In many schools for the blind, you’ll often find the Bop-It toy out on a table, or in a closet.
The Bop-It toy is an audio game where you follow the commands spoken by the toy – such as pulling a handle, twisting a crank, spinning a wheel or toggling a switch – with game pace speeding up as the you play.
While there’s already an accessible game in the app store based on the Bop-It toy, I had a lot of requests from teachers of the blind to build a Bop-It game. They wanted a game to enable blind people to learn and practice iPhone and iPad gestures.
Blindfold Bop starts out with easy mode where you are told to make one gesture every 20 seconds, for a total of 5 gestures. The gestures are simple: tap with 1 finger, tap with 2 fingers, swipe in any direction, or shake the phone. You get one point for each correct gesture, and the game is over after 3 mistakes. If you didn’t make 3 mistakes, you move to the next level, where the gestures come a little faster, about every 15 seconds, and you get two points for each correct gesture. Each level is a little faster than the prior, and the points go up.
Once you get good at the easy mode, medium mode tests you on gestures such as tap, tap with 2 fingers, swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, swipe right and shake. These are the most common gestures to control many apps, and performing well in Blindfold Bop translates to using the iPhone very effectively.
Hard mode trains you to perfect more 2 finger gestures such as swiping left and right with 2 fingers, and making a twisting motion. Twisting is placing your thumb and forefinger on the phone, and twisting the two fingers in a circle, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The twist gesture is identical to operating the iPhone rotor – a key part of iPhone accessibility. Many actions, such as copying and pasting are done with the rotor.
Similar to Blindfold Simon, Blindfold Bop lets you compete with another player, by passing the phone back and forth. First you complete a level, then your friend completes that level, until one of you makes 3 mistakes.
Thanks to all the Blindfold Bop testers, who gave me ideas on which gestures to include in each level, and how to make the game more challenging.
Update Oct. 4, 2017
About a week ago, I was contacted by Gerardo Corripio, who publishes a blog on accessible apps for the Spanish speaking world. He wanted to demonstrate some of the Blindfold games, and was especially intrigued by Blindfold Gesture Bop.
Here’s a link to his Spanish blog.
And here’s his recording of a 4 minute audio demonstration of the game, in Spanish.
Gerardo said that even though the games are spoken in English, many Spanish visually impaired people play them. I told him that we may translate the games to other languages in the future.