually a platform that allows you to play dozens of free interactive fiction games using the older Z-machine format. Browse a library of available titles complete with ratings from other users. Titles include mysteries, spy stories and more. Best of al, Frotz is a free application.
Perhaps you have had your fill of fantasy games and are seeking to challenge a friend to a traditional game of chess. Whether you are an advanced Chessmaster or just want to learn, this application is all you need. Fully accessible with VoiceOver, the developer has ensured that all aspects of the application are available to the visually impaired. Chess-wise has tutorials, one or two player mode, game review, and an extensive database of over 78,000 games. The basic version is free and absolutely worth a try.
Chess is great, however it requires time and concentration. It is not good if you only have a couple minutes to kill. King’s Corner is a quick and fun card game that works great with VoiceOver. Each game can be played in under 5 minutes which makes this a great option while waiting in line or for a ride. The goal is to place cards until you get Kings in each corner. Options include setting the difficulty and keeping stats. King’s Corner has a free version that is supported by a splash screen ad as the app loads. Aside from the opening ad, both paid and free version are the same.
Perhaps the above games are too serious for you. For those who enjoy a more lighthearted approach to gaming, Stem Stumper offers 20 levels of fun. The goal is to find fertilized acorns and create paths for Mimea, a vine, to grow. But watch out for the angry acorns! They will try to block you! This game has the sound and feel of the old video arcade games of the 1980’s and is just as addictive.
You have checked out Stem Stumper but it seems a bit too mellow? Test your dexterity with Zany Touch, a reflex game, and see how many levels you can complete with this voice instructed game. The goal is to listen to the instruction and enter the gestures as quickly as possible. It has three levels of difficulty, of which this reviewer could not complete the basic. Zany Touch is fun and completely accessible.
Is Zany Touch too much reaction and not enough thinking for you? What about some role playing with an underworld theme? This thrilling game casts you into the dark underworld of Papa Sangre, where you need to escape by saving the soul of a loved one. Solve Papa’s puzzles and work your way out before it is too late. This fun and exciting game has a festive “Day of the Dead” theme and requires headphones to play. It is fully accessible and starts off slow to allow the player to get used to the gestures. As you level up, you will be challenged by monsters and reapers with increasing tenacity. If you love games, Papa Sangre is a winner!
De Steno Games
Maybe you prefer old fashioned computer games to audio games. If you love retro text games, you will want to download De Steno Games. In the 1990's a man named Richard L. De Steno developed six games that were text based and accessible via screen reader to the visually disabled. Now, two decades later, these popular games have been converted into an app that is fully accessible via voiceover. The games are: Atlantic City Blackjack, Casino, Dodge City Desperados, Destination Mars, Run for President and Sounds Like. The game play is in a DOS type format, menus asking you to input choices on a keyboard. Adding to the nostalgic feeling, you will be asked if your computer has a Pentium chip.
After fighting your way out of Papa Sangre's dark underworld and playing retro poker, you may want to just relax with some music or an informative podcast. Designed for the visually impaired, iBlink Radio turns your iPhone into a radio and podcast station. It features all different genres of music and also has reading services for newspapers. This app is a lite version of the SAMNet internet community. While the interface can be a bit clunky, we found this app to be entertaining for both blind and sighted users. At the price of FREE we feel it is worth adding to our list.
What if you were on iBlink Radio and heard a song and want to know the title or artist? Do you remember part of a great song and wish an app could tell you the name of the song if you hummed it? Then SoundHound is the ideal app for you. In addition to identifying songs it also serves as a music player. SoundHound is a bit easier to navigate using VoiceOver than Shazam. For the music lover, SoundHound is an essential app! It also has a FREE version to test out before buying.
So you are listening to amazing music. How about a fun word game? If you like simple games that are addictive then Moxie could be the app you are looking for. It is a word game that gives each letter has a number value. Your job is to create a string of words by replacing letters. Some words are worth a bonus and if you create a word that does not exist it is called a "wordle" and you lose points. Each session lasts for 56 letters and a scoreboard logs who has racked up the most points.
So you loved Moxie but it is over too fast? How about trying Moxie 2! Moxie 2 gives over 60 letters to the game and starts you off with words on the board to expand on. Like the original Moxie, the goal is to replace letters, making as many words as possible. It should also be mentioned that Moxie 2 is more challenging. While testing it I was tempted to return to the simple first version. It is fully accessible with VoiceOver.
7 Little Words
So you are really getting into word games, why not to try something new? This game gives you hints to guess the names of seven words and then you can select the sounds to create the missing words. It is fun and simple, with the ability to purchase more puzzles in-app if you go through all the free ones.
Audiobooks from Audible
So you have played enough word games for now, so perhaps you should just listen to a good book. Audible is a great audio book player and has a fantastic selection of over 100,000 audio books to choose from. It has the ability to purchase premium titles when released, rather than waiting for weeks for them to become available. If you want to know about upcoming author events, Audible has a newsfeed with the inside scoop. It offers wireless audiobook downloads and tracks your library for you. Audible also automatically will bookmark your place and allow off-line reading. Integrated with Twitter and Facebook, sharing what you are currently reading is easy.
Meanwhile for iOS
Regular books are all fine and dandy, but are you more of a comic book fan? What about an unending comic that you can control? Meet little Jimmy. On his way home from school he comes across the lair of a mad scientist who has invented amazing things for you to try out! Meanwhile for iOS is the ultimate interactive comic book. As you read you can choose path the story will take. This is one comic that is fully accessible and virtually ongoing with thousands of plot choices, but only ONE will not end in disaster! Do you regret a choice you made? You can go back in the timeline and change it! Can you find the path and save the world? If you figure it out be sure to brag in the comments on our announcement page!
Enough time spent on playing games — time to get out in the fresh air! While you are out there, why not use this simple and free pedometer with voiceover support? StepTrakLite keeps track of your steps whether you are walking, jogging or hiking. If you are training by walking and running in intervals, it will distinguish between running and walking. It does not have the frills that a lot of pedometers have, but it is free and does the job.
While you are out walking you should listen to your favorite radio station.TuneIn Radio is easy to navigate, fun to use and reliable. Fully accessible, it can play radio stations from anywhere in the USA. Search by location, genre or language. TuneIn Radio has a solid and well- deserved 5-star rating.
RunKeeper - GPS Track Running Walking Cycling
Perhaps you consider walking just a warm up. Do you have fitness goals you want to meet? Would you like a GPS log for running and walking that will even track your treadmill activity? RunKeeper does all this and more. Features include verbal coaching, listening to music as you exercise and uploading of data to the RunKeeper web site for later reviewing. RunKeeper works best on iPhone 3Gs and later.
TweetList for Twitter
While running you should check in to Twitter to read what is going on. If you love Twitter, then TweetList will be your best friend. It allows you to control your account from posting tweets to reading your timeline.
Facely HD for Facebook + Chat & Photos
After your workout you should post your achievement on Facebook! If you want an easy to use interface, then check out Facely HD for Facebook + Chat and Photos. This app makes posting easy and has VoiceOver support. Easy to refresh and customize, Facely HD is far better than the native Facebook App.
IntoNow from Yahoo!
So you have worked out and now feel like kicking back and watching television. IntoNow uses identification technology to listen to a television show to accurately identify it. It then brings up interesting related content about the show such as cast and future air dates. It also allows you to get the latest sports scores in an accessible format. A fun social feature will alert you when your friends are watching a television show that you are viewing and is integrated with Twitter and Facebook.
Hanging With Friends Free
Playing games by yourself can be lonely, so why not challenge some friends to a modern game of hangman? Hanging With Friends Free is a gentle twist on the old game. Instead of being hung, users are floating with a bunch of helium balloons and each wrong guess pops a balloon. Hanging With Friends uses turn-based play and you can be playing 20 games at a time.
Maybe hangman is not your idea of fun. Perhaps instead you would prefer to use your iDevice to create and play music. We are elated that GarageBand is now accessible in voiceover. Using multi-touch gestures you can play nearly any instrument and record tracks with the built in 8-track mixer. It also has filters to use on your voice and sample tracks to play and use. If you love music, GarageBand is well worth the price.
MLB.com At Bat 11
If you are a baseball fan, MLB.com At Bat 11 will be your favorite app. During baseball season, this app covers everything from schedules to breaking news. It features post-game analysis by experts and complete scoreboard information. Truly the ultimate baseball app, MLB is accessible and ready for the opening pitch!
Perhaps instead of following baseball you prefer to blow things up. Remember the classic Windows game Minesweeper? You would slowly move through the board, uncovering a square at a time, hoping to avoid the exploding mines? Here it is and it is accessible with VoiceOver!
If trying to avoid mines is too stressful for you then how about a nice game of solitaire? This classic card game has two unusual formats: Napoleon's Grave and Hexagon. Napoleon's Gave has one card in the middle surrounded by 8 cards, Hexigon is simply 6 cards in a circle like a sunburst. Both games are designed to work with VoiceOver.
After a long day do you ever want to know what is in the sky above? SkySafari 3 will tell you! This astronomy app is full of fantastic information about the night sky. Aside of planets and our solar system, it features 120,000 stars, galaxies and nebula. It also notes comets and asteroids. Best of all, this award-winning app is accessible with VoiceOver.
So you looked at the stars but still cannot fall asleep. Instead of counting sheep, why not count dice? iFarkle is a highly addictive dice game where you can play against the computer or a friend. The goal is to get over 10,000 points by rolling the dice. If the computer seems too smart you can do as I did and put it into "Meek" mode. Fun and relaxing, iFarkle Free also has a paid version that removes ads.
Are dice not your thing? Try playing Audiorun. In this game you are running across rooftops in a busy city. You have to jump from rooftop to rooftop using only sound cues. There is no video in this app. It is completely audio based and requires headphones for best results. We found it to be a lot of fun!