Switch Multiplayer Games for Low Vision

Christy Smith11 minute read

Connection with other people is more important than ever right now, so today I’m going to be giving a few recommendations for multiplayer games that you can play on the Switch, whether you have a visual impairment yourself or want to play with someone who does. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but I’ve tried to include several different genres to appeal to a variety of players. These games are listed in no particular order.

Note that the games have different communication options. I would recommend bypassing in-game chat and communications options in favor of a third-party communications service like Zoom, Discord, or a traditional phone call because text sizes for in-game chat can be tiny, and Nintendo has not yet implemented good integrated voice chatting.

Online multiplayer games:

A pink Splatoon Inkling character skids in ink holding an ink gun. Other characters with green ink appear on ramps and ledges in the background. The logo Splatoon 2 is displayed prominently above the characters.

Splatoon 2 (1-10 players depending on the mode)

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m nuts over Splatoon 2. If you have any interest in shooting games at all, I believe there is a mode for you in Splatoon 2. The online play itself is nearly flawless, though it isn’t uncommon for players to be dropped before matches begin. You can check out my full review here, but the variety and flexibility of play modes and styles, in addition to the bright and colorful visuals, really make the game stand out. Splatoon boasts nearly endless content, particularly with another Splatfest coming up at the end of May 2020. 

Mario appears in a red cart alongside other characters under the title Mario Kart

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (1-12 players online)

Mario Kart is a mainstay of multiplayer gaming, and the online multiplayer options in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe make it simple to join up to 12 friends. The graphics are excellent – both stunningly detailed as well as streamlined enough to make navigating easy. Mario Kart will always be on the top of multiplayer game recommendations for a reason. My full review can be found here.

Colorful letters spell Tetris 99 inside of a T-shaped outline

Tetris 99 (1-99 players online)

Available with the Nintendo Switch Online service is Tetris 99, a multiplayer Tetris game. I don’t recommend local multiplayer as playing on the same screen makes objects too small, but playing online is really fun. Tetris is very colorful, which makes it easier to see, and the multiplayer makes it a great option for virtual game night with friends.

Mario Maker 2 (1-4 players online)

I recently reviewed Mario Maker 2, and while I have complaints about the online functionality, it is definitely a good time. The online play tends to lag, which can make competitive play even more difficult to see. If you’re playing with friends, cooperative mode might be the best place to start. You can create rooms for friends to join, and then you can pick from the endless courses available in Mario Maker 2. The only thing better than wacky Mario levels is wacky Mario levels with friends. If you’re looking for the most content for your buck, Mario Maker 2 is an excellent choice.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 ScareScraper (1-4 players local and online)

While Luigi’s Mansion is primarily a single-player game, there are a couple of additional modes that allow for multiplayer. ScareScraper is an online multiplayer mode that allows up to four players to work together to take down all of the ghosts on a floor. The game offers options to adjust the lighting, which is the primary issue when playing with low vision. With the lighting turned up, the assets are all decently sized, and the vacuum mechanic makes for forgiving gameplay. In ScareScraper, the ghosts hide more than in the main campaign, so having multiple people to play with really helps. Luigi’s Mansion provides a lot of flexibility for single- and multiplayer action, giving you a lot of value for one game. 

Fortnite (1-100 players online)

Fortnite is a free-to-play and cross-platform game that has recently added updates that improve accessibility. The graphics are colorful, and the contrast is excellent. Steve discussed Fortnite in his recent video on games to play while social distancing. You can also check out some of his Fortnite videos on YouTube to get a sense of how the game is played by visually impaired folks.

Pokemon Sword and Shield (1-4 players online depending on the mode)

Pokemon has been a mainstay of the gaming world since it debuted, and the most recent entry has gotten great reviews for several types of disabilities. Grant scored it a 9.8 for mobility. And it won the Accessibility Award in 2019 for Cognitive Accessibility, making it an excellent option for playing with friends with different disabilities. The font sizes are decently large and bold, though I do recommend checking out some gameplay footage to ensure it’s big enough for you. 

Animal Crossing New Horizons (2-8 players online)

Nintendo lucked into one of the best-timed video game releases in history with the newest Animal Crossing game. I might not normally recommend it because of quite a number of small annoyances involving depth perception, objects being hidden behind other objects, and QTE’s in the fishing mechanic that really add up to be fairly frustrating after a while. However, given that it seems everyone has a copy, you can probably find several of your friends to play with. You can check out my full review here. This is another game that will give you lots of playtime for your money.

Local multiplayer games:

Death Squared (1-4 players)

Death squared is a cooperative puzzle game for two to four players. The name sounds scary, but it is 100% kid-friendly and consists of block-based physics puzzles. It works particularly well for visually impaired folks because the game already requires good communication between players, so your sighted buddy will be able to give you any information you might have missed. The graphics are also clear enough that two visually impaired people would be able to enjoy it on their own. 

Mario appears in a red cart alongside other characters under the title Mario Kart

Mario Kart (1-4 players on a single Switch)

Yes, again. I recommend Mario Kart locally with two players. Once you start having three or four players locally, I think the splitscreen is too small for low vision folks. With two players, though, everything is still nice and big.

Super Chariot (1-2 players)

Super Chariot is a platformer that integrates multiplayer very well. It has a bit more clutter than a typical Mario game, but less than more modern platformers, which makes it easier to play with low vision. Players can help pull each other up with a rope mechanic, and there aren’t as many enemies as most platformers, which makes the gameplay very forgiving for low vision players. It’s got an interesting story (for a platformer) and starts out at a low difficulty to help you learn the mechanics. 

Moving Out (1-4 players)

Moving Out is a couch co op game that is just hilarious. This is a great game to play with a non-gamer because of the casual, fun vibe. The game encourages a lot of communication and cooperation. If you’re playing with a visually impaired person, you’re going to need to communicate even more to ensure that you stay together. If you are too far from each other, the screen will zoom out. A variety of assist features make this game very approachable. Check out Courtney’s accessibility review for full details.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 ScreamPark (1-8 players)

The multiplayer minigames in Luigi’s mansion are also excellent, and worth a recommendation in their own right. I wouldn’t consider them worth the cost of the game by themselves, but if you’ve got the game, make sure to check out the minigames with friends. They’re more in-depth than Mario Party minigames, but they aren’t terribly long or complicated. The games are all played on a shared screen, so clutter might be an issue, but you don’t have to deal with tiny splitscreens.

De Blob 2 (1-2 players)

De Blob is a cult-classic 3D platformer from the Wii. The goal is to pick up paint and then paint buildings and objects by jumping on them as you pick up more paint and grow larger. The controls have been improved since the Wii, and the art style is really nice for low vision folks because of the high contrast and colorful design. The game can be played with two players in splitscreens. 

I recommend De Blob 2 over the original entry because the original game includes a skippable opening sequence with a joke about a blind NPC being unable to cross a street and run away from danger. The original game has less text, simpler missions, and allows up to four players, though multiplayer is still done via splitscreens, so I recommend a maximum of two players regardless.

Civilization VI (1-6 players in hotseat play)

This game includes a lot of text, but most of it is narrated. It’s not the easiest to learn, but it will definitely appeal to a certain audience of folks who want lengthier strategy RPGs similar to tabletop games. You’ll almost undoubtedly need a sighted buddy to help with the menus, but this is a great way to spend many (many) hours. It’s a pretty complex game so it’s not for younger kids, but it would be educational for older kiddos to learn about historical figures and historical technology.

LEGO City Undercover (1-2 players)Lego games are a pretty good compromise for a lot of people. It doesn’t have the super-tight gameplay of a more adult title, but you can play it with your kids. The graphics are very stylized, which some may find to be too childish to be immersive, but the simplistic, colorful presentation makes objects easy to distinguish when working with limited vision. The multiplayer in LEGO City Undercover is done via splitscreen, which is more disruptive in this game than in Mario Kart, but it’s still an excellent way to play an adventure game locally. And if another LEGO title appeals to you, you’ll get a pretty similar experience as most of them also support two players. Check out Courtney’s review here.

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Christy Smith is a visually impaired gamer whose main goal in life is to snag a seat on the metro instead of having to stand so that she can play Switch on her commute. She/her/hers or They/them/theirs

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