Everybody Games: An Accessibility Review of Katamino

Katamino is a 1-2 player puzzle game that takes as long as you would like for it to take (box says 10+ minutes) and can be played by people of almost any age (box says age 3+). To play Katamino players have several options, all of which include using colorful blocks to complete puzzles or layouts.

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The wooden blocks and board are of the highest quality. The rulebook is gorgeous; spiral-bound and filled with thick pages of glossy images and “rules” in multiple languages. The reason I put rules in quotations there is because I feel like saying that this is a “game” with “rules” is almost a misnomer, I think to view this as more of an educational tool or as a puzzle is far more accurate than to say it is a game. While the rulebook is aesthetically pleasing, I do think some of the wording could be improved and simplified to provide clarity.

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The rules state that this is a 1-2 player game, but this, along with other aspects of Katamino, seems fluid. Due to the openness of the ruleset I feel like you could play with as many or as few players as you like, especially if players in higher-count games were working together, and I also feel like, while the rules do provide some direction, players could use this game and its components however they wish.

According to the rules there are a few different ways to play. One method is to split the game board in two sections and give two players several pieces; players compete to see which of them can fit all of their pieces into their side of the board first. Once the challenge has been met by either player more pieces are added and the players begin again (there is also a solo mode similar to this). Alternatively, players can also use the blocks to recreate layouts and structures, and to try different puzzles, all shown in the rulebook. In total there are over 500 different puzzles and challenges to complete.

Katamino is beautiful and of excellent quality, however, as previously stated, I feel like it is more of a puzzle or educational tool than a game.

 

EveryBODY Games Score*: 1 – Katamino is completely accessible with no modifications. Players do not need to be able to speak, hear, read, or recognize color to be able to play this game. Minimal dexterity is needed to pick up, place, and arrange wooden blocks. Could be accessible to blind players.

 

*EveryBODY Games Score is 1-2-3 scale of physical accessibility where 1 is completely accessible with no modifications, 2 is accessible but difficult with no modifications, and 3 is inaccessible without modifications.

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