When I was working on a paper for one of my classes about the activities that seniors often miss when they develop low vision later in life, many people in the study had reported missing their favorite puzzle games such as word searches, crosswords, sudoku, and others. As a companion to my post on adapting puzzle games for low vision, I’ve created a list of accessible puzzle game apps for low vision users that are available as web applications (which can be accessed through the web browser on a computer/tablet/phone, no downloads required) and mobile applications (which are downloaded to an Android or iOS device). Here is a list of accessible puzzle game apps for low vision that are designed to work with assistive technology tools like large print, magnification, and screen readers.
Accessible crossword apps for low vision
To access digital copies of crossword puzzles, users can download crossword puzzles in the .puz file format, also known as AcrossLite, and import them into another application to make them easier to enlarge. The New York Times supported the .puz file format until 2021, but puzzles can still be downloaded in this format by using a scraper tool on an interactive crossword puzzle web application, such as a newspaper website. I’ve linked the extension I use in the Related Links section of this post.
American Printinghouse for the Blind has an accessible crossword web application that offers several different crossword puzzles, as well as the option to upload crossword files from other sources such as The New York Times. By default, the Crossword website displays crossword puzzles that feature education topics for grades 6-12, as well as import .puz files for digital crosswords that can be used in the Crossword application
Word Speaking Vocal Crossword is an iOS and Android application that provides options for writing and dictation for crossword puzzles. Word Speaking Vocal Crossword uses a built-in screen reader and large print sizes, and offers several different packages and in-app purchases for various puzzles and skill levels.
PuzzleMe by Amuse Labs has multiple options for creating a custom crossword puzzle that supports keyboard access and having clues read out loud, as well as other games like sudoku. The Assistive Technology Blog uses this platform for their Sunday crossword, and PuzzleMe can be found on several other websites as well.
- Crossword Scraper – Chrome Web Store (google.com)
- Discover Accessible Crossword Puzzles | American Printing House (aph.org)
- Crossword (aphtech.org)
- Crossword vocal game accessible for blind and visually impaired people (bgspeaking.com)
- Crossword Archives: Assistive Technology Blog
- PuzzleMe Accessibility
Accessible sudoku apps for low vision
Accessible Sudoku is a free web application that offers full keyboard access for completing Sudoku puzzles at various levels. For users that prefer to not use a keyboard, Accessible Sudoku also provides options for an on-screen keyboard that can be used to fill in values for the different sections.
Blindfold Sudoku is and iOS application designed for users of all sight levels and offers options for rapid audio play, though it can be used with or without VoiceOver screen reading tools. Blindfold Sudoku comes with five free puzzles, and additional puzzles can be purchased within the app, ranging from $1.99 to $9.99 USD.
This isn’t an application, but it is an interesting project for creating physical copies of braille sudoku games. Brailloku is an open-source project for generating virtually unlimited sudoku puzzles in BRF and PEF formats, which is a great option for users that have access to an embosser or braille display. I do not personally read braille due to limited sensitivity in my fingers, but this application is really interesting and I wanted to share it!
Accessible word search apps for low vision
Blindfold Word Search and Blindfold Words from Words
Blindfold Word Search and Blindfold Words from Words are made by the same developer for iOS, and both offer identical accessibility features such as support for VoiceOver, Zoom magnifier, and other display settings.
Accessible letter soup
Accessible Letter Soup is an accessible word search app for iOS that comes with several puzzles for a one-time purchase of 99 cents. Languages supported with Accessible Letter Soup include English, Spanish, and Italian.
Supersized for Challenges Eyes, also known as Supersized Puzzles, offers several large print word searches that can be imported into PDF applications or printed out for users to enjoy. There is also an option to sign up and receive puzzles via email for free.
- Blindfold Words From Words on the App Store (apple.com)
- Blindfold Word Search on the App Store (apple.com)
- Accessible letter soup on the App Store (apple.com)
- Word Search | Supersized for Challenged Eyes (supersizedpuzzles.com)
More options for accessible puzzle game apps for low vision
- Want to learn more about adapting puzzle games for low vision? Read my post How To Adapt Puzzle Games For Low Vision
- Another online puzzle game provider that a group of friends and I used is RS Games- learn more about RS Games: Free Online Accessible Games For The Visually Impaired
- Looking for more audio game options? I talk about a few different ones in Audio and Nonvisual Entertainment Ideas For Blind and Low Vision
- Wondering what a screen reader or screen magnification is? Read my post A to Z of Assistive Technology For Low Vision