Blindfold Games: User Guides now online

A friend from down under suggested I put many of the user guides online, since he found it easier to read a user guide from his PC instead of his phone.  This way, he can use his braille display to read the user guide, or listen to the user guide with a screen-reader, at the same time as he is playing the game.

User guides for almost  all of the 50 games are available at this link:

Blindfold Games User Guides

If you have ideas for more games, please contact me.




Blindfold Spin & Solve: What just happened?

This is the third blog about Spin & Solve.

game board

While the game itself became quite popular – it was the 2nd most popular game after Blindfold Bowling, many people told me that when the computer picked a letter, and the game told them that letter was used 3 times, they had no idea where that letter was used.

If you are playing Wheel of Fortune on TV, you see each word where the letter was used.  To get that same information from Spin and Solve, you had to swipe down with 2 fingers and listen to each word.  If the word was is “CANDY”, and the letters “C” and “N” were already found, the games says “C”, blank, “N”, blank, blank.  If all the letters were found, the game would say “candy”.

I added a feature to the game that whenever the computer picked correctly, it would tell you which word and say the word.

The final step was to add more phrases.  The original version included about 1,200 phrases.  I create bundles of about 2,500 phrases each – for a total of about 12,000 phrases –  that you can buy as an in-app upgrade.  I added the ability to post your winnings to Facebook or Twitter (like in all the other Blindfold Games), and limited the number of turns each player gets, so one player cannot dominate the game.

I’ll be using this game as the basis for another game relating to Braille contractions, and that will be in a future blog.


Blindfold Games: October Update

I often get asked for a list of games that we’ve built.  Here’s the current list, from the newest to the oldest.

Click on the game to go directly to the iTunes download page.  All games are designed for rapid audio play and have been built with the help of dozens of visually impaired gamers.

Blindfold Cat and Mouse – A two player card game similar to solitaire, but much easier.

Braille Spin and Solve – Practice your braille contractions. Inspired by Wheel of Fortune, spin to guess a letter or a contraction in the phrase and win.

Blindfold Greeting Card – Create and send your own audio cards to friends and family.

Blindfold RS Games – 19 different multi-player games, played by thousands of people on Windows and Mac, are now available on the iPhone and iPad.

Blindfold Sound Search – Matching game using Common Animals, Asian Animals, National Anthems, Musical Instruments and Everyday Sounds.

Blindfold Basketball – Grab the ball and start shooting.  Great sound effects!

Blindfold Bird Songs – Find that Bird and Match that bird – two great games for learning bird songs.

Blindfold Checkers – Play checkers with easy, medium or expert opponents.

Phrase Madness – Famous as a windows game, now on the iPhone and iPad.  Match the phrases and laugh your socks off.

Blindfold Pinball – Play pinball on diffferent pinball machines.

Blindfold Pool – Play pool by hitting your cue ball into the other balls, and landing them in the pockets.  Hours and hours of fun.

Blindfold Spin and Solve – Inspired by Wheel of Fortune, spin to guess a letter in the phrase and win.

Blindfold Shuffleboard  – Slide your discs into the scoring area, and push your opponents discs out of the way.

Blindfold Road Trip– Be the first player to drive 1000 miles in this card game similar to 1000 miles or Miles Bornes.

Blindfold Bingo – Play bingo with lots of patterns. Win coins. Record yourself saying Bingo and share it.

Blindfold Crazy Eights with Friends – Crazy Eights card game with with other people, via Game Center or in the same room.

Blindfold Barnyard– Move your animals from the barnyard to the fence to the barn. It’s addicting!

Blindfold Word Games– Hangman, Word Ladder, Scramble and Word Flick.

Blindfold Horse Race– Race against other horses by walking your fingers on the screen.

Blindfold Juggle– Juggle animals on earth and other planets.

Blindfold Color Crush – A cross between Bejeweled and Candy Crush.

Blindfold Rummy – Gin Rummy card game – collect sets and runs of cards.

Blindfold Tile Puzzle – Tile games including 2048 and Threes, with several variations.

Blindfold Vee Ball – Just like Skee ball: Roll a ball up a ramp to land in the highest point hole.

Blindfold Craps – Dice game where you bet on the outcome of a dice roll, just like in Las Vegas.

Blindfold Air Hockey – Air Hockey – use your mallet to shoot the puck into your opponent’s goal.

Blindfold Breakout – Breakout game where you smash bricks with a ball, similar to the arcade game.

Blindfold Bowling – Ten pin bowling just like at the bowling alley.

Blindfold Roulette – Play roulette just like in Las Vegas.

Blindfold Hopper – Inspired by the old video game frogger.

Blindfold Pong – Pong game similar to the classic arcade game.

Blindfold Dominoes -Dominoes game where you play until you are out of tiles or blocked.

Blindfold Hearts – Hearts card game where you avoid collecting hearts or you can shoot the moon.

Blindfold Simon – My Simon type game where you follow patterns based on gestures and sounds.

Blindfold Spades – Spades card game where you bid and collect tricks as you win each hand.

Blindfold War – The classic war card game where you try to collect all the cards.

Blindfold Solitaire – Solitaire card games including Klondike, Spider, Free Cell, Golf and many others.

Blindfold Wildcard – An Uno type card game.

Blindfold Crazy Eights – Crazy Eights card game with several variants of play.

Blindfold Video Poker – Video Poker just like the machines in Las Vegas.

Blindfold Blackjack – Play Blackjack against the dealer.

Blindfold Sudoku – Audio Sudoku in a 9 by 9 grid, with easy, medium and hard levels.

Blindfold Sudoku Mini – Audio Sudoku in a 4 by 4 grid, lots of fun and great for people who never played Sudoku before.

Blindfold Cryptogram – Decode famous quotes and phrases in a letter substitution game

Blindfold Racer – Drive your car using your ears, not your eyes.  The original game that started all of this.

Blindfold Roulette

Since Blindfold Blackjack and Blindfold Video Poker was so popular, and I didn’t want to create a Slot Machine game – several accessible slot machine games already exist – I decided to take a look at Roulette.

roulette table

Roulette is a simply game, in that you pick a one or two numbers to bet on, you spin a wheel and a ball, and if the ball lands on the number when the wheel stops, you win.

When you place a bet, you can pick one or more numbers, or red or black  (half the numbers are red, half are black), or odd numbers, or even numbers, or groups of numbers. The wheel has numbers from 1 to 36, and the number zero.  When the ball lands on the individual number you picked, your win 35 times what you bet.  When the ball lands on one of the numbers in the group of numbers you picked, you bet can vary from 1 to 1 (for even or odd) up to about 8 to 1 (for a group of 3 numbers).

Creating the wheel was easy: I found some great wheel spinning and ball rolling sounds, and built several types of wheels.  I learned that Roulette can use different wheels – one for American Roulette and one for French Roulette, and they differ on the number of zero or double zeros on the wheel.  There are also wheels with the alphabet.

The harder part of the game was how to place a bet.  In Roulette, not only can you make a bet as described above, but you can make a bet based on the layout of the betting table.  For example, the betting table has 3 columns of numbers: first column from 1 to 12, second column from 13 to 24 and the third column from 25 to 36.  When you place your chip at the top of the column, it means you want to bet all the numbers in the column.  When you place you chip to the left  of a row, such as the row 1, 13, 25, it means you want to bet those 3 numbers.  Or you can be in groups of 6 or 18, and so on.  All in all, there are probably over 50 betting combinations.

The game has been pretty popular, with only Blindfold Blackjack and Blindfold Video Poker being download by more people.





Blindfold Spin & Solve: Letters

This is the second blog about Blindfold Spin and Solve – a game inspired by Wheel of Fortune.

The two most common actions in this game are spinning the wheel, and picking a letter.  I received so many complaints about the complexity of picking a letter from an alphabet at the bottom of the screen, I changed the game to let you type the letter, using the keypad.  This also works using an attached bluetooth braille or qwerty keyboard.


If you think you know the answer, you just type it in – something that couldn’t be done with the alphabet at the bottom of the screen.

The next step was to build a computer competitor against whom you could play.  The first step was using the generic algorithm all my games have to combine the computer’s skill with luck, and determine if the computer will pick the a correct letter or a wrong letter.  Remember, like all Blindfold Games, you can set the skill and name of the computer competitor.

If the computer must pick a correct consonant, it picks based on letter frequency.  Letter T is the commonly used letter for English words, the entire list, in order, is: T, N,  S, R, H, D, L, C, M,  F, Y, W, G, P, B, V, K, X, Q, J, Z.  So if the computer will be a correct letter, and it knows the letters T and N are not in the puzzle, but the letter S is in the puzzle, it will pick letter S.

If there are very few letters left, and the computer thinks you are about to solve the puzzle, and the computer’s skill is good, sometimes the computer will guess the correct answer.

If the computer must pick the wrong letter, it uses the above frequency table to pick a letter that’s not in the puzzle.  Every so often, the computer will also buy a vowel.  Many experts have analyzed this game, and concluded the best way to increase your earnings is to never buy a vowel, but instead have your opponent buy the vowels.  Spin and Spell was originally designed like that, but people commented that it wasn’t realistic.  Now the computer opponent will buy a vowel from time to time.

There are over a dozen more rules that affect the computer’s play, but they are too detailed to describe here.

As a final step, I collected all of the suggestions for being a great player at these types of games, and included a strategy guide.  The first version was approved by Apple, and released, and that’s when the complaints starting rolling in.




Blindfold Racer Championship 2016

Equal Access, Equal Fun – Equal Play for Everyone

In our mission to give gamers everywhere equal access to an intense, high energy, adrenaline rush: Project Starfish and have joined forces to level the playing ground.

Registration and Practice Time:                September 1 to 29, 2016

  1. Register here:                              
  2. Join our Facebook Group:                  Blindfold Racer Championship 2016
  3. Or, follow us on Twitter                     @BlindfoldRacer

Once you register, you’ll receive an email with game download instructions and detailed contest rules. When you join our Facebook Group or follow us on Twitter, you’ll earn $1 in credit towards the purchase of other Blindfold Games.

And for each friend you invite to the Championship, both you and your friend earn another $1 credit of Blindfold Games credit.

  • Official Game Time:                                September 30 to October 16, 2016
  • Email us:                                           
  • Call us:                                                        781-262-0520

Contest is open to visually impaired and sighted people of all ages, from the United States and other countries.

Hands on your Phone, Eyes off the Road!

Blindfold Spin & Solve: Wheels of Fortune

Next to monopoly, Wheel of Fortune was the most requested game that people have asked for.  I kept avoiding it since I didn’t know how to find all of the phrases used in the game.  From my initial research,  over the past few decades, there are thousands of phrases in the TV Game.

wheel of fortune wheel

I stumbled across someone who collected common phrases that are used in dozens of TV Games similar to Wheel of Fortune, and he gave me his list of 8,000 phrases, divided into about two dozen categories.

When I’m building a game that is similar to a copyrighted game, I have to take special precautions.  First, I must to come up with a unique game name, and modify the rules sufficiently to not infringe on the copyright.  I usually look at other clones of the game that have been available for many years on Windows computers, and follow their rules.  There are some legal precedents here that I’m adhering to.

The first step in building Spin And Solve was to create a spinning wheel with all of the options such as “$450”, “$900”, “Lose a Turn” or “Bankrupt”.   While I had some spinning wheel sounds from the Roulette game, I wanted a more realistic sound, so I found some good wheel spins on a Sound Effects website.  I usually buy sounds from either, or use free sounds from

Like all of my games, having just one sound effect leads to a very boring game.  Pretty soon, you begin to recognize the identical sound for the wheel spin, and in real life, each time you spin the wheel, the sound is slightly different.  I usually create about 10 variants of each sound, and randomly pick a different variant each time.  With the spinning wheel sound, I created about a dozen variants.

To spin the wheel, you swipe down with 2 fingers.  I’ve used this gesture in other games, and it feels correct.

In the first version that was tested, the screen is presented with all of the words of the phrase.  You move from letter to letter by flicking left and right, and word to word by flicking up and down.  To pick a letter after you spin the wheel, you use the alphabet that’s at the bottom of the screen.  To buy a vowel, you also use the vowel alphabet that is at the bottom of the screen.

Everyone liked the general game layout, but it was too slow to play, and it had no ability to let  you guess the phrase.  More on that next time.






Blindfold Games on Cool Blind Tech

I was recently interviewed by James Oates of Cool Blind Tech along with  Kevin Andrews of RS Games.  We talked for about half-hour about how we both got into building games for the blindness community, and about our partnership to bring RS Games to the iPhone and iPad.

Here’s the podcast link for Jame’s interview with us:

Here’s the podcast link where James demonstrates the Blindfold RS Games app:

Thanks for all of the testers who helped us make this product great, and to the people at RS Games who trusted us enough to collaborate on this project.

Blindfold Racer Championship

Get ready for the world’s first championship for everyone (you don’t need to be a gamer) who wants to have their share of fun.

Blindfold Racer Championship banner

Welcome to Blindfold Racer Championship, where 50 states and over 12,000 people play the game, win lovely prizes, have lots of fun with each other, race faster, higher and stronger.

There will be lots of categories to compete in – not just the highest score. And if you’ve never played Blindfold Racer before, it’s a game where you drive with your ears, not your eyes, and you don’t need to be a gamer to earn high scores.

Winners in each category will get recognized on blogs, podcasts, Facebook, twitter, newspapers, television and more. The Championship countdown starts on September 30 to Finals on October 14th.

We will announce details later this week, but here’s how you can get involved earlier: If you’ve played Blindfold Racer before, and you live in a major city, please contact me. We especially need to find people from Boston, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Blindfold Racer Championship is being sponsored by Blindfold Games and Project Starfish.  Registration is coming soon.  Tell your friends!

Blindfold Games: Why they seem so real

One of the challenges of building a game that you play against a computer opponent is to make it feel like you are playing against real people. I’ve talked about this in prior blogs, and Blindfold Pool, Blindfold Bowling and Blindfold Spin and Solve accomplish this by varying the skill of your computer opponent.

man speaking into iPhone

Another method is to give the appearance that the opponent is thinking about his move, and sometimes talk about his move. For example, in pool, after you take your shot and it becomes the computer’s turn, your opponent pauses he thinks about his move. Sometimes you hear him chalking his pool cue, or walk around the table to consider different shots, or make comments to himself, such as “Hmm, that looks like a good shot” or “I think I can do it”.

To avoid repeating the same phrases over and over again, we build a set of sentence fragments that can be mixed together to produce a unique sentence.   Consider, the sentence “That looks like a good shot” might be broken into 3 fragments: “that” and “looks like” and “a good shot”. Then we come up with five or six similar phrases to each fragment. For example, you could substitute the phrase “a safe shot” or “do-able” or “an easy shot” or “not so hard” or “a winner” for “a good shot”. So if there are 5 alternatives for each of the 3 fragments, that results in 5 times 5 times 5 combinations or a total of 125 possible sentences. Most games have at least 1000 combinations to keep the opponent sounding unique.

A second method is to make the competitor’s voice sound different. In Bingo, the best part of the game is when you make a bingo, and you can yell out BINGO. Blindfold Bingo lets you record yourself yelling BINGO, and then share that with everyone else.

When you play Bingo, and your opponent wins, she announces her BINGO in someone’s voice. The game does this by randomly selecting one of hundreds of BINGO recordings that other people shared.

As the Blindfold Games community grows, we’ll be adding more and more features to the games so people can share their voice recordings to make everyone’s game experience even more realistic.