One of the best things we can still do during these trying times while stuck at home is play board games. Though, it still puts a damper of those fun board game nights with your friends.
Here we'll try to help with some fun games that can still be played virtually using easy-to-find options.
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1 – Jackbox Games
Jackbox Games is always one of our favorites when visiting friends for game night. Their latest release is the Jackbox Party Pack 6. Fortunately, this game was built to play with friends from all over. It's been a Twitch staple for a long time.
A basic game can easily be run through a one-way live streaming service like Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, Mixer or another one of your favorites.
This works especially well if you want other people to be able to join the audience, though you can easily hide your room code so no “unsavory” folks get in without your approval.
If you just want your friends to see it, you may need to use a private option like a private Facebook Live.
Just load up the game, stream it, and then have your friends join your room using the room code. Immediate back-and-forth banter may be tougher this way (though people can type), but the game will still be as fun as always. You can even get multiple groups of people to play at the same time!
2 – Welcome To… Your Perfect Home
Welcome To Your Perfect Home by Deep Water Games is a great game for groups of people and due to the way it's built, it can be played with people in different locations.
The only real requirement is you need to have the play sheets at all locations. Either you each need to own a copy or you need to get some sheets to your friends (drop some off or mail them.)
Since all of the card drawing can be done on your end and everyone can just follow along. It works so well that we've even had people play along with our recorded playthrough on YouTube.
To play this one, using conferencing software, like Zoom, would be the best option. Though, honestly, you could technically use a basic messaging app to send photos of the most recent pulled cards to everyone for the simplest set up.
3 – Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is always a classic party game when your with your other adult friends, so this one could be tough if your kids are always home now.
(Though, there are some great kid-friendly version available, like Not Parent Approved.)
There is an online version available, though you could also play it using the streaming option using conferencing software if multiple groups have copies, especially if someone has more of the expansions.
4 – Dungeons & Dragons
The all-time leader with staying-in-and-not-leaving groups of people can also easily be played virtually. A basic set up really only needs the players and their player sheets.
Now with digital options like D&D Beyond, this is so much easier. I also think that there is also the ability for the Dungeon Master to view the players sheets making a lot of this go much smoother (though a subscription may be required for that option.)
If you want to be able to chat, feel free to use conferencing software. If your more technically adept, you may even be able to set up the map or other story elements onto a private stream.
Polygon has a great, more in-depth article about how to play RPG games like D&D without leaving the house.
5 – Hero Kids RPG
Hero Kids RPG follows some of the similar virtual options that Dungeons & Dragons followed, though it's aimed a lot more at getting younger kids into pen-and-paper RPGs.
While it does not have a digital option like D&D, it can easily be played over conferencing services. We recently did a video about introducing your kids to RPG using Hero Kids.
6 – Tabletop Simulator & Tabletopia
Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia are great options for virtual board game playing. These games let you play some of your favorite physical board games virtually.
Instead of creating a digital version of your game, these recreate the feel of actually playing the board game on a table.
You can get tons of your favorite board games within them. Both games support popular games like Wingspan and Scythe.
The only requirement here is that both parties need to own the software, which are available on Steam. Tabletop Simulator is $19.99 and Tabletopia is Free-To-Play, though DLC is extra for both. Tabletop Simulator looks like it also has the ability for you to create your own games, if that's something you'd like to try.
7 – Hive Mind
Hive Mind by Calliope Games is a great option for virtual play as it really only requires the other players for have a piece of paper and something to write with. On your end, you can pull the cards and move the pieces.
The object is to try to come up with the same answer as the other players. There are hundreds of questions to pick from, all family-friendly, that will sometimes get people remembering past memories and have everyone talking and laughing.
You can watch us play it with our kids if you'd like to get an idea of how it plays.
Do you have any other good games to play virtually? Have you been playing any of these virtually with your friends? How did it go?
Also, for games to play at home, check out our massive list of 101 Board Games For Family Game Night!
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We were just doing this sort of brainstorming with my group at work today. Trying to figure out ways to stay connected when we can easily “catch up” in the office. Definitely going to pass the ideas along!
We hope this list has helped your group, Matt. If you tried any other games that worked well on a video call, let us know so we can add to the list! ~Darcy