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Friday, April 22, 2016

Games for a one-armed mother-in-law

My mother-in-law was in a rather severe car accident a few weeks ago.  She is home from the hospital and recovering from surgery to her elbow, arm, and hand.  We plan to visit soon, but we are faced with a dilemma:  What three-player games are appropriate when one player can't easily hold a hand of cards and really only has use of one hand?

Sure, we could contrive a card holder or other contraption to facilitate a card game (like one of her favorites, Citadels).  Sure, we could just have her look at her cards with one hand and set them down and pick one out to play it.  But we'd really rather just play games that don't require any accommodation at all - games that don't play any differently when a player only has the use of one arm.

I hunted through our collection and came up with the following list of options that are suitable to my m-i-l's level of play and appropriate for three players:
  • Garden Dice:  Allowing for rolling dice in a dice tower one-handed - especially since she would only have to roll them once per turn - I think she would enjoy this pleasantly themed, challenging but not overwhelming game.
  • Forbidden Island:  Since we play with cards face up on the table, there's no hand to hold, and as a co-op, it makes a fun family option.
  • Maori:  I was surprised when my wife suggested this one, because I didn't think she liked it very much, but this clever tile game is appealing in both appearance and gameplay.
  • Carcassonne:  Playing the tile you draw means there's no hand of tiles from which to choose, which makes this neo-classic a perfect option.
  • Machi Koro:  It has a similar feel of gameplay to Settlers of Catan, which the m-i-l likes, but with no hand of trading cards to hold on to.
  • Ingenious:  She likes this Reiner Knizia abstract, and the tiles are propped up in a Scrabble-like tile rack, so this could work.
  • Camel Cup:  We seem to remember that she has played this race-betting game before and enjoyed it.
  • Last Spike:  This recent Mensa Mind Games winner is a new favorite with us, and the tiles stand up of their own accord.  Come to think of it, Scrabble tile racks might make this one even easier to manage.
There might be a few others, but I think our packing list will come from these eight options, all of which are good games, and all accessible in every way that matters.

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